2016 Indianapolis 500
100th Running of the Indianapolis 500
Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Indianapolis, IN
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
EVENT DETAILS
100th Running of the Indianapolis 500
29May
Race Complete
ABCRogers Sportsnet 360
Sirius
Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Oval)
About the track

With four corners banked at 9 degrees, 12 minutes, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway drives more like a road course than an oval. But each of the corners is different, with weather influencing the car's characteristics. The straightaways are 5/8ths of a mile long -- time to catch your breath and dive into the next corner.

Race Review

INDIANAPOLIS (Sunday, May 29, 2016) - On the biggest motorsports stage imaginable, Alexander Rossi picked the perfect day to make unimaginable history before a sellout crowd at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as a worldwide television audience tuned in.

The 24-year-old Californian and Verizon IndyCar Series rookie literally coasted across the finish line to win the epic 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil in most memorable fashion.

Driving the No. 98 NAPA Auto Parts/Curb Honda, Rossi stretched his last tank of fuel over the final 36 laps around the hallowed 2.5-mile oval, running dry of Sunoco E85R as he entered Turn 4 on the final lap. The car's momentum was enough to carry Rossi across the finish line 4.4975 seconds ahead of teammate Carlos Munoz.

In the process, Rossi became the 10th rookie in Indianapolis 500 history to win the race and the first since Helio Castroneves in 2001. He became a Verizon IndyCar Series winner in just his sixth race and the first to win a race in his debut season since Carlos Huertas in 2014.

"I have no idea how we pulled that off," a stunned Rossi admitted in Victory Circle after drinking and then pouring the celebratory bottle of milk over his head. "We struggled a little bit in the pit stops but Bryan (Herta) came up with an unbelievable strategy. I can't believe we've done this!"

In yet another thrilling Indianapolis 500 that saw 13 drivers swap the lead 54 times - the second most changes in Indy 500 history (68 in 2013) and seventh most for any Indy car race - Rossi led just 14 laps. The majority of the field, including Rossi, stopped for fuel and tires on Lap 164 during the caution period caused when Takuma Sato's No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Honda made light contact with the Turn 4 wall.

Rossi sat seventh on the Lap 167 restart and bided his time as those ahead of him began to peel off for a splash of fuel in the final 10 laps. When race leader Munoz had to stop four laps from the completion of the 200-lap event, Rossi inherited the lead and nursed his car home with help of a tow from another Andretti teammate, Ryan Hunter-Reay.

Rossi's final lap averaged 179.784 mph, nearly 40 mph slower than the charging Munoz, but he had cushion enough to coast across the famous yard of bricks by the largest margin of victory since the 1996 race.

"This is unbelievable," said Herta, whose team merged with Andretti's this year to form Andretti Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian and field Rossi, who left the American open-wheel junior ranks for Europe and made five Formula One starts in 2015 before returning to race on home soil.

"Man, it was so close at the end," added Herta, Rossi's race strategist. "For a rookie to drive with the poise he did in such a tough situation - I was telling him, 'Don't let anybody pass you but save fuel' - and he did it."

Rossi's deal with Andretti Herta wasn't formalized until a few weeks before the 2016 season opener. His best finish before today was 10th at the Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 14. Now Rossi is an Indianapolis 500 champion and he continues a trend of rookies winning landmark Indy 500s started by Ray Harroun at the first race in 1911 and Graham Hill at the 50th in 1966.

"I don't even know where to begin," Rossi said. "In February I wasn't even thinking about Indy car, and now we've just won the Indy 500. Thanks to an amazing group of people who gave me an opportunity to come here this year."

The Indy 500 win was the fourth for Andretti Autosport (Dan Wheldon, 2005; Dario Franchitti, 2007; Hunter-Reay, 2014) and the second for Herta (Wheldon, 2011).

"After that last pit stop, I knew that Alex was going to try it," co-owner Michael Andretti said. "We knew then, all right, if he's going to try it, we're going to try different strategies. It really worked out. We had two cars that had a shot at winning with two different strategies.

"To be a part of history, to win the 100th running, to win it with a 1-2 finish is incredible. I'm a bit speechless."

For Munoz, it marked his second runner-up Indy 500 finish in four tries. The Colombian placed second to Tony Kanaan in 2013 to earn rookie of the year honors.

"I was really disappointed when it comes to fuel (strategy) and you lose the race because of that," the 24-year-old said. "I was really disappointed to get second. Half a lap short, that's what it took."

Josef Newgarden finished third in the No. 21 Preferred Freezer Chevrolet for Ed Carpenter Racing.

"Today's gut-wrenching just because I think I had a winning car," Newgarden said. "And when you know you have a winning car and you know you can win the thing and you go for it and it doesn't happen because of a strategy call, it's kind of tough."

Kanaan was fourth in the No. 10 NTT Data Chevrolet for Chip Ganassi Racing, leading 19 laps. It was the 12th Indy 500 that Kanaan has led, second only to A.J. Foyt's 13. Charlie Kimball, also driving for Ganassi, finished fifth in the No. 42 Tresiba Chevrolet.

Defending Indy 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya finished 33rd after crashing his No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet into the Turn 2 SAFER Barrier on his own on Lap 64. Montoya became just the third reigning winner to finish last at Indy, joining Jimmy Bryan in 1959 and Johnny Rutherford in 1977.

"I started making up some ground again and the car was actually pretty good," said Montoya, who started 17th. "I went into (Turn) 2 with a big push and, when I got on the gas, it just came around. It's just disappointing. Our Verizon Chevy was really good. Just a tough day."

Hunter-Reay led a race-high 52 laps but had his bid for victory stifled following an incident on pit lane. Teammate Townsend Bell ran into Helio Castroneves on pit road and Bell's car caromed into that of Hunter-Reay, who finished 24th.

Championship leader Simon Pagenaud finished 19th to end a three-race win streak. The Team Penske driver saw his points lead trimmed to 57 over Scott Dixon, who finished eighth. With double points awarded for the race in addition to qualifying points, Pagenaud has 292 to Dixon's 235 after six of 16 races.

Castroneves failed for the seventh time to become a four-time Indy 500 winner, finishing 11th and retaining third place in the standings with 224 points. Newgarden vaulted from eighth to fourth in the championship with 211 points.

Top Three Positions
1st
Alexander Rossi
Andretti Herta Autosport w/ Curb-Agajanian
2st
Carlos Munoz
Andretti Autosport
3st
Josef Newgarden
Ed Carpenter Racing
Past track winners
Takuma Sato / 2017
Alexander Rossi / 2016
Juan Pablo Montoya / 2015
Ryan Hunter-Reay / 2014
Tony Kanaan / 2013
Dario Franchitti / 2012
Dan Wheldon / 2011
Dario Franchitti / 2010
Helio Castroneves / 2009
Scott Dixon / 2008
Dario Franchitti / 2007
Sam Hornish, Jr. / 2006
Dan Wheldon / 2005
Buddy Rice / 2004
Gil de Ferran / 2003
Helio Castroneves / 2002
Helio Castroneves / 2001
Juan Pablo Montoya / 2000
Kenny Brack / 1999
Eddie Cheever, Jr. / 1998
Arie Luyendyk / 1997
Buddy Lazier / 1996
Jacques Villeneuve / 1995
Al Unser, Jr. / 1994
Emerson Fittipaldi / 1993
Al Unser, Jr. / 1992
Rick Mears / 1991
Arie Luyendyk / 1990
Emerson Fittipaldi / 1989
Rick Mears / 1988
Al Unser / 1987
Bobby Rahal / 1986
Danny Sullivan / 1985
Rick Mears / 1984
Tom Sneva / 1983
Gordon Johncock / 1982
Bobby Unser / 1981
Johnny Rutherford / 1980
Rick Mears / 1979
Al Unser / 1978
A.J. Foyt / 1977
Johnny Rutherford / 1976
Bobby Unser / 1975
Johnny Rutherford / 1974
Gordon Johncock / 1973
Mark Donohue / 1972
Al Unser / 1971
Al Unser / 1970
Mario Andretti / 1969
Bobby Unser / 1968
A.J. Foyt / 1967
Graham Hill / 1966
Jim Clark / 1965
A.J. Foyt / 1964
Parnelli Jones / 1963
Rodger Ward / 1962
A.J. Foyt / 1961
Jim Rathmann / 1960
Rodger Ward / 1959
Jimmy Bryan / 1958
Sam Hanks / 1957
Pat Flaherty / 1956
Bob Sweikert / 1955
Bill Vukovich / 1954
Bill Vukovich / 1953
Troy Ruttman / 1952
Lee Wallard / 1951
Johnnie Parsons / 1950
Bill Holland / 1949
Mauri Rose / 1948
Mauri Rose / 1947
George Robson / 1946
NO RACE - WWII / 1945
NO RACE - WWII / 1944
NO RACE - WWII / 1943
NO RACE - WWII / 1942
Floyd Davis & Mauri Rose / 1941
Wilbur Shaw / 1940
Wilbur Shaw / 1939
Floyd Roberts / 1938
Wilber Shaw / 1937
Louis Meyer / 1936
Kelly Petillo / 1935
Bill Cummings / 1934
Louis Meyer / 1933
Fred Frame / 1932
Louis Schneider / 1931
Billy Arnold / 1930
Ray Keech / 1929
Louis Meyer / 1928
George Souders / 1927
Frank Lockhart / 1926
Peter DePaolo / 1925
Lora Corum & Joe Boyer / 1924
Tommy Milton / 1923
Jimmy Murphy / 1922
Tommy Milton / 1921
Gaston Chevrolet / 1920
Howdy Wilcox / 1919
NO RACE - WWI / 1918
NO RACE - WWI / 1917
Dario Resta / 1916
Ralph DePalma / 1915
Rene Thomas / 1914
Jules Goux / 1913
Joe Dawson / 1912
Ray Harroun / 1911