Will Power, starting 9th, made an incredible start, picking off 5 positions before they’d even reached Turn 2! Half a lap later, he was up to 2nd.
Unfortunately, Will’s began to go away and he quickly dropped back through the field, slipping all the way to 11th a dozen laps later.
Meanwhile up front, it was the battle of the Ganassi cars. Dixon lead the first 5 laps, but his teammate Tony Kanaan, who had started 7th, was snaking his way through the field. A great start by TK (one of his specialities) saw him up to 4th by the end of Lap 1. Halfway through Lap 6, the crowd roared as TK passed his teammate and took the lead. In his 20th full-time season, TK is showing no signs of slowing down and he is always a fan favorite.
Alexander Rossi slipped back at the start, but followed TK past Ed Carpenter and retook his 3rd starting position, staying in the draft of the two Ganassi cars ahead. In case you thought Rossi only won by sheer luck a year ago, don’t forget that he holds the fastest lap of the 100th running of the 500, so he knows how to hustle his way around the Speedway.
Fernando Alonso played it very safe at the start, letting the field overtake him at the start as he got comfortable in the huge pack of traffic. He dropped to 9th initially, but began to pick off cars as he found his rhythm. 5 laps in, and he was already passing his Indy mentor and teammate, Marco Andretti.
James Davison was starting the Indy 500 with one arm tied behind his back and a concrete boot on one foot. He was starting dead last, substituting for the injured Sebastien Bourdais. On top of that, he was running Bourdais’ road course car, hastily converted into oval spec and with very little practice time. Dale Coyne’s team got something right as by Lap 6, he had already moved up to 25th.