What started as a tag team fuel saving race quickly turned into a race from the 1980s with strong cars dropping out of contention due to strange circumstances and a winner who was considered to have an outside shot taking the checkered flag. What looked like a Ganassi 1-2 blowout turned into a free for all.
The timing of the yellows left the outcome sufficiently in doubt.
In the end, a Ganassi car won. Congratulations to Marcus Ericsson. He drove a calculated race and he had the strongest car at the end.
Since Marcus Ericsson joined Ganassi, I have felt he was a bit underrated. he wasn’t one of my top choices to win today, but I felt he was someone to watch out for.
Losing at the Pit Line
Alex Palou was the victim of timing. he entered pit lane just as the caution came out. The penalty gave him no shot at the win, but he did claw back to ninth.
I can’t remember Scott Dixon making an unforced error on a pit stop. It happened so late in the race that he didn’t have time to recover. I’m beginning to wonder if he will ever win another race. Today seemed like a lock.
Despite the two Ganassi favorites Dixon and Palou losing their chance to win, Ganassi cars finished first, third, and ninth.
Arrow McLaren SP had finishes of second and fourth. Both Pato O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist had cars capable of winning. Their split strategy late when Rosenqvist pitted early nearly got them to Victory Lane. I didn’t think their cars had quite the pace of the Ganassi cars, but their tactics nearly worked.
TK’s Last Dance?
If this was Tony Kanaan’s final 500, he went out strong. He finished third and led six laps. Kanaan was in the mix all day. I hope he comes back.
Four drivers who started 16th or worse finished in a group in the top ten. Alexander Rossi finished fifth from 20th; Conor Daly was sixth after lining up in 18th; Helio Castroneves went from 27th to seventh; and Simon Pagenaud finished eighth from 16th on the grid.
The biggest mover of the race was Juan Pablo Montoya, who started 30th and finished 11th.
Five of the drivers involved in crashes today had three years or less Indycar experience. Three were Indy 500 rookies.
After the race it looked like Ericsson was going to stop on track and celebrate in a similar manner to Castroneves and Pagenaud did. Instead he pulled into pit lane at the last possible moment. Did Indycar order him to go directly to the Victory Podium? If so, why?
I will have a more extensive race wrap up tomorrow. Thanks for following along for the last three weeks. I have had a lot of fun this month.