until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Indy 500 winners and losers for 2024

by Jack Benyon
7 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

The rain-delayed Indianapolis 500 made its fans wait over four hours to get started - but once it got going, it came together as an instant classic.

That's maybe partly for the wrong reasons - with some poor driving and mechanical issues to blame in many incidents - but that only serves to help make our winners and losers feature more juicy.

Crashes, engine blow-ups, a fight between arguably IndyCars two best oval drivers right now, shock comebacks and sad underperformance. The 108th running of the Indy 500 had a bit of everything.


Josef Newgarden, Team Penske and Chevrolet

Josef Newgarden, Penske, Indy 500

Penske’s 20th Indy 500 win, Newgarden’s second in a row - which is the first time that’s happened in 22 years and nets him a cool $440,000 - and Chevrolet leading 122 of 200 laps in its 13th Indy 500 win.

Hard to top that!

After the narrative in the build-up to the 500 was all negative - the driver and team’s rivals are still upset about the push-to-pass violation Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin were disqualified from St Pete for - they delivered a stunning qualifying gain when most of their rivals went backwards, and scored a brilliant victory.

Scott Dixon

Scott Dixon, Ganassi, Indy 500

Started 21st, finished third. That’s a good day in anyone’s book.

Dixon has to wait for another year for a crack at a second 500 win, but he’s appreciative to have won a first one back in 2008 and taking nothing for granted.

He didn’t have the right engine in the back today to fight for the win - he confirmed as much - but the Honda-powered Ganassi crew bounced back strong from a tough qualifying.

Callum Ilott

Callum Ilott, McLaren, Indy 500

There wasn’t anything that went right in this race for Ilott, other than the result!

He had to go to the back before the race even started because of a weight-jacker issue, which was never solved. He was repeatedly in the wars - being further back in the field, then punted in the pits by Ed Carpenter - but used an overcut strategy to move forward in the end, and the final caution might have hindered him from finishing even better than 11th.

If that's the last we see of him in IndyCar this year, he's made a lasting impression.

Conor Daly

Conor Daly, Dreyer & Reinbold, Indy 500

So many people wanted Conor Daly to win the Indy 500, so 10th might not seem much. But given he started 29th, it was a brilliant result and he was the biggest mover of the race, narrowly beating Christian Lundgaard, who went from 28th to 13th, and rookie Christian Rasmussen's 24th-12th jump.

Daly was one of the drivers who went off-strategy, pitting at the early caution and then running longer than the majority of his rivals, but others struggled to make that strategy work when he did.

He deserves credit for that, and is also a fantastic ambassador for the IndyCar series, especially as a hometown hero in Indy.

Kyle Larson

Kyle Larson, McLaren, Indy 500

Yes, Larson cost himself a chance at a strong top-10 or even top-five/podium by locking up and breaking the pitlane speed limit, which earned him a drive-through. But as his team boss Gavin Ward told The Race, that’s happened to a lot of drivers - drivers who are now Indy 500 winners or IndyCar champions. And that was Larson's first green-flag stop in IndyCar!

He did so many things right. An early accidental double upshift meant he was swamped on his first restart, but he fought hard for the rest of the stint and waited to interrogate his team about it at the next caution. And then nailed the restart and made an overtake around the outside of Turn 1.

He had no fear, learned from his mistakes and didn’t make them again and looked at home as an IndyCar driver. Far more experienced drivers made many more, much worse errors today than he did.

Larson made it to the Charlotte NASCAR race to try and take over his #5 Hendrick car there from stand-in Justin Allgaier - but before he could, NASCAR finished the race early due to bad weather, so he didn’t get the chance.


Pato O'Ward

Pato O'Ward, McLaren, Indy 500

Pato O’Ward is might be the biggest loser of the race for being passed on the last lap, but he might also be the biggest winner in terms of how he was received after that defeat.

A teary-eyed O’Ward has been in regular to contention to win the 500 and hasn’t been able to achieve it, and this is another blow. But he was scintillating in the race - just watch that onboard from Turn 2 - and gracious in defeat. No doubt he’s gained a lot of fans.

It was Newgarden’s win more than O’Ward’s loss. The Mexican did incredible things to be in contention in the first place. But this defeat will continue to sting knowing he came so close. He’s desperate for that 500 win.

Ericsson and Herta

Colton Herta, Andretti, Indy 500

Losers for different reasons in this case, as Ericsson was taken out at the first corner on the first lap by Tom Blomqvist and never got the chance to see how far he could go with what he reckoned was a top-10 car starting at the back of the grid.

His month had come undone when he lost his primary car to a crash in Thursday practice before qualifying, which meant a fight to even put the hastily-prepared back-up car in the race.

Herta crashed out on lap 86/200 while looking like a lead contender. He almost saved it but the second snap of oversteer sent him into the wall at the exit of Turn 2.

Given many people picked out his car as one to beat in practice, it was a disappointing end to his sixth Indy 500. “My heart is torn,” he said. “I feel terrible for the Gainbridge [sponsor] crew today. They gave me an extremely fast car and 'disappointed' would be an understatement with how I drove it.”

Meyer Shank

Tom Blomqvist's crashed IndyCar

What a rancid day for this brilliant team. It had been in the top 10 with Felix Rosenqvist in every race so far this season, and qualified as the top Honda for this race, but an engine issue put him out of the race.

Blomqvist made the rookiest of rookie errors by dropping below the white line in Turn 1, which not only ended his race but Ericsson's and Fittipaldi's, too.

Come to mention it, most of the other rookies had issues, too, with Larson’s pitstop drama, Linus Lundqvist’s early crash and Marcus Armstrong’s engine issue. Only Rasmussen escaped dramas in 12th.

Back to Meyer Shank, Helio Castroneves was the only driver to finish and it never looked like he’d make a real run at victory, eventually finishing where he started, in 20th.


Honda, Indy 500

We’re awaiting details but three cars - driven by Rosenqvist, Marcus Armstrong and Katherine Legge respectively - all retired with smoke billowing from the rear. The marque has had multiple issues this month and, beyond that, appears to have been well-beaten by Chevrolet.

President of Honda Racing Corporation USA David Salters said: “It was a disappointing day. All things considered, we weren’t good enough on the day.

“We’ll regroup, lick our wounds, focus our efforts, and come back.”

Will Power

Will Power, Penske, Indy 500

It’s a shame for the 2014 winner to be in the losers category, but he crashed on lap 147/200 on a day his team won after a front row lockout. Hard to swing a positive out of that.

He’s a great driver and champion but this isn’t one to remember, apart from it being his first with super fan Flava Flav - the famous rapper and founding member of foundational hip hop group Public Enemy - in tow.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • More Networks