Stormy Indy 500 Clears Crowd

Josef Newgarden wins after officials delay race
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 26, 2024 12:09 PM CDT
Updated May 27, 2024 12:00 AM CDT
Stormy Indy 500 Clears Crowd
Race fans leave the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during a weather advisory before the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday.   (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
UPDATE May 27, 2024 12:00 AM CDT

Josef Newgarden put his cheating scandal behind him to become the first back-to-back winner of the Indianapolis 500 since Helio Castroneves 22 years ago and give Roger Penske a record-extending 20th win Sunday in "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing," the AP reports. The win was an incredible rebound for Newgarden, who last month had his March season-opening victory disqualified because Team Penske had illegal push-to-pass software on its cars. Newgarden used the additional horsepower three times in the win, and it took IndyCar nearly six weeks to discover the Penske manipulation. Four crew members were suspended, including Newgarden's race strategist, who was barred from the speedway. Sunday's four-hour rain delay kept NASCAR star Kyle Larson, who came in 18th, from completing "the Double," but he did rush off to a second race anyway.

May 26, 2024 12:09 PM CDT

The start of the Indianapolis 500 was delayed Sunday as a strong storm pushed through the area, forcing Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials to evacuate about 125,000 fans who had already arrived. Video boards flashed that a severe thunderstorm warning was in effect as the storm approached from the west. It was unclear how long the delay would last, but speedway President J. Douglas Boles said the hope was for a window after the initial band of rain that would allow time to dry the track—which takes 90 minutes or so—and complete at least 101 laps, making the race official. If the rain persists, or the window to run the race does not last long enough, the entire 200-lap race would be run Monday, the AP reports.

Along with heavy rain, the storm brought wind gusts up to 45mph and dangerous lightning. All prerace activities also were paused, per USA Today. "No matter what decision we make at this point, it's going to be a difficult one for some of our fans," Boles said. Also in question was Kyle Larson's plan to run the Indy 500 and Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte on Sunday night. The NASCAR star is attempting to become the fifth driver in history to complete "the Double" by running both races in the same day. The last to do it was Kurt Busch in 2014, and the only driver to complete all 1,100 miles was Tony Stewart in 2001.

(More Indianapolis 500 stories.)

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