The Indy 500 is one of the most prestigious races in North America and each year it receives plenty of media attention. This year was certainly no different and the race proved to be full of action and excitement every step of the way.
As the cars lined up on the starting grid early Sunday morning no-one would be able to guess the final result of this career-defining race. No one presumed that New Zealander Scott Dixon would manage to climb his way to the front of the pack during the course of the race, eventually shooting into the lead and claiming first place by the end of the race. The driving was spectacular and a number of collisions along the way had pit crews running for their lives. The 92nd annual Indianapolis 500 was every bit as magnificent as it could have been expected to be and the thousands of fans that streamed through the gates of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway could not have been disappointed.
When the race started a lot of heads were turned to Dan Wheldon – one of the top contenders for the checkered flag. Unfortunately Wheldon developed engine problems during the course of the race and he only finished at 19th place. Another top contender was Tom Scheckter. Despite the fact that he was among the top five for much of the race, his fortunes ended when he had to leave his car because of a broken gear shaft. Ed Carpenter also appeared to be blazing around the racetrack in top form, leading the front of the field for quite a long time because he did not pit. However on lap 159 Dixon overtook Carpenter and Vitor Meira, claiming second place for himself and putting himself in the running to win the race.
Accidents were plentiful and it seemed that the yellow flag was everywhere. Alex Lloyd from England hit the outside of the fourth turn wall, causing him to veer into the pit lane backwards and scattering pit lane officials. However this rookie received much less attention than Danica Patrick did. Patrick was hit in the pits by Ryan Briscoe and the accident destroyed her left rear suspension. With only 29 laps to go and having run in the top ten up until that point, Patrick was furious. This was the first occasion in her four trips to Indianapolis that she failed to finish in the top ten. She eventually became the 22nd person to cross the finish line.
Scott Dixon’s ultimate break came when he beat Meira out of the pits on the last fuel stop. He then managed to stay in front for the final 29 laps. This is Dixon’s first Indy 500 victory, although he did finish in second place in the race last year. The New Zealander said that he was focusing on fuel conservation for most of the race. Dixon is now the 19th driver to win the race from pole position and his win has put him in the line to receive massive money and corporate sponsorships. His chief competitor, Vitor Meira, eventually finished second while Marco Andretti was third.