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Five takeaways from the 102nd Indianapolis 500



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IndyCar driver Will Power exits turn 9 during qualifying Aug. 29, 2015, at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Power won the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Tribune News Service Buy Photos

SPEEDWAY, In. — After a incident-free start to the 2018 Indianapolis 500, the intensity, and the number of cautions, quickly increased Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

When all was set and done, 37-year-old Australian Will Power crossed the famed strip of bricks first to win the race.

However, Power's victory wasn't the only notable event to occur during the race.

Here are five takeaways from the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500.


1 — Power delivers for Chevrolet and Team Penske

The win by Power doesn't only mark a significant moment in his individual career, which already includes a Verizon IndyCar Series Championship, but it also continues the legacy of his car manufacturer, Chevrolet, and his team owner, Roger Penske, at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

"I've won so many races and poles, and led more laps than anyone. I just hadn't done it here," Power said. "I've been thinking like 'am I going to finish my career without a 500 win?' This month has been one of the best months I've had. Very, very relaxed and in-tune with my engineer. It just came together."



Since 2002, Chevrolet had only won three Indianapolis 500s, prior to Sunday's race. Both Chevrolet and Penske were able to celebrate their first 500 win since 2015 when Power won, as Juan Pablo Montoya was also a Chevrolet and Penske driver when he won three years ago.

Penske now has won the Indianapolis 500 on 17 different occasions.

"I'm just so thrilled," Penske said. "17 wins. Now I have to worry about 18. I'm not going to look back, I'll look forward. We have to be back next year."

Power's victory completed an impressive double for Australia on Sunday as well, as Daniel Ricciardo, who was born in Perth, Australia, won the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix earlier in the day.


2 — Hometown driver Ed Carpenter comes up short

Indianapolis native Ed Carpenter started on the pole for Sunday's race and finished in second place, a little more than three seconds behind Power. It was a career-best finish in the race for Carpenter, as his previous best finish was a fifth-place showing in 2008.

"I'll feel pretty good about this in a couple days," Carpenter said. "The team really did a great job all month long, all day long really. Pit stops were really good. It was almost like being out front early probably hurt us a little bit just because guys started saving fuel a little earlier. We got behind on the fuel save."

Carpenter led a race-high 65 laps Sunday and was among the leaders for almost the entirety of the race. However, when a late caution occurred with 12 laps to go, the race changed as several cars on a different fuel mileage strategy were leading the field.

The 37-year-old Carpenter led on six different occasions in the race, but none in the final 27 laps.

"At the end of the day we had a chance to go fight one of the best teams and drivers for the 500," Carpenter said. "It's something I'm proud of."


3  — Danica Patrick's racing carer ends

The racing career of Danica Patrick, the first woman to win an IndyCar race, came to an end after she crashed out of the Indianapolis 500.

"Definitely not a great ending," Patrick said. "But I kind of said before I came here that I feel like if it's a complete disaster, complete like as in not in the ballpark at all, look silly, then people might remember that. If I win, people will remember that. But probably anything in between might just be a little part of a big story. So I kind of feel like that's how it is, you know."



Patrick's car became loose in turn two on Lap 68. She was running 17th in the field when she crashed. 

She announced before the race it would be her final one before retirement. Patrick had not raced a full IndyCar season since 2011, and it was also her first Indianapolis 500 since 2011.

She had raced in the top two divisions of NASCAR after her full-time IndyCar career ended. She raced once in NASCAR in 2018, in the Daytona 500, and also crashed out of that race.

"I'm very grateful for everybody and for being able to finish it up like I wanted to," Patrick said. "It still was a lot of great moments this month, a lot of great moments this year."


4 — Lack of late-race gambling by Jack Harvey, Oriol Servia and Stefan Wilson

When Tony Kanaan crashed on the backstretch with 12 laps to go, it changed the dynamic of the race. Instead of the lead cycling back to Power though green-flag pit stops, it gave several drivers at the front of the field an unexpected chance to try and win the race.

Jack Harvey, Oriol Servia and Stefan Wilson were all on alternative fuel strategies to gain track position and were ahead of Power on the track when the caution flew. During an television interview, Servia's crew chief told ABC that Servia had enough fuel to stay out and try to win the race.

However, all three drivers ended up pitting for fuel before the race ended. Servia even pitted from the lead, as he didn't try to stretch his fuel long enough to earn an Indianapolis 500 win with just a few laps remaining.


5 - Helio Castroneves ready for another shot at fourth Indianapolis 500 title

Brazilian Hello Castroneves is the only active driver to have won three Indianapolis 500s, but the drought following his most recent title will now be at least a decade long. Following his victory in the 2009 race, Castroneves has had a slew of top-10 finishes, including runner-up finishes in 2014 and 2017, but no victories.

He crashed out of Sunday's race on Lap 147 when his car got loose exiting turn four and slid into a wall near pit road.

The fan-favorite driver is now 43 years old, but in post-race television interviews he was already pleading with his owner, Penske, to give him another chance next year.

"It's hard to say no to him, isn't it?" Penske said. 

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