Will Power Wins Indy 500 but Alex Rossi Steals the Spotlight
Will Power has finally won the Indy 500, the one major trophy that had eluded him throughout his otherwise illustrious IndyCar career, which includes more than 30 victories, 40 pole positions, and even an IndyCar championship.
It was, as it had been last year, an extremely chaotic but exciting race, featuring crashes involving seven drivers, several of whom had been expecting good results, such as Helio Castroneves, who had been seeking that magical fourth win; Danica Patrick, on her final IndyCar race; crowd favorite Tony Kanaan; and Takuma Sato, last year’s winner.
But while Power’s win was fully deserved, it was Andretti Autosport Honda’s Alexander Rossi, winner of the 2016 Indy 500 in his rookie year, who stole the show. Having started 32nd after cutting a tire during his qualifying run, Rossi sliced through the field with such speed and decisiveness that he might as well have been in a completely different class.
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He gained seven positions in the first 15 laps and by lap 117 was already running 12th. During every restart, he continued to make spectacular moves on the outside of the track, where no other driver dared venture because of the dust and marbles. He gained another seven places during a pair of restarts on lap 144 and 152, and with 40 laps to go had worked up to a podium position.
Competing Honda driver Scott Dixon was able to save more fuel and to ultimately take that third place from him, dropping Rossi to fourth. But all spectators will have left the racetrack wanting to see more from the American driver, who showed once again that the Indy 500 was his playground more than for any other.
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