Event Coverage: 2019 Indianapolis 500
Takuma Sato
The 2017 Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato had another quiet month, but came to life during the race, finishing 3rd and briefly challenging for the lead. Unfortunately, as fast as he was in the last quarter of the race, he was no match for the top two. (Note: I know this isn’t Sato’s race livery, but I really like this shot, so that’s what we’re going with!)
Ed Jones
Ed Carpenter racing’s cars are almost always quick at Indy and 2019 was no different. They nearly locked out the front row with only Simon Pagenaud pushing Ed Jones (seen here) into 4th position. Unfortunately come race day, the ECR cars weren’t as good and slipped back as the miles ticked away. Ed Carpenter himself finished the best in his team in 6th, while his full-time driver Spencer Pigot finished 14th and his road course ringer Jones took home 13th. Jones’ car isn’t a full ECR car, but is in fact run by IMSA regular team Scuderia Corsa. This effort was put together to give Scuderia Corsa a shot at IndyCar and give Jones a ride for the Indy 500. In fact, it’s quite likely that the Scuderia Corsa deal shut out McLaren from partnering with ECR for their Indy effort.
Josef Newgarden
Josef Newgarden has been one of the few consistent threats all year long. He won the season opener in St Petersburg and finished 2nd at both Circuit of the Americas and Long Beach. By the time you read this, he will also have won in Texas and Detroit with a solid, but not at all comfortable points lead in the IndyCar championship. He had a strong Month of May, starting a reasonable 8th and finishing 4th. He lead briefly in the final third of the race, but wasn’t quick enough challenge for the win on the final restart. Still, his finish strengthened his championship position and while a 4th place finish is a great for a championship campaign, it doesn’t bring home the Borg Warner trophy. Despite the allure of double points, no driver wants to walk home without a drink of milk after Indy. Still, with Indy behind him, Newgarden is looking to add a second championship to his resume.
Alexander Rossi
The other top championship contender in 2019 is Alexander Rossi. Rossi of course won the 100th running of the Indy 500 in 2016 and damn near won the championship in 2018. This year he intends to prove that neither his 2018 season nor his 2016 Indy 500 win were flukes. For the championship, he utterly dominated at Long Beach and has had a steady string of Top 5 finishes throughout the year. His only poor race was the IndyCar GP two weeks prior where he was punted into the wall at the start and lost 4 laps due to repairs. Rossi was one of my picks to win this year, strong all month long, starting 9th in the field, and with that perfect mix of balls and smarts to be there at the end. He damn near did it too, battling for the lead throughout the final 13 lap trophy dash. Unfortunately, he made his move a lap too early and ended up getting re-passed, forced to settle for second. The loss really stung with Rossi as he had a strong car, but not quite strong enough to claim the day.
Wreckers Not Checkers
The very end of the race featured a wild ride by Sebastian Bourdais with 22 to go. Bourdais and Graham Rahal were fighting for the same piece of racetrack and touched, sending both into the wall. Bourdais’ car pancaked the wall and partially flipped, quickly righting itself. Zach Veach and Felix Rosenqvist got caught in the mele as they tried to avoid the two crashing veterans. All four cars made their final laps on the back of a wrecker. For Bourdais, this marks the second year in a row he has crashed out of the great race, and of course before that he was injured in a qualifying crash that sidelined him for the majority of the 2017 season. At least this time all four drivers walked away, though Rahal was HOT afterwards, thinking he had a shot at the win. The cleanup necessitated a red flag, which set up a 13 lap sprint to the end dominated by Rossi and Simon Pagenaud.


  1. Some interesting stuff going on with the compressor housing of the turbo…. looks like it has two outlets. Indycar running anti-lag these days?

  2. I don’t think anti-lag is allowed, but they may be using some other method of keeping the turbos spooled. Anti-lag wouldn’t really help at Indy anyway since they’re full throttle through the entire lap. Might be more to do with boost control, which is heavily restricted by IndyCar.

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