A guzzle of cold milk for Will Power win

Power earned his first Indianapolis 500 victory in his 11th career start in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” taking the lead for good on Lap 196 to win in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet.

Power, who started third, beat pole sitter Ed Carpenter to the finish by 3.1589 seconds. Power’s average speed was 166.935 mph. 

“Man, I just can’t believe it,” Power said. “I can’t describe it. I feel like collapsing. I want to cry. I couldn’t stop screaming. I can’t believe it. 

“I was wondering if I was ever going to win it, and thoughts went through my mind during the month like that. In my career, I’ve had so many wins, so many poles. But everyone always talks about the ‘500.’ And I won it. I just couldn’t imagine winning a race in front of crowd like this, this many people. It’s just amazing. What an event. I love it.” 

2008 “500” winner Scott Dixon finished third in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. 2016 winner Alexander Rossi finished fourth after starting 32nd in the No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda. 2014 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay rounded out the top five in the No. 28 DHL Honda. 

Robert Wickens was the top rookie finisher, ninth in the No. 6 Lucas Oil SPM Honda. 

Power’s victory in 91-degree temperatures – tied for the second hottest Race Day in history – extended Team Penske’s record for “500” wins to 17. It also was the first time any driver completed the May Double of winning the INDYCAR Grand Prix on the IMS road course and Indianapolis 500 in the same year. 

“Look at his line, 223 miles an hour the last couple laps,” team owner Roger Penske said. “He drove everything he could. In fact, he said at the road race, he had never driven harder in a road race in his life when he was on those black tires.” 

A fascinating mad dash to the checkered and a spot on the Borg-Warner Trophy ensued over the last 10 laps after 2013 “500” winner Tony Kanaan spun exiting Turn 2 in his No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet and hit the inside retaining wall on Lap 189, triggering the last of seven caution periods. 

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