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2024 Indianapolis 500 Winner: Newgarden Claims Back-to-back Wins!

Josef Newgarden made history by becoming the first back-to-back winner at Indianapolis 500 in 22 years, securing victory in a dramatic finish.

The victory is not only a significant personal achievement for Newgarden, but also extends Roger Penske’s record to 20 victories in the prestigious race.

The last round of Heroics

The Tennessee driver completed a feat last accomplished by Helio Castroneves for Penske in 2001 and 2002 when he passed Pato O’Ward in a rain-delayed final lap. race for victory.

Newgarden celebrated his victory in a unique way, stopping his Chevrolet-powered car on the track and climbing through a hole in the fence to join the fans in the stands, a ritual that began last year. “I love this crowd.

I always have to go to the crowd when we win here; I always do,” Newgarden noted.

O’Ward’s disappointment

Pato O’Ward, who was aiming to become the first Mexican to win the Indy 500, was visibly dejected after finishing second.

He leaned over the steering wheel, reflecting his bitter disappointment. O’Ward had hoped to improve on his previous placings, including second place in 2022, but fell behind in the final moments of the race.

Scandal overshadowing victory

Newgarden’s win comes after a turbulent start to the season. His season-opening win in March was disqualified due to Team Penske’s use of illegal push-to-pass software that provided extra horsepower.

The scandal led to the suspension of four crew members, including team president Tim Cindric, Newgarden’s key strategist. Despite this setback, Newgarden remained focused and delivered a stellar performance.

“They can absolutely say whatever they want; I don’t even care anymore,” he said, emphasizing the team effort behind the win. «This win embodies a team victory. I am thankful for Roger Penske; he stood by me. He is the man. He’s a legend.»

Racing delays and challenges

The race faced a four-hour delay due to rain, which affected several drivers, including the NASCAR star Kyle Larsonwho missed the start of the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway due to delays.

Larson, making his Indy 500 debut, finished eighteenth after two rookie mistakes.

Strong performances by competitors

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon finished third, the highest-placed Honda driver, followed by Arrow’s Alexander Rossi. McLaren Racing.

Despite Chevrolet’s strong showing, the Honda riders faced challenges as a first-lap crash eliminated three of Honda’s competitors, including 2022 winner Marcus Ericsson.

Penske’s historic achievement

Roger Penske, looking down on the speedway, celebrated Newgarden’s win by pumping his arm in the air and hugging his wife.

The win further cemented Penske’s legacy in the sport, his speedway parking spot plate quickly updated from «19» to «20» victories.

The emotional aftermath for O’Ward

O’Ward, who finished second to Newgarden in six different races, struggled with his emotions after the race.

He revealed that he had been battling the flu and sleepless nights leading to the plant. «I’m fine. It’s been a tough month, so much goes into this race,» O’Ward said. «I think I’m somebody who wears his heart on his sleeve. I’m really not hiding anything. And it’s only when you get that close close, and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen, it’s just a lot of emotion.»

Looking ahead

As Newgarden celebrates his historic victory, the Indianapolis 500 once again showcases the intense competition and dramatic moments that make it one of the most exciting events in motorsports.

With his back-to-back victories, Newgarden has cemented his place among the greats of the sport, while drivers like O’Ward continue to seek their own moment of glory in future races.

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Information taken from ESPN and The Japan Times

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