Alexander Rossi won the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana on Sunday. It was his first Indy 500.
Alexander Rossi had been racing in Formula One in 2015, but found himself without a ride heading into 2016. He landed one with Andretti Autosport for the 2016 IndyCar season, and had a best finish of 10th place heading into Sunday's race.
Pole-sitter James Hinchcliffe led the field away for the first of 200 laps on Sunday afternoon.
However, Hinchcliffe did not lead Lap 1, as Ryan Hunter-Reay took the top spot from him before the completion of the first lap. The two drivers traded the lead back and forth until the first round of stops began on Lap 28.
During that round of stops, Hinchcliffe's team was unable to get his fuel hose in correctly, and the ensuing sluggish stop dropped him outside of the top 5. He would work his way back up to battle Hunter-Reay again later in the race.
Meanwhile, Hunter-Reay lost the lead on Lap 42 to Townsend Bell, whose only Verizon IndyCar Series race each year is the Indy 500.
The race went caution-free until Lap 47 when a piece of debris was spotted on the back straight. The caution brought every car down pit road, with Hunter-Reay leading the field off. Will Power had to drop to the back of the field after contact with Tony Kanaan on pit road.
Hunter-Reay led them back to green on Lap 55 but Bell quickly rallied his way back up to the front and began trading the top spot. Bell soon dropped back, however, and Hinchcliffe found himself back up in second behind Hunter-Reay.
The caution flew for the second time of the day on Lap 64 when Juan Pablo Montoya spun out coming out of Turn 2. Although Hinchcliffe won the ensuing race off of pit road, Power did not pit under the caution and so led the field back to green on Lap 75. Further back in the field, Simon Pagenaud - who had been running in the top 5 - was told to drop to the back of the field for an unsafe release on pit road.
Power quickly dropped back through the field behind Hinchcliffe and Hunter-Reay, and then Helio Castroneves made his first appearance up front on Lap 90. The third caution of the day flew soon after when Sage Karam lost control in Turn 1 on Lap 94 and ended up hard in the outside wall. Fortunately, Karam was OK.
The race restarted on Lap 105 and, this time, it was Kanaan working his way up to the front to battle Hunter-Reay, Castroneves and Bell, and he led for the first time on Lap 109 before dropping back. Bell was leading on Lap 115 when the fourth caution of the race flew.
Mikhail Aleshin spun coming out of Turn 1 and got into the wall. As he tried to avoid the incident, Conor Daly lost control and also spun into the wall. Daly was able to get going again while Aleshin was done.
Bell led coming into the pits but then bounced off of Castroneves' car as he came off of pit road, spinning Bell's car into the path of Hunter-Reay. Bell was assessed a stop-go penalty for the collision.
Alex Tagliani and Alexander Rossi did not pit under the caution and led the field back to green on Lap 121, with Rossi quickly taking the top spot. Tagliani - who had started from last position - soon took it back. Eventually, the two drivers had to pit for fuel, putting Castroneves back into the lead. Castroneves pit on Lap 150 right when the caution flew for a stray wheel on track that was not attached properly to Buddy Lazier's car coming off of pit road.
Castroneves led the field back to green on Lap 158 but Tony Kanaan and Josef Newgarden had disposed of him before they got to Turn 1. Hinchcliffe soon followed. Helio's chances of victory evaporated on Lap 162 when his wheel guard began to fall off after contact with JR Hildebrand, but he was saved by a caution coming out when Takuma Sato tagged the Turn 4 wall, bringing out a caution.
Hildebrand led the field back to green after not pitting under the caution, but soon lost it to Tony Kanaan. Kanaan led until 21 laps left to go, when Newgarden took it from him. Carlos Munoz then made his first appearance up front with 10 laps to go, which is when the final round of pit stops began, as all of the front-running cars were about 2 laps short on fuel.
While all of the leaders came in, Alexander Rossi elected to stay out and managed to run it to the end.
Unofficial race results:
1. Alexander Rossi
2. Carlos Munoz
3. Josef Newgarden
4. Tony Kanaan
5. Charlie Kimball
6. JR Hildebrand
7. James Hinchcliffe
8. Scott Dixon
9. Sebastien Bourdais
10. Will Power
11. Helio Castroneves
12. Oriol Servia
13. Marco Andretti
14. Graham Rahal
15. Max Chilton
16. Jack Hawksworth
17. Alex Tagliani
18. Pippa Mann
19. Simon Pagenaud
20. Gabby Chaves
21. Townsend Bell
22. Matt Brabham
23. Bryan Clauson
24. Ryan Hunter-Reay
25. Spencer Pigot
26. Takuma Sato
27. Mikhail Aleshin
28. Stefan Wilson
29. Conor Daly
30. Buddy Lazier
31. Ed Carpenter
32. Sage Karam
33. Juan Pablo Montoya