INDY 500 News
Sam Hornish Jr. earned $1,744,855 from a record purse of $10,518,565 for his stunning victory in the 90th Indianapolis 500-Mile Race. Hornish passed rookie Marco Andretti on the final lap as they approached the famous "Yard of Bricks," crossing the finish line just .0635 of a second ahead of Andretti.
Sam Hornish Jr. is the fifth Ohio native to win the Indianapolis 500. This puts Ohio into a tie, with Pennsylvania, for third place in producing 500 winners. First and second places are held by Indiana, with seven, and California, with six. Sam is the first driver from Defiance, Ohio, to win the race.
It's about time things came together for Sam Hornish Jr. at Indianapolis. In his prior six starts, not only did he not win but he never even completed the full 200 laps. His best performance before today was in 2001, when he was flagged at 196 laps and credited with 14th place.
In contrast, Hornish's teammate Helio Castroneves had completed all laps in his previous six 500 entries, winning twice, but today his run ended in a crash on the 110th lap.
This is Roger Penske's 14th Indianapolis 500 victory. That ties him with the total of the next four most successful car owners combined: Lou Moore entered five winning cars, while Mike Boyle, Bob Wilkie and Pat Patrick were successful three times each. Twelve owners have attained two victories apiece.
Hornish, a 26-year-old native of Defiance, Ohio, and resident of nearby Napoleon, Ohio, led three times for 19 laps, becoming the 18th driver to win the race from the pole and the first driver in the race to take the lead on the final lap. Hornish closed on the No. 26 NYSE Group Dallara/Honda/Firestone car of Andretti exiting Turn 4 and dramatically passed him on the inside just before the finish line.
Front Row [photo by Jeff Barrie]
The race featured 14 lead changes among seven drivers. 2005 winner Dan Wheldon led the most laps with 148.
Andretti earned $698,505 for finishing an IRL IndyCar Series career-best second. The "500" was only his fourth start in the top-level open-wheel racing series, and his result earned him the prestigious Indianapolis 500 Chase Rookie of the Year Award and its $25,000 bonus. Andretti's grandfather, Mario Andretti, won rookie of the year honors in 1965 after finishing third, and his father, Michael, shared the top rookie award with Roberto Guerrero after finishing fifth in 1984.
Michael Andretti followed his son across the line to finish third in the No. 1 Jim Beam/Vonage Dallara/Honda/Firestone and earned $480,105. Andretti nearly won the race, his 15th start at the "500," when he led Laps 194-197 before his son passed him.
Hornish's contributions to the sport on a personal level also were recognized at the Victory Celebration. He was awarded the Scott Brayton Driver's Trophy, presented since 1997 to the driver who best exemplifies the character and racing spirit of the late Scott Brayton.
Sugar Ray Leonard was today's Honorary Starter, and waved the green flag to start the race.
Debris sent Al Unser Jr. into the wall. [photo by Jeff Barrie]
Marco and Mario Andretti were the fourth father-son combination to race in the same Indianapolis 500. Three of the four pairs are Andrettis: Mario and Michael, Mario and Jeff, and now Michael and Marco. The only non-Andretti father-son pair was Al Unser and Al Unser Jr.
The official high temperature during today's race was 89 degrees. This is the fourth hottest race day recorded since 1949. Of 225 fans who required medical attention, 90% were for heat-related ailments. The hottest race day temperature was 91 degrees in 1953. That year ten drivers required relief. After turning his car over to a relief driver, Carl Scarborough died of heat exhaustion in the field hospital. Bill Vukovich drove without relief, and scored the first of his two Indianapolis 500 victories.
Lance Armstrong was the pace car driver. Here he is beside Ashley Judd.
PJ Chesson got an Indy 500 tatoo on his left bicep in the Alley Cat's holding area in Gasoline Alley. Along with PJ Jones, there are two PJ's in the race this year.
Marty Roth ran 219 mph yesterday. Today as he was attempting to qualify, he spun and wrecked in Turn 1.
Sam Hornish Jr was out in his backup car when he lost control entering Turn 1 and he ended up wrecking today also.
Frenchman Gregoire has been living in Indianapolis for 10 years now, but he hasn't competed in the 500 since 2001.
It will be the second Indy 500 for Papis, 36, who has competed in Formula One, CART and several sports-car series during a 24-year career. In 2002, Papis also drove for Cheever in The 500.
Andretti, who drives fulltime in the Busch Series was the first NASCAR driver to "do the double" when he raced in the Indy 500 and Coca-Cola 600 Cup race in 1994.
Stephan Gregoire has been hired to drive their #97 entry.
PDR announced sponsorship from Videopoker.com. Driver Jaques Lazier will be in the #21 Panoz, while Jon Herb will be driving the #12.
Ben Kimondiu won the Indy 500 Mini-marathon men's race, extending the streak of Kenyan champions to 11 years in a row.
His time of 1:03:22, was 21 seconds ahead of countryman Daniel Cheruiyot. Laban Moiben, also of Kenya, was third.
May 13 - 3:00 p.m. - Cheap Trick
May 24 - 4:00 p.m. - Sonicflood
May 26 - 3:30 p.m. - B-52's & Third Eye Blind
His plan backfired as he was sent to the back of the grid. Alonso went on to win the race, his fourth of the year.
"I hadn't really thought about this being my 30-year anniversary to be honest," said Marlin. "But I guess that's about right," said Marlin, a two- time Daytona 500 champion. "I'm amazed I'm still around and that I've been running that long. When you've been messing with racecars like I've been doing since I was 12 or 13-years-old, time flies. Racing is my life and I'm still having a blast."
Saturday night's race will mark Marlin's 685th start.
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