The 103rd Indianapolis 500 essentially was determined by two drivers, Simon Pagenaud and Alexander Rossi.
In a head-to-head duel for the ages, Pagenaud defeated none other than Rossi with a dramatic pass on the penultimate lap, then holding on the rest of the way to hand Penske his 18th win in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” Even sweeter, it came the 50th anniversary of Penske's arrival at the Brickyard.
It was a tough day for Windermere Prep alum Spencer Pigot, who grew up in Orlando and started the race on the front row. He had the fastest car in qualifying and led for four laps before fading.
He also reported to his Ed Carpenter racing pit crew a bird hit him in the helmet during the race, but he managed to maintain control of his car.
“Not the race we wanted today but we have lots of positives to take away from the Month of May and will come back stronger,” Pigot posted on Twitter after the race.
Pagenaud and Rossi swapped the lead five times over the final 13 laps, and the margin of victory was a mere 0.2086 seconds — the seventh-closest finish in the 103 years of the race.
“It's a dream come true. A lifetime trying to achieve this,” said Pagenaud, who dismissed the thought over job security as he celebrated his first Indy 500 win. “The milk motivated me. I was just focused on the job, man.”
Pagenaud was dominant all day, leading 116 of the 200 laps, and the win was cathartic. He stopped his car at the start-finish line and hopped out to share the moment with his fans. And once he finally made his way to victory lane, Pagenaud climbed from his car and let out a primal scream, then dumped the entire bottle of milk over his head.