DAN WHELDON - BRYAN HERTA AUTOSPORT
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Date  May 29, 2011

FULL RACE ON DVD
3 hours 40 mins  / Full race 2 dvd set



The 95th Indianapolis 500 was held on May 29, 2011 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It was the premier event of the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series season. The track opened for practice on May 14, and time trials were held on May 21–22. The race was won by Dan Wheldon (his second after a previous win in 2005) and was the final win of his racing career. American rookie J. R. Hildebrand was leading the race when he hit the wall on the final turn of the final lap. As Hildebrand's wrecked car was sliding down the main stretch, Wheldon slipped by in the final 1,000 feet to take the victory. Hildebrand slid across the line to place second. Four months after the race, Wheldon was killed in a crash during the IZOD IndyCar World Championship at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.



2011 Indianapolis 500


INDIANAPOLIS 500 LOGO 2011.png


Location Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Date May 29, 2011
Winner United Kingdom Dan Wheldon
Average speed 170.265 mph (274.015 km/h)
Pole position Canada Alex Tagliani
Pole speed 227.472 mph (366.081 km/h)
Fastest qualifier Canada Alex Tagliani
Rookie of the Year United States J. R. Hildebrand
Most laps led New Zealand Scott Dixon 7)
Pre-race ceremonies
National anthem Seal, Kelly Clarkson, and David Foster
Back Home Again in Indiana Jim Nabors
Starting command Mari Hulman George
Pace car Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible
Pace car driver A. J. Foyt]
Honorary starter Bruce P. Crandall
Attendance Est. 300,000+
TV in the United States
Network ABC
Announcers Marty Reid, Scott Goodyear, Eddie Cheever
Nielsen Ratings 4.0
Market share TBD
Chronology




The 95th Indianapolis 500 was held on May 29, 2011 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It was the premier event of the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series season. The track opened for practice on May 14, and time trials were held on May 21–22. The race was won by Dan Wheldon (his second after a previous win in 2005) and was the final win of his racing career. American rookie J. R. Hildebrand was leading the race when he hit the wall on the final turn of the final lap. As Hildebrand's wrecked car was sliding down the main stretch, Wheldon slipped by in the final 1,000 feet to take the victory. Hildebrand slid across the line to place second. Four months after the race, Wheldon was killed in a crash during the IZOD IndyCar World Championship at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The race was the third of the three-year long Centennial era, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the opening of the track (1909) and 100th anniversary of the first Indianapolis 500 (1911). The race was suspended during WWI (1917–18) and WWII (1942–45), therefore the 100th running of the event will not occur until 2016. At times during the month of May, the race was advertised as the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 and the Centennial Indianapolis 500.

The race has been billed as "The Most Important Race in History." It was the final Indy 500 contested with the current normally aspirated "spec" Dallara IR-05/Honda Indy V-8 machines. In 2012, the series will switch to a new chassis and utilize turbocharged engines.

Contents


Event news

Tanner Foust from Team Hot Wheels sped down a 90-foot ramp, suspended on a 10-story high door and jumped across the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's infield inside the fourth turn.


Schedule

Date(s) Day(s) Event
May 12 Thursday Rookie Orientation program
May 14–20 Saturday – Friday Indianapolis 500 Practice
May 21 Saturday Pole Day Time Trials
May 22 Sunday Bump Day Time Trials
May 27 Friday Carb Day
Indianapolis 500 final practice
Pit Stop Challenge
May 29 Sunday 95th Indianapolis 500-Mile Race

Other scheduled events included:

  • May 7 – Hot-air balloon festival / Emerging Technologies Day
  • May 13 – Freedom 100 testing
  • May 14 – 100th Anniversary Indy 500 Celebration of Automobiles
  • May 25 – Community Day
  • May 26 – Freedom 100 practice and time trials
  • May 27 – Freedom 100 race, Carb Day concert
  • May 28 – Public Drivers Meeting, Memorabilia Show, Autograph sessions

Broadcasting

Time trials and Carb Day were covered live in the United States on Versus. The announcing team consisted of Bob Jenkins, Jon Beekhuis and Wally Dallenbach, Jr. Pit reporters included Lindy Thackston, Marty Snider, and Kevin Lee. Robin Miller serves as analyst and "insider."

Daily practice was streamed live over the internet. WFNI broadcasted nightly from the track with Trackside with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee, followed by Donald Davidson's The Talk of Gasoline Alley.

The race itself was broadcast live in high definition in the United States on ABC[20][23] beginning at 11:00 a.m. EDT. Brent Musburger served as host. Marty Reid handled the lap-by-lap duties, with Scott Goodyear and Eddie Cheever serving as color commentators. The pit reporters were Jerry Punch, Vince Welch, Jamie Little, and Rick DeBruhl. In the Indianapolis market, the live broadcast was blacked out on WRTV, and shown same-day tape delay in prime time. In some markets in northern Indiana, the final 15 laps of the race were not shown due to a weather bulletin.

The IMS Radio Network broadcasted the race live on approximately 400 affiliates, as well as AFN, the LeSEA broadcasting network, and World Harvest Radio. The broadcast was carried on XM channel 145 and on Sirius channel 212 through the "Best of XM" package. Mike King anchored the radio broadcast.

The race received a 4.3 overnight rating on ABC, up 7% over 2010. The top local markets included Indianapolis (14.5), Dayton (10.5), and Ft. Meyers/Naples (8.5).[26] The final rating was 4.0 with 6.711 million viewers, up 11% in ratings and 16% in viewership compared to 2010.

Entry list

See Team and driver chart for more information

On April 15, 2011, the Official Entry List was released, featuring 83 cars for 42 entries. As of April 15, thirty-five car/driver combinations had been announced.[28] On May 9, a revised version of the entry list was released. The entry from China Racing was withdrawn. The final list includes 79 cars for 41 entries.

Confirmed former winners entered include Dario Franchitti, Hélio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Dan Wheldon, and Buddy Rice.

Rookie orientation

Pre-Indy oval testing

Since the Indy 500 was the first oval race of the 2011 season, per IndyCar regulations, rookies who have not competed on an oval were required to take part in Pre-Indy Oval testing. Scott Speed and Ho-Pin Tung, along with Wade Cunningham (who didn't race Indy but participated at Texas) completed the test at Chicagoland Speedway on May 9.[29] Speed was legally exempt from this test because of previous high-speed oval experience in ARCA and NASCAR, but chose to test with his teammate to learn the car.

Thursday, May 12 – Rookie Orientation Program

  • Weather: 83 °F (28 °C), overcast
  • Practice summary: Seven rookies participated in the rookie orientation program. For 2011, the session was open to rookies only in order to pass the four-part rookie test. There would not be any refresher tests (phases three and four) for part-time veteran drivers as had been in years past. The drivers included: J. R. Hildebrand, James Hinchcliffe, James Jakes, Charlie Kimball, Ho-Pin Tung, Pippa Mann and Scott Speed. Six drivers completed all four phases, while Jakes completed three. Jakes can complete the fourth and final phase at any time prior to time trials on May 21. J. R. Hildebrand (221.533 mph) turned the fastest lap of the day, and no incidents were reported. An eighth Indy 500 rookie is entered, Jay Howard, who is an IndyCar Series veteran (four starts in 2010). He failed to qualify for the Indy 500 in 2010, however since he passed all four phases of the rookie test, and has other oval experience from 2010, he was exempted from participating.
Top Practice Speeds
Pos No. Driver Team Speed
1 4 United States J. R. Hildebrand Panther Racing 221.533
2 8 China Ho-Pin Tung Dragon Racing 220.477
3 06 Canada James Hinchcliffe Newman/Haas Racing 219.602
OFFICIAL REPORT

Practice

Saturday, May 14 – Opening Day

  • Weather: 67 °F (19 °C), overcast/ rain
  • Practice summary: On opening day, 32 cars took to the track, completing 669 laps with no incidents reported. Ed Carpenter led the speed chart at 224.786 mph. Around 3 p.m., rain halted the session, but the track dried, and practice resumed for a short time. At 5:30 p.m., rain returned and the session came to a close.[32]
Top Practice Speeds
Pos No. Driver Team Speed
1 67 United States Ed Carpenter Sarah Fisher Racing 224.786
2 9T New Zealand Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing 224.491
3 4T United States J. R. Hildebrand (R) Panther Racing 224.433
OFFICIAL REPORT

Sunday, May 15

  • Weather: 56 °F (13 °C), rain
  • Practice summary: Rain washed out practice for the entire day.[33]

Monday, May 16

  • Weather: 58 °F (14 °C), partly cloudy/ overcast
  • Practice summary: In the first full practice for the 2011 Indianapolis 500 (1,379 total laps run), Alex Tagliani of Sam Schmidt Motorsports ran the fastest lap of the day, and of the month so far, at 225.878. The top three rounded out with former winner Scott Dixon coming in second and Graham Rahal finishing third on the day. A total of 39 drivers took to the track, on a cool, windy afternoon. No incidents were reported.[34]
Top Practice Speeds
Pos No. Driver Team Speed
1 77 Canada Alex Tagliani Sam Schmidt Motorsports 225.878
2 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing 225.124
3 38 United States Graham Rahal Chip Ganassi Racing 225.071
OFFICIAL REPORT

Tuesday, May 17

  • Weather: 51 °F (11 °C), overcast/ rain
  • Practice summary: Cold temperatures delayed the start of practice until 1:12 p.m. Firestone requires the ambient and track temperature to be over 50°F before cars are allowed to enter the track. Only two drivers (teammates Marco Andretti and Mike Conway) managed to take laps, and few teams left the garage area. Lingering moisture kept the yellow light on most of the afternoon, and the track closed officially for the day at 4:05 p.m.
Top Practice Speeds
Pos No. Driver Team Speed
1 27 United States Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport 220.656
2 27 United Kingdom Mike Conway Andretti Autosport 219.910
OFFICIAL REPORT

Wednesday, May 18

  • Weather: 57 °F (14 °C), overcast/ rain
  • Practice summary: Rain washed out practice for the entire day.

Thursday, May 19

  • Weather: 72 °F (22 °C), partly cloudy
  • Practice summary: After two consecutive rainouts (and three overall), the cars took to the track for a full day of practice. At 12:25 p.m., Simona de Silvestro's car lost control in the north chute after leaking fluid, causing her to spin and flip up into the catch fence. The car came to a rest upside-down, with flames coming from the sides, but she climbed from the car and walked to the safety truck. She was transported to Methodist Hospital with second degree burns on her right hand. Following the accident, practice resumed uninterrupted for the rest of the day with Will Power taking the top position, putting up the fastest speed of the month to date. Power was followed by Alex Tagliani and teammate Ryan Briscoe in the top speed charts.
Top Practice Speeds
Pos No. Driver Team Speed
1 12 Australia Will Power Team Penske 227.778
2 77 Canada Alex Tagliani Sam Schmidt Motorsports 227.652
3 6 Australia Ryan Briscoe Team Penske 227.217
OFFICIAL REPORT

Friday, May 20 – Fast Friday

  • Weather: 84 °F (29 °C), sunny/ partly cloudy
  • Practice summary: Fast Friday saw the second consecutive day of full practice. Alex Tagliani was atop the leader board for most of the day, like many of the practice sessions before, breaking the record speed during the month at over 228 MPH. However, later in the day, three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Hélio Castroneves took to the top five in practice for the first time this month, running a best 228.611 MPH. Castroneves stayed in first position for the rest of the day with Tagliani finishing second, who has finished in the top three on all three full practices of the year. The 2008 Indianapolis 500 winner, Scott Dixon finished third on the day with a speed over 228 MPH.

Late in the day, reports surfaced that Scott Speed had quit Dragon Racing, after having trouble getting up to speed. The rumor was denied.[38]

Top Practice Speeds
Pos No. Driver Team Speed
1 3 Brazil Hélio Castroneves Team Penske 228.611
2 77 Canada Alex Tagliani Sam Schmidt Motorsports 228.327
3 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing 228.181
OFFICIAL REPORT

Time Trials

Saturday May 21 – Pole Day

  • Weather: 78 °F (26 °C), partly cloudy/ periodic rain

Practice

  • Practice summary: The final practice before Pole Day commenced at 8:00 AM EDT with the first group taking the track for 30 minutes of practice. In the first session, Ryan Briscoe crashed his car coming out on turn two and was forced to practice the rest of the day with his back-up car. After the green flag came back out there were no more interruptions during the practice with the second group finishing their 30 minutes of practice and the remainder of the time given to all the cars for practice. After the two hours session, it was Alex Tagliani who held the top position, with Buddy Rice making his first appearance in the "fast five", and Will Power rounding out the top three.
Top Practice Speeds
Pos No. Driver Team Speed
1 77 Canada Alex Tagliani Sam Schmidt Motorsports 228.184
2 44 United States Buddy Rice Panther Racing 227.849
3 12 Australia Will Power Team Penske 227.766
OFFICIAL REPORT

[edit] Qualifying

Front row qualifiers (L to R): Scott Dixon, Alex Tagliani, and Oriol Servià.
Car owner Sam Schmidt with pole winner Alex Tagliani.
  • First segment summary: The first segment was scheduled from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. All drivers in the qualifying order were guaranteed at least one opportunity to make a qualifying attempt. The top 24 would make up the provisional starting field. The top nine would advance to the pole position "shootout." Alex Tagliani set the pace early, with a run of 226.954 mph. Other drivers putting in top 9 speeds included Dan Wheldon, Townsend Bell, and Will Power. The day was headlined by several part-time IndyCar teams, while several full-time contenders struggled mightily. Penske failed to get all three of their cars in the top 9; after his morning practice crash, Ryan Briscoe failed to make the top 24. Hélio Castroneves, trying to become the first driver to win three consecutive Indy poles, missed the top 9. All five cars of Andretti Autosport struggled, with John Andretti the only driver to crack the top 24. Ed Carpenter was one of the final drivers to make an attempt, and qualified with an impressive 226.171 mph, good enough for 6th fastest for Sarah Fisher Racing. After being burned in a crash on Thursday, Simona de Silvestro made three qualifying attempts, and on her third attempt, managed to qualify 24th. The only crash of the session was by Ho-Pin Tung, who wrecked on his final lap and suffered a concussion. A short rain shower ended the session about 25 minutes early.
  • Fast Nine Shootout summary: Rain delayed the start of the Fast Nine "shootout," therefore each of the nine participants were allowed only one attempt at the pole position. The top nine drivers from the earlier segment took to the track in reverse order of speed. Oriol Servià set the pace early with a run of 227.168 mph. Dario Franchitti was running fast enough to clinch a front row position, but he ran out of fuel on the final lap and dropped to ninth. Scott Dixon was the second to last driver to make an attempt. He took over the provisional pole position from Servià, and he himself ran out of fuel in the last few seconds of his run. Alex Tagliani was the final driver to go out. His run of 227.472 mph secured the pole position for Sam Schmidt Motorsports.
Pole Day – Saturday, May 21, 2011
Pos No. Driver Team Speed Pts
Fast Nine Shootout (positions 1–9)
1 77 Canada Alex Tagliani Sam Schmidt Motorsports 227.472 mph (366 km/h) 15
2 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing 227.340 mph (366 km/h) 13
3 2 Spain Oriol Servià Newman/Haas Racing 227.168 mph (366 km/h) 12
4 99 United States Townsend Bell Sam Schmidt Motorsports 226.887 mph (365 km/h) 11
5 12 Australia Will Power Team Penske 226.773 mph (365 km/h) 10
6 98 United Kingdom Dan Wheldon Bryan Herta Autosport 226.490 mph (365 km/h) 9
7 44 United States Buddy Rice Panther Racing 225.786 mph (363 km/h) 8
8 67 United States Ed Carpenter Sarah Fisher Racing 225.121 mph (362 km/h) 7
9 10 United Kingdom Dario Franchitti Chip Ganassi Racing No time 6
Positions 10–24
10 5 Japan Takuma Sato KV Racing TechnologyLotus 225.736 mph (363 km/h) 4
11 14 Brazil Vitor Meira A. J. Foyt Enterprises 225.590 mph (363 km/h) 4
12 4 United States J. R. Hildebrand Panther Racing 225.579 mph (363 km/h) 4
13 06 Canada James Hinchcliffe Newman/Haas Racing 225.572 mph (363 km/h) 4
14 30 Belgium Bertrand Baguette Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 225.285 mph (363 km/h) 4
15 11 United States Davey Hamilton Dreyer & Reinbold Racing 225.250 mph (363 km/h) 4
16 3 Brazil Hélio Castroneves Team Penske 225.216 mph (362 km/h) 4
17 43 United States John Andretti Andretti Autosport 224.981 mph (362 km/h) 4
18 59 Venezuela E. J. Viso KV Racing TechnologyLotus 224.732 mph (362 km/h) 4
19 41 Brazil Bruno Junqueira A. J. Foyt Enterprises 224.691 mph (362 km/h) 4
20 22 United Kingdom Justin Wilson Dreyer & Reinbold Racing 224.511 mph (361 km/h) 4
21 88 United Kingdom Jay Howard Sam Schmidt Motorsports 224.483 mph (361 km/h) 4
22 07 South Africa Tomas Scheckter SH Racing 224.433 mph (361 km/h) 4
23 82 Brazil Tony Kanaan KV Racing TechnologyLotus 224.417 mph (361 km/h) 4
24 78T Switzerland Simona de Silvestro HVM Racing 224.392 mph (361 km/h) 4
OFFICIAL REPORT

Sunday May 22 – Bump Day

  • Weather:

Practice

  • Practice summary: Patrick Carpentier took over for Scott Speed in the Dragon Racing entry, and took several shake down laps in the morning session. However, his effort ended when he crashed in turn 1. Around noon, Dragon Racing announced they were withdrawing, and would not attempt to qualify. Charlie Kimball topped the speed chart with a lap of 226.822 mph.
Top Practice Speeds
Pos No. Driver Team Speed
1 83 United States Charlie Kimball Chip Ganassi Racing 226.822 mph (365 km/h)
2 7 United States Danica Patrick Andretti Autosport 226.252 mph (364 km/h)
3 26 United States Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport 226.181 mph (364 km/h)
OFFICIAL REPORT

 Qualifying

  • Bump Day summary – First segment: Qualifying began at noon, with thunderstorms approaching. Only two cars (Ana Beatriz and Graham Rahal) made it onto the track before heavy rains fell at the track. Track crews dried the racing surface, and the track re-opened for qualifying at 2:30 p.m.
  • Second segment: A hectic period of qualifying saw the field filled to 33 cars, and bumping began. Paul Tracy took to the track, with weather once again threatening. He completed his run in light misty rain, and bumped his way into the field with the fastest run of the day. Danica Patrick was the next car in line at 3:15 p.m., and the only car that had not yet made an attempt Sunday. However, the rain returned, and halted track activity. There was considerable concern that Patrick may not get an opportunity to qualify, if the rain continued the remainder of the day.
  • Third segment: Crews dried the track, and it re-opened at 4:45 p.m. Danica Patrick was the first car out, and bumped her way in comfortably. The rest of the Andretti Autosport team, however, was struggling with speed. Mike Conway made three attempts, and was too slow to qualify. In the final fifteen minutes, Marco Andretti was on the bubble, and his teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay was the second slowest. Alex Lloyd took to track, and bumped out Marco Andretti in the final five minutes. Andretti hurried to get back in the qualifying line, but was beaten by James Jakes. Jakes was waved off after two slow laps, which gave Andretti one final chance to bump his way back in. With 55 seconds left before the 6 o'clock gun, Andretti pulled away from the pits. His qualifying run of 224.628 mph bumped Ryan Hunter-Reay from the field.
Bump Day – Sunday, May 22, 2011
Pos No. Driver Team Speed Pts
25 23 Canada Paul Tracy Dreyer & Reinbold Racing 224.939 mph (362 km/h) 3
26 7 United States Danica Patrick Andretti Autosport 224.861 mph (362 km/h) 3
27 6T Australia Ryan Briscoe Team Penske 224.639 mph (362 km/h) 3
28 26 United States Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport 224.628 mph (362 km/h) 3
29 83 United States Charlie Kimball Chip Ganassi Racing 224.499 mph (361 km/h) 3
30 38 United States Graham Rahal Chip Ganassi Racing 224.380 mph (361 km/h) 3
31 19 United Kingdom Alex Lloyd Dale Coyne Racing 223.957 mph (360 km/h) 3
32 36 United Kingdom Pippa Mann Conquest Racing 223.936 mph (360 km/h) 3
33 24 Brazil Ana Beatriz Dreyer & Reinbold Racing 223.879 mph (360 km/h) 3
OFFICIAL REPORT

Carb Day

Indianapolis 500 Final Practice – Friday May 27

  • Weather: 61 °F (16 °C), partly cloudy
  • Practice summary: The final practice before the 2011 Indianapolis 500 saw all 33 qualified cars take to the track during the hour. Former winner Scott Dixon saw the fastest time of the session while pole-sitter, Alex Tagliani, who had been very fast for most of the month, came into second with a lap speed of 224.739 MPH. Former winner Dario Franchitti closed out the top three for the day, a day when over 1,000 laps were run by all cars in the preparation for the race.
Top Practice Speeds
Pos No. Driver Team Speed
1 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing 225.474
2 77 Canada Alex Tagliani Sam Schmidt Motorsports 224.739
3 10 United Kingdom Dario Franchitti Chip Ganassi Racing 224.658
OFFICIAL REPORT

Starting grid

(W) = Former Indianapolis 500 winner; (R) = Indianapolis 500 rookie

Row Inside Middle Outside
1 77 Canada Alex Tagliani 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon (W) 2 Spain Oriol Servià
2 99 United States Townsend Bell 12 Australia Will Power 98 United Kingdom Dan Wheldon (W)
3 44 United States Buddy Rice (W) 67 United States Ed Carpenter 10 United Kingdom Dario Franchitti (W)
4 5 Japan Takuma Sato 14 Brazil Vitor Meira 4 United States J. R. Hildebrand (R)
5 06 Canada James Hinchcliffe (R) 30 Belgium Bertrand Baguette 11 United States Davey Hamilton
6 3 Brazil Hélio Castroneves (W) 43 United States John Andretti 59 Venezuela E. J. Viso
7 22 United Kingdom Justin Wilson 88 United Kingdom Jay Howard (R) 07 South Africa Tomas Scheckter
8 82 Brazil Tony Kanaan 78 Switzerland Simona de Silvestro 23 Canada Paul Tracy
9 7 United States Danica Patrick 6 Australia Ryan Briscoe 26 United States Marco Andretti
10 83 United States Charlie Kimball (R) 38 United States Graham Rahal 19 United Kingdom Alex Lloyd
11 36 United Kingdom Pippa Mann (R) 24 Brazil Ana Beatriz 41 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay1

Post-qualifying changes

1 On Monday, May 23, Andretti Autosport and A. J. Foyt Enterprises reached an agreement for Ryan Hunter-Reay to replace Bruno Junqueira as driver of the #41 car. Per race rules, the car, which had originally qualified for the 19th starting position, was moved to the end of the field.

Failed to qualify

No. Driver Team Reason
8 China Ho-Pin Tung Dragon Racing Crashed during qualifying attempt on Pole Day, not medically cleared to continue taking part in qualifying.
20 United States Scott Speed
Canada Patrick Carpentier
Dragon Racing Speed did not attempt to qualify on Pole Day.
Team withdrew on Bump Day after Carpentier crashed and the team could not secure a back-up car.
27 United Kingdom Mike Conway Andretti Autosport Bumped from the field, too slow to re-qualify.
34 Colombia Sebastián Saavedra Conquest Racing Bumped from the field, too slow to re-qualify.
17 Brazil Raphael Matos AFS Racing Bumped from the field, too slow to re-qualify.
18 United Kingdom James Jakes Dale Coyne Racing Bumped from the field, too slow to re-qualify.
28 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Bumped from the field – replaced Bruno Junqueira in the #41.

Race

Summary

First Half

The 95th running of the Indianapolis 500 began at 12:00 PM EDT on a hot, muggy day, shortly after the traditional pre-race ceremonies of the invocation, national anthem, and the singing Back Home Again in Indiana by Jim Nabors. Mari Hulman George gave the staring command around 12:05 PM, as the cars took two parade laps and one pace lap, led by four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A. J. Foyt, who was driving the pace car. The green flag came out to see Scott Dixon pass by pole-sitter Alex Tagliani to take the early lead in the race. The first 20 laps of the race saw a relatively smooth pace set in. Unlike past years there was no accident in the first two laps, with the first caution coming out on Lap 18 when Takuma Sato made contact with the wall. During the first caution period many team made pit-stops including Will Power who left the pit area and drove a lap without a left-rear tire, which all but eliminated the IndyCar points leader from having an opportunity to win the race.

Shortly following the green flag restart (which was changed to a two-car abreast start during the drivers meetings) Sato's teammate, E. J. Viso was turned heading into turn 1 by James Hinchcliffe and was the next driver to make contact with the wall and eliminate himself from the race. Following the cleanup and restart after Viso's crash saw the field taking shape and aligning themselves for the long 400+ miles remaining. Simona de Silvestro, who was burned in a crash earlier in the month, was not able to pick up speed in her back-up car and quickly fell from 23rd position, to last. On lap 44, it was clear that the car would not be able to keep up with the field, she was called into the pits and her day was over.

Defending winner Dario Franchitti, along with Scott Dixon, Alex Tagliani, and Oriol Servià all began to take their places at the top of the field with each of them leading more than 10 laps in the race respectively. Later accidents occurred with rookies Jay Howard and James Hinchcliffe. Howard lost a right-rear wheel on lap 61, while Hinchcliffe slid high in turn 3 and bounced off the wall at the halfway mark.

Second Half

Following James Hinchcliffe's crash on lap 101, the green flag remained out for over 40 laps as many different drivers shared the lead and got in position for the shootout in the final 10. On lap 148, it was the pole-sitter Alex Tagliani who would be called into pit lane after making slight contact with the wall. Tagliani, who had not had a good day, started in first, fell all the way down to 12th before the race, was finished for the day, with his final finish position being 28th. One of the few multi-car crashes of the day occurred on lap 158 between Ryan Briscoe and Townsend Bell. Up to that point in the day, Team Penske had been running slow and really did not have a good shot at any of their drivers winning the race, and with the crash and elimination of Ryan Briscoe all hope seemed gone as Helio Castroneves and Will Power were both down due to bad pit stops and slow cars. With no more lengthy cautions the remainder of the race it turned into a fight for the lead as the laps dwindled down.

As the race prepared to go back to green on lap 164, a handful of drivers ducked into the pit area to top off their fuel, in hopes of going the distance without another pit stop. Dario Franchitti and J. R. Hildebrand were among those who gave up their track position, and topped off their fuel.

For the first time in his Indy career, Graham Rahal took the lead of the race and held it for six laps. However, he lost a battle to Scott Dixon and was forced to a pit stop which dropped out of the top five. However, he was able to finish the race in third place. Tony Kanaan also saw his flirt with Indy glory as he made his way all from the middle of the pack to second place at one point, but was forced as well to drop on a pit stop with less than 20 laps to go. As the race came to down to its final 15 laps, it was still Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti, two Chip Ganassi Racing cars and former winners, who looked like they would win the race. However, late in the race after a series of pit stops by most in the lead, it was an unlikely Bertrand Baguette who would lead the race as the action came to it climax. With both Dixon and Franchitti, not expecting another yellow and taking the pits, both falling back, it seemed like a new face would be awarded the winner of the Indianapolis 500.

The final ten laps became a battle between Dixon, Baguette, Dan Wheldon, and rookie J. R. Hildebrand. It was Dixon and Baguette who battled for the lead with about eight laps to go. With three laps to go, Baguette pitted for fuel and Dixon slowed to conserve fuel. This gave the lead to J.R. Hildebrand as Wheldon moved into second place. As the field was given the white flag, it seemed all but certain a rookie would win the 500 for the first time since Castroneves won it in 2001. Hildebrand moved his way down into the north short chute and down into turn four. Coming in on the front stretch the rookie went high to avoid the slower car of Charlie Kimball, who was on the inside line, and collided with the wall. Hildebrand finished the race despite the collision, but not before Dan Wheldon was able to come from behind and cross the line first.[40]

Post-race

Dan Wheldon become the 18th person to win more two or more Indianapolis 500's, his first coming in 2005. The 200th lap was the only one he led in the race, breaking Joe Dawson's 99-year-old record for the fewest laps led by an Indy winner. As he took to victory lane, he celebrated with the traditional ceremonies of the wreath, glass of milk, and the presentation of the Borg Warner Trophy. As the celebration was occurring, his former team Panther Racing considered filing for a review, stating that Wheldon made an illegal pass during the yellow on Hildebrand's car. In the end, video showed that the yellow did not come out until after Wheldon had passed, and even if it would have come out before the pass, the president of competition ruled that Hildebrand's car was a "wounded car", and was therefore allowed to be passed in the race.[41]

Wheldon's average speed of 170.265 mph was the fourth-fastest Indy 500 in history, and was the first Indy 500 completed in less than three hours since Juan Pablo Montoya in 2000.

Results

J. R. Hildebrand crashed on the final lap
Pos No. Driver Team Laps Time/Retired Grid Laps Led Points
1 98 United Kingdom Dan Wheldon Bryan Herta Autosport 200 2:56:11.7267 6 1 59
2 4 United States J. R. Hildebrand (R) Panther Racing 200 +2.1086 12 7 44
3 38 United States Graham Rahal Chip Ganassi Racing 200 +5.5949 29 6 38
4 82 Brazil Tony Kanaan KV Racing TechnologyLotus 200 +7.4870 22 0 36
5 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon1 Chip Ganassi Racing 200 +9.5434 2 73 45
6 2 Spain Oriol Servià1 Newman/Haas Racing 200 +9.5435*
(+8.8757)
3 18 42
7 30 Belgium Bertrand Baguette Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 200 +23.9631 14 11 30
8 07 South Africa Tomas Scheckter SH Racing 200 +24.3299 21 0 28
9 26 United States Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport 200 +25.7411 27 0 25
10 7 United States Danica Patrick Andretti Autosport 200 +26.4483 25 10 23
11 67 United States Ed Carpenter Sarah Fisher Racing 200 +27.0375 8 3 26
12 10 United Kingdom Dario Franchitti Chip Ganassi Racing 200 +56.4167 9 51 24
13 83 United States Charlie Kimball (R) Chip Ganassi Racing 199 +1 lap 28 0 20
14 12 Australia Will Power Team Penske 199 +1 lap 5 0 26
15 14 Brazil Vitor Meira A. J. Foyt Enterprises 199 +1 lap 11 0 19
16 22 United Kingdom Justin Wilson Dreyer & Reinbold Racing 199 +1 lap 19 0 18
17 3 Brazil Hélio Castroneves Team Penske 199 +1 lap 16 0 17
18 44 United States Buddy Rice Panther Racing 198 +2 laps 7 0 20
19 19 United Kingdom Alex Lloyd Dale Coyne Racing 198 +2 laps 30 0 15
20 36 United Kingdom Pippa Mann (R) Conquest Racing 198 +2 laps 31 0 15
21 24 Brazil Ana Beatriz Dreyer & Reinbold Racing 197 +3 laps 32 0 15
22 43 United States John Andretti Andretti Autosport 197 +3 laps 17 0 16
23 41 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay2 A. J. Foyt Enterprises 197 +3 laps 33 0 12
24 11 United States Davey Hamilton Dreyer & Reinbold Racing 193 +7 laps 15 0 16
25 23 Canada Paul Tracy Dreyer & Reinbold Racing 175 +25 laps 24 0 13
26 99 United States Townsend Bell Sam Schmidt Motorsports 157 Contact 4 0 21
27 6 Australia Ryan Briscoe Team Penske 157 Contact 26 0 13
28 77 Canada Alex Tagliani Sam Schmidt Motorsports 147 Contact 1 20 25
29 06 Canada James Hinchcliffe (R) Newman/Haas Racing 99 Contact 13 0 14
30 88 United Kingdom Jay Howard (R) Sam Schmidt Motorsports 60 Contact 20 0 14
31 78 Switzerland Simona de Silvestro HVM Racing 44 Handling 23 0 14
32 59 Venezuela E. J. Viso KV Racing TechnologyLotus 27 Contact 18 0 14
33 5 Japan Takuma Sato KV Racing TechnologyLotus 20 Contact 10 0 14
Wth 41 Brazil Bruno Junqueira2 A. J. Foyt Enterprises - - - - 4
Lead changes: 23 among 10 drivers
OFFICIAL RACE REPORT
  • Note1: Unofficially Oriol Servià finished 5th, 8.8757 seconds behind the leader, with Scott Dixon placing 6th. When the official results were posted, it was determined that Servia passed Dixon on the final lap while the yellow caution light was illuminated. Officials re-instated Dixon to 5th, and dropped Servia to 6th in the final standings.
  • Note2: After qualifying had concluded, Bruno Junqueira was replaced by Ryan Hunter-Reay, who did not qualify for the 500. Junqueira received full qualifying points for a 19th place qualification.

Race statistics

The race had 23 lead changes among 10 drivers.

Lead Changes
On Lap Leader
1 Scott Dixon
8 Alex Tagliani
27 Scott Dixon
34 Alex Tagliani
35 Scott Dixon
61 Dario Franchitti
62 Ed Carpenter
65 Dario Franchitti
73 Scott Dixon
99 Dario Franchitti
100 JR Hildebrand
104 Dario Franchitti
113 Oriol Servia
129 Dario Franchitti
138 JR Hildebrand
139 Bertrand Baguette
141 Dario Franchitti
164 Oriol Servia
166 Graham Rahal
172 Scott Dixon
179 Danica Patrick
189 Bertrand Baguette
198 JR Hildebrand
200 Dan Wheldon


   
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