Josef Newgarden Wins Indy 500 With Last Lap Pass On Pato O’Ward

josef newgarden indy 500 practice
(Penske Entertainment: Matt Fraver)
(Penske Entertainment: Matt Fraver)

Josef Newgarden became the first back-to-back Indy 500 winner since 2022 on Sunday, but he had to wait for it.

The start of the race was delayed four hours due to rain, but the green flag flew at 4:44 p.m. for a race against the clock with an 8:15 p.m. deadline set at the unlit Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Fan favorite entry Kyle Larson made a good showing by running in the top 10 early in the race, but a pit lane speeding violation on lap 131 of the 200 lap race led to a drive-through penalty that knocked him out of contention.

Larson’s Arrow McLaren teammates Alexander Rossi and Pato O’Ward were running up front with Scott Dixon and Newgarden late in the race.

O’Ward had the fastest car and the most fuel and was lurking behind Newgarden waiting to take the lead, which he did on the front straight as they entered the final lap.

But Team Penske’s Newgarden was able to stay in his draft, went around the outside in turn three and made it stick to the checkered flag.

With the win, Newgarden becomes just the sixth driver in Indy 500 history to win back-to-back races, the last being Helio Castroneves in 2001 and 2002. Along with the winner’s purse he also won the BorgWarner rolling jackpot that was awaiting the next back-to-back winner, which was worth $440,000 this year.

Scott Dixon, Alexander Rossi and Alex Palou rounded out the top five.

Larson ultimately finished in 18th and immediately headed for a helicopter that would take him on a flight to Charlotte in an attempt to take over the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro in the Coca-Cola 600 from Justin Allgaier, who started the race for him.

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