Location: Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Date: Sunday, May 30th
Race laps: 200 laps
Total race distance: 500 miles/804.67 km
Length: 2.5 miles/4.02 km
Number of turns: 4
The atmosphere was back at the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, as fans were once again in attendance at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500. The energy from the crowd was matched only by the action on track, as Arrow McLaren SP challenged for the race.
Pato O’Ward started the race in 12th with his teammate Felix Rosenqvist, who started the race behind him in 14th. The pair quickly settled into a groove in the early stages of the race, running in tandem with Felix 11th and Pato 12th.
Two-time Indianapolis 500 champion Juan Pablo Montoya, making his first indy 500 since 2017, gained three spots on the first lap moving from 24th to 21st. Juan Pablo continued to make up ground the entire race, eventually finding his way into the top 10.
During the second round of pit stops, Felix came into pit lane too fast and was issued a pit-speed violation, resulting in a drive-through penalty. This put the Swedish driver at the back of the field, where he was forced to start from scratch.
Following a yellow flag in the second half of the race, Felix and the No. 7 Vuse Arrow McLaren SP team elected to take a different strategy, hoping further yellow flags could get them to the end with one-less pit stop then the rest of the field. Those yellows did not come, and after leading 13 laps, he was forced to pit with just seven laps to go. He ended up finishing the race in 27th.
Juan Pablo continued to have a strong race in the No. 86 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, running as high as eighth. However, working through the pack proved difficult, and he eventually finished in ninth.
Pato quickly made his way to the front in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, leading his first lap on Lap 78. He would go on to lead 17 laps over the course of the race, consistently keeping himself in the top three. In the end, he couldn’t quite retake the lead, and finished in fourth.
As the Indianapolis 500 being double points, Pato O’Ward’s strong result moves him to third in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES Championship, just one point behind Scott Dixon in second. He will look to continue his fight for the Astor Cup in Detroit with a pair of races on June 12 and 13. Tune in for the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix races on Saturday, June 12 at 2:00 p.m. ET on NBC and on Sunday, June 13 at 12:00 p.m. ET on NBC.
Pato O’Ward – No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet
Starting Position: 12th
Finishing Position: 4th
Championship: 3rd, 211 points
“The 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500 is complete and we finished fourth. We were in the fight all day. I think we had a perfect race, we just weren’t fast enough in the end. When they let us loose, I couldn’t quite catch Alex [Palou] and Helio [Castroneves]. We’ve got work to do for when we come back next year. Obviously, it burns a little bit to lose the third position in the last lap but I was trying everything I could to try and win this thing for the Arrow McLaren SP team. We will come back next race and hopefully do better. We should be very proud of the work we did but there is definitely more to be done.”
Juan Pablo Montoya – No. 86 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet
Starting Position: 24th
Finishing Position: 9th
Championship: 27th, 53 points
“It was a good day for Arrow McLaren SP. It was a lot of fun and we had a really good car. We had great strategy and a great race car. It’s a shame, we were ahead of Simon [Pagenaud] most of the day the No. 22 car and he finished third. We definitely had the car to be in the top five. We race hard, we try hard and we do the best we can. For being a one off race, it’s been pretty cool. Big thanks to the Arrow McLaren SP team.”
Felix Rosenqvist – No. 7 Vuse Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet
Starting Position: 14th
Finishing Position: 27th
Championship: 20th, 82 points
“Disappointing result, today wasn’t a great day but we had a good car. We made up a few spots in the start but had some small shifting issues in the beginning and it cost us a little bit in the pits. In one pit stop, I went a fraction of a mile per hour too quick in the pit lane and had to do a drive-through penalty. From there, we were out of the game a little bit. I thought we fought back well, we gambled on a fuel save strategy to give us a yellow win the end but it didn’t come, that was it. Great effort from the Arrow McLaren SP team and can’t wait for the next race.”
Taylor Kiel – President, Arrow McLaren SP
“First of all, it was a great day to have the fans back at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The fans add a whole new dimension that we certainly didn’t have last year. Personally, it was great to see all the pre-race festivities back and for the team it was good to be a part of that experience again.
As for the race itself, I think it was three different races. Pato had a great car from the beginning, we had a really good pit stop on the first yellow that jumped us up into the top seven or eight cars and from there it was just a constant progression to the front of the field. He was strong all day and it certainly was not the ending we would have liked. I think we did everything as a team to put ourselves in a position to have a shot at the win. We just couldn’t catch the two guys in front of us so that was disappointing and obviously lost a spot on the last lap to finish fourth.
Felix’s drive through penalty destroyed his day. He had a really good car but when you have a penalty and get shuffled back it’s hard to recover. Juan Pablo Montoya just kept plugging his way through and got us a top ten. All in all for the Arrow McLaren SP team, I’m very happy. Everyone executed at a very high level. You’re just always disappointed when you come here and don’t win. Ready to have another shot at the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix!”