Rossi Wins Indianapolis 500
The 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 sure lived up to the hype.
Rookie Alexander Rossi, 24, won the 100th running of the race in his first try, becoming the third to do so in the past 50 years (Castroneves - 2001, Montoya - 2000). Running middle of the pack for the majority of the day, Rossi jumped on the opportunity presented to him late in the race as the leaders needed to pit for gas in the remaining laps. He then crossed the finish line on fumes only 4.9 seconds ahead of teammate Carlos Munoz and a closing Josef Newgraden to claim the victory.
"At one point we were 33rd, but we rolled the dice and came through and made it happen," Rossi said. "I have no idea how we pulled that off. We struggled a little bit with the pit stops, but Bryan [team co-owner Bryan Herta] came up with that unbelievable strategy."
A number of favorites had terrible luck on Sunday. Juan Pablo Montoya wrecked all by himself on lap 64 and finished in dead-last, while Townsend Bell and Ryan Hunter-Reay collided on pit road mid-race, taking them out of contention.
Helio Castroneves had tough luck late in the race as well as part of his rear-wing came loose causing him to pit and lose multiple track positions. He finished 11th.
Last year, Rossi was sitting in Monaco watching the Indy 500, hoping he could get a chance to run in the race some day. Now he's a winner.
"I just can't believe that we've done this," Rossi said.