Just hours after Daniel Ricciardo won Formula One’s Monaco Grand Prix, fellow countryman Will Power became the first-ever Australian to win the Indianapolis 500 when he bested pole sitter Ed Carpenter (No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet) by 3.1589 seconds at the finish line of the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday.
Pre-race favourite Helio Castroneves (No. 3 Pennzoil Team Penske Chevrolet) was denied a record-tying fourth Indy 500 title, which would have tied him with AJ Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears, after crashing on Lap 146. While retiring Danica Patrick’s (No. 13 GoDaddy Chevrolet) career came to an abrupt stop after crashing out on Lap 68 in Turn 2, the same corner that claimed Ed Jones 10 laps earlier in the race.
The historic victory is IndyCar win No. 34 for the 37-year-old Queenslander, who piloted his No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet in excess of 166 mph (267 km/h) to the front of the race with four laps to remaining.
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After initially taking the lead with 90 laps to go in the 200-lap race, the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series champion found himself battling back during a Lap 192 restart to retake the lead Stefan Wilson (No. 25 Andretti Autosport) with four laps to go in the 500-mile race after the young British driver, 28, was forced to pit for lack of fuel.
“I just can’t believe it,” said Power, who delivered team boss Roger Penske his 17th Indy 500 win. “I got to thank Roger Penske, Verizon, and my parents for allowing me to get to this point. I can’t describe it. I feel like collapsing. I want to cry. I couldn’t stop screaming.
”I always wondered if I was going to win it, and thoughts went through my mind, in my career. I’ve had so many wins, and so many poles, but everybody always talked about the 500. I just couldn’t imagine winning a race in front of a crowd like this. It’s just amazing. What an event. I love it.”
Power, who is now tied for eighth place on the IndyCar all-time list with two-time Indy 500 winner Al Unser Jr., is now the first driver to sweep both races the ‘The Brickyard’ following his IndyCar Grand Prix victory earlier this month (May 12) on the track’s road course.
With 11 races remaining on the 2018 IndyCar calendar, including the Detroit Grand Prix doubleheader next weekend (June 2-3), Power holds a two-point lead over 2016 Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi (241) and a 10-point lead over American teammate Josef Newgarden (233).
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