Race Report: Indianapolis 500
INDIANAPOLIS May 24, 2015—This year’s Indianapolis 500 held drama from the first lap to the last as Juan Pablo Montoya fended off his teammate Will Power by a mere tenth of a second to win the race for the second time. Montoya first won the Memorial Day Classic in 2000.
The final 14 laps provided fans with some of the most thrilling racing ever at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as the leaders swapped the top spot eight times! Finishing third through fifth were Charlie Kimball for his best finish ever here, Scott Dixon, and Graham Rahal, who piloted the top-finishing Honda-powered car.
The drama on the first lap came from Takuma Sato’s charge from the outside of the eighth row into Turn 1. He was squeezed into the wall by 20-year-old Sage Karam, who was not expecting Sato to be able to maintain his speed through the turn and the exit onto the short chute. It triggered a multi-car crash.
Sato skittered away with a broken steering arm and toelink while Karam crashed heavily enough that he was done for the day. The ABC Supply team was able to replace the left front steering arm during the caution period which lasted 11 laps due to another incident between Montoya and Simona DeSilvestro during the caution period. Sato lost two laps to the repair.
When the race restarted, Sato was last. Teammate Alex Tagliani had moved from 20th to 13th in the No. 48 Al-Fe Heat Treating Honda. Season-long teammate Jack Hawksworth had moved from 28th to 24th in the No. 41 ABC Supply Honda but then pitted to top off his fuel tank.
As the race settled in, Tagliani ran in the top half of the field getting as high as 13th on the second fuel stint. At one point, he led two laps under caution during the pit stop cycles. However, his car appeared to lose the handling midway through the race, perhaps due to changing track conditions. He dropped as low as 26th but then came back to finish 17th.
“It was a pretty eventful race for us, nothing I could ask more of from the guys,” Tagliani said afterwards. “I am very appreciative and honored to be part of the Foyt family. I was really appreciative just to be here, it means a lot to me. Having the limited time we did, we were playing a little on the fly today with pit stops, so that hurt us a little bit, but other than that I think the race was okay. The car was fairly good, it was missing a bit of speed, but I think in general we can say we accomplished what we needed to accomplish as a team. Doing it last minute like this was very difficult for everyone, but we pulled it off. We managed to run all 500 miles without a problem on the car, and that says it all for all the hard work and preparation the Al-Fe Heat Treating guys put into the car. I am very, very proud of them.”