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Josef Newgarden Wins Indianapolis 500 for the Ages With Last-Lap Pass

2023 Indianapolis 500 - Josef Newgarden

Josef Newgarden had to wait 12 years to become a first-time winner of the Indianapolis 500. To become a two-time winner, he only had to wait 364 days.

As the 108th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge saw a record-setting 16 different leaders, the Tennessee native became the first driver in more than 20 years to score back-to-back wins in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

And he did it in truly spectacular fashion.

On lap 169, then-leader Alexander Rossi hit the pits for his final stop. Two laps later, Newgarden followed suit. A lap later it was Scott Dixon and Pato O’Ward – setting up a four-way dogfight for the twin checkered flags.

With 19 to go, Newgarden was able to place the lap-down car of Agustin Canapino between himself and his pursuers, but that didn’t last long. Rossi, Dixon and O’Ward soon dispensed with the Argentinian.

From four it soon became two, as inside of five to go, O’Ward and Newgarden established themselves at the front of the train.

With two to go O’Ward closed in on Newgarden on the long back straight — and lifted, preferring to slingshot past the American as the two took the white flag.

But for the second year in a row, Newgarden made the pass for the win on the last lap to once again become the winner of the Indy 500.

The victory is Newgarden’s 30th in the NTT IndyCar Series, and Roger Penske’s 20th Indy 500 as an owner. 

“Unbelievable. I love this crowd.” Newgarden told NBC Sports from the yard of bricks. “I gotta always go in the crowd if we’re winning. I’m always doing that.”

“I’m just so proud of the team, they crushed it. They came here with the fastest cars, we worked our tails off, Team Chevy brought it. That’s the way I wanted to win the thing, right there.” 

Newgarden addressed a controversial start to his season that saw a disqualification from the St. Petersburg opener and suspensions for his race strategist and engineer due to a technical violation.

“They can say whatever they want after this point, I don’t care anymore … Luke [Mason, engineer], Tim [Cindric, strategist], they’re not here today but they’re a huge part of this.”

O’Ward had to settle for second – his second such result in the last three years, with Dixon rounding out the podium. Rossi and Alex Palou completed the top five.

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