Simon Pagenaud won the 2019 Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, edging out Alexander Rossi and Takuma Sato at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Pagenaud, who started from the pole place, earned his second win of the 2019 IndyCar Series season. This is the first time he entered Victory Lane in the Indianapolis 500.
A red flag forced the drivers to park in pit road for a brief stretch. Once the Indy 500 resumed with 13 laps left, it effectively became a head-to-head battle between Pagenaud and Rossi. Sato moved up the field and into third place but never seriously challenged for the top spot.
Rossi overtook Pagenaud for first place with three laps remaining but surrendered the lead one lap later. That set up a breathless finish as Rossi did everything he could to get back into the lead, only to have Pagenaud thwart his efforts.
Every time Rossi appeared to have a window to pass, Pagenaud quickly closed it.
Not only did Pagenaud win the pole, but he also led more laps (116) than any other driver. The caution allowed him to mount a late charge on Rossi and thus represented a bit of good fortune, but nobody can question who was the strongest driver over the entirety of the race.
The day didn't unfold as expected for defending champion Will Power, who entered Sunday sixth in the IndyCar Series standings.
On the 69th lap, Power slightly missed his intended mark for a pit stop and instinctively backed up to get in a better spot for his pit crew.
The mistake proved costly as race officials sent him to the back of the field for making contact with a crew member.
"F--k it," Power said over his radio, per Autoweek's Matt Weaver. "If I had realized it was that big of a penalty, I would have taken it more easier on pit road."
Power fought his way back into fifth when the checkered flag waved, which—all things considered—was impressive.
After notching the first IndyCar Series win of his career at the IndyCar Classic in March, Colton Herta hasn't finished higher than 23rd. His bad luck continued in the Indy 500.
The 19-year-old, who started in the fifth position, completed four laps before car trouble forced him back to the garage. Herta explained he had problems with his gearbox, leaving him and his team little choice but to call it a day.
With 22 laps remaining, Sebastien Bourdais and Graham Rahal were running seventh and eighth, respectively, and both stood an outside chance of winning. They made contact as Rahal was attempting to pass on the inside.
A visibly frustrated Rahal began gesturing toward Bourdais before their cars came to a stop and he exited his vehicle to confront Bourdais. Track officials defused the situation before it escalated.
Rahal and Bourdais had differing viewpoints on the wreck.
According to the Indianapolis Star's Jim Ayello, Bourdais was officially cited for making avoidable contact, which will offer little comfort to Rahal.
The IndyCar Series returns Saturday with the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix at The Raceway on Belle Isle. Rahal won both races in 2017. Maybe he will channel his frustration into another strong effort in the Motor City.