Castroneves has Tiger in his tank for Indy 500

Monday, 27 May, 2019

IndyCar President Jay Frye told reporters that the race, schedule to begin at noon ET, could start as late as 6 p.m. because of the amount of daylight at this time of year.

Angry skies and wind arrived Sunday morning, hours before the scheduled start of "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing".

Retired NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. drove the pace auto, Mario Andretti was honored before the race on the 50th anniversary of his win and Simon Pagenaud started from the pole for Team Penske on the 50th anniversary of the team's first Indy 500 start.

Helio Castroneves was penalized for hitting James Davison, Jordan King hit a crew member and Will Power bumped his own fueler on a stop.

"I can only imagine how special it would be".

He'd been patient through the first half of the race and set himself up to take control after the halfway point. It was the first of his three Indy 500 victories.

It was seven years before he returned to Victory Lane in 2009 and he has not found his way back since, though he has twice come agonisingly close, finishing as runner-up in 2014 and 2017. It was a banner day for Penske, who saw Josef Newgarden finish fourth while Power was fifth. Penske said with a broad smile.

"Obviously great memories of the ones that happened but the ones you've missed stay in your mind".

Entering the 2013 Indianapolis 500, it could have nearly been considered an undisputed fact that the best IndyCar driver who had never won the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" was KV Racing Technology's Tony Kanaan.

"The first time we ever had words, I was sitting on pit lane trying to qualify in '77", Mears recalled.

Kyle Kaiser also crashed out on lap 71 after getting on the marbles out wide, triggering a safety vehicle while Ben Hanley was another to suffer an early exit. The 2016 race victor twice charged to the front in the closing laps. As Rossi finally raced by, he angrily raised his fist at the Spaniard. Rossi looked the faster of the cars, but once back out in front Pagenaud worked hard to deprive him of the all-important tow down the long straights.

Pagenaud got him on the restart and the two went back and forth four more times before Pagenaud locked down the win.

It was a clinically cool display by the son of a grocery store owner from LeMans as Pagenaud fought off challenges from two former 500 winners Rossi and Japan's Takuma Sato, who completed the podium. An entire generation of race fans has turned over, their kids and grandkids now turning up at the speedway on Memorial Day weekend.