Australian Power Fuels Indy 500 Victory
SPEEDWAY, IN – RIS – Will Power drove his #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet to victory in the 102nd Indianapolis 500-Mile race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Ed Carpenter, Scott Dixon, Alexander Rossi and Ryan Hunter-Reay rounded out the top five. Power, running in third place, inherited the lead with five laps to go after Stefan Wilson and Jack Harvey, both ran out of fuel and dove into the pits. This gave Power the lead and race win.
Power, from Toowoomba, Australia, was the first driver to sweep both May races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This was his 34th Indy car win and Team Penske’s 17th Indy 500 victory. It was the team’s 201 Indy car win.
Breathtaking passes on restarts included cars four-wide. Passing on the outside and inside of turns. And pit-stop and fuel mileage strategy earmarked this exciting race. The new IndyCar aero package provided plenty of thrills and excitement.
Has engine supplier Chevrolet turned the corner on Honda with this win? Prior to this race Chevy had only two wins out of the last 14 Indy 500s compared to Honda. This was Chevrolet’s 10th Indy 500 victory dating to 1988.
There were 30 lead changes and 41 caution laps.
Helio Castroneves (2001, 2002, 2009) encountered a fueling problem during his pit stop early in the race. Castroneves’ Chevrolet got loose in Turn 4 on lap 147. His car did a three-quarter spin and backed into the inside pit road retaining wall. The car then made two complete 360-degree spins before coming to a stop. He walked away from the wreck down pit road apparently uninjured. This ended his chance for a record tying fourth Indy 500 win.
Scott Dixon (2008) finished third. He struggled on restarts due to gear issues, losing positions.
Tony Kanaan (2013) made an extra pit stop due to a flat tire. That put him a lap down. He gained it back later in the race. But with 12 laps to go his car got loose in Turn 2 and spun into the inside retaining wall ending his run.
Ryan Hunter-Reay (2015) Honda lacked passing speed in traffic. Finished fifth.
Alexander Rossi (2016) started from inside the last row. He made several breathtaking passes during restarts to gain positions. Rossi’s daring moves put his Honda inside and outside of his competitors to make spectacular passes. He finished fourth.
Takuma Sato (2017), last year’s race winner, ran into John Davison’s Chevrolet that was slowing and off the pace. Neither driver was injured. But the wreck ended his day.
Pole Sitter, Ed Carpenter was assessed post-race fine for hitting equipment during pit stop. He finished second.
Indy car Champions:
Simon Pagenaud finished sixth.
Will Power won the 2018 Indianapolis 500.
Sebastien Bourdais’ Honda got loose. His car did a full spin and a half into the Turn 4 outside wall, ending his day
Sage Karam’s day came to a halt in Turn 4 on lap 155 after his car got loose and struck the outside wall with enough force to send his right rear tire across the race track. He was uninjured.
Ed Jones was transported to IU Health Methodist hospital after complaining about neck and head pain he suffered after his loose race car struck the wall in a single car accident.
A disappointed Danica Patrick, in her final career race, battled an ill handling car. The car got loose in Turn 2 on Lap 57, did a half spin into the outside wall then travelled across the track and struck the inside retaining wall. She was not injured but was visibly upset her driving career ended in a wreck.
Robert Wickens’ was the highest finishing rookie.
The IndyCar series next race is June 2 and 3 at The Raceway at Belle Isle Park.
Dave Chess has been writing for RIS since the late 1980s during the CompuServe days. His work has also appeared in Auto Week magazine, Chicago Gearhead News newspaper, ATA airlines in-flight magazine, National Speed Sport News and on many websites.