Auto Culture

Simon Pagenaud Holds Off Alexander Rossi To Win 2019 Indianapolis 500


Frenchman Simon Pagenaud won the 2019 Indianapolis 500 – his first-ever Indy 500 victory – by a mere two-hundredths of a second over 2016 Indy 500 winner, American Alexander Rossi, in a thrilling race finish that saw six lead changes in the final laps. Japan’s Takuma Sato – the 2017 Indy 500 winner – placed third.

Pagenaud sat on the pole to start the race and fended off challenges from various drivers over the course of the first half of the lengthy race, but Rossi began pressuring Pagenaud until, on Lap 136, a fueling miscue on a pit stop took more than 20 seconds and cost him the race lead and might have cost him the race had not Indy 500 rookie and fellow former Formula One driver Marcus Ericsson not spun out entering pit row – bringing out a yellow caution flag that gave Rossi a second life.

Instead of re-starting from the rear of the field, Rossi was able to start in fifth and worked his way up to finally re-take the lead from Pagenaud on Lap 178 – just before Sebastian Bourdais and Graham Rahal nipped each other in a crash [see video below] that brought out a red flag and a race re-start on Lap 187 of 200.

Pagenaud overtook Rossi on the re-start and the pair exchanged the lead five times in the final 13 laps before Pagenaud regained it for good on Lap 198 and held off several attempts by Rossi to eventually claim his first win at the Brickyard.

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