Wheldon wins Indy 500 as Hildebrand crashes at last corner

IndyCar

2011 Indianapolis 500

2011 Indianapolis 500

Dan Wheldon won the Indianapolis 500 for the second time after a dramatic end to the race.

JR Hildebrand led at the beginning of the last lap but crashed at the final corner of the race while lapping Charlie Kimball.

Hildebrand’s car skidded down the straight on two wheels as Wheldon passed him to claim a shock victory.

The Ganassi cars of Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon led much of the way, but came unstuck on fuel strategy later in the race.

Franchitti made what should have been his final pit stop on the same lap as Hildebrand. But he failed to make it to the end of the race without a further stop and had to make a ‘splash and dash’ stop with one lap to go.

Hildebrand passed him for second place, which became the lead when Bertrand Baguette pitted.

Graham Rahal fought his way up from 29th to finish third ahead of Tony Kanaan, who started 22. Kanaan’s KV Racing team mates Takuma Sato and Ernesto Viso crashed out within the first 18 laps.

Front row starters Oriol Servia and Scott Dixon were fifth and sixth ahead of Baguette, who made his final pit stop on lap 197 of the 200-lap race.

Tomas Scheckter, Marco Andretti and Danica Patrick completed the top ten.

It was an emotional victory for Wheldon who first won the Indianapolis 500 in 2005, the same year he won the championship. But he found himself without a full-time drive at the start of this year and today’s race was his first start of the IndyCar season.

The season continues with its first ever double-header meeting at Texas in two weeks’ time.

Result

Driver Difference Gap Grid Reason
1 Dan Wheldon 6
2 JR Hildebrand 2.1086 2.1086 12
3 Graham Rahal 5.5949 3.4863 29
4 Tony Kanaan 7.487 1.8921 22
5 Oriol Servia 8.8757 1.3887 3
6 Scott Dixon 9.5434 0.6677 2
7 Bertrand Baguette 23.9631 14.4197 14
8 Tomas Scheckter 24.3299 0.3668 21
9 Marco Andretti 25.4711 1.1412 27
10 Danica Patrick 26.4483 0.9772 25
11 Ed Carpenter 27.0375 0.5892 8
12 Dario Franchitti 56.4167 29.3792 9
13 Charlie Kimball 1 Lap 1 Lap 28
14 Will Power 5.8513 5.8513 5
15 Vitor Meira 21.9398 16.0885 11
16 Justin Wilson 39.0811 17.1413 19
17 Helio Castroneves 49.618 10.5369 16
18 Buddy Rice 2 Laps 1 Lap 7
19 Alex Lloyd 25.561 25.561 30
20 Pippa Mann 41.0417 15.4807 31
21 Ana Beatriz 3 Laps 1 Lap 32
22 John Andretti 7.7129 7.7129 17
23 Ryan Hunter-Reay 34.2306 26.5177 33
24 Davey Hamilton 7 Laps 4 Laps 15
25 Paul Tracy 25 Laps 18 Laps 24
26 Townsend Bell 43 Laps 18 Laps 4 Contact
27 Ryan Briscoe 0.1089 0.1089 26 Contact
28 Alex Tagliani 53 Laps 10 Laps 1 Contact
29 James Hinchcliffe 101 Laps 48 Laps 13 Contact
30 Jay Howard 140 Laps 39 Laps 20 Contact
31 Simona de Silvestro 156 Laps 16 Laps 23 Handling
32 Ernesto Viso 173 Laps 17 Laps 18 Contact
33 Takuma Sato 180 Laps 7 Laps 10 Contact

Image ?? Larry Seidman

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57 comments on Wheldon wins Indy 500 as Hildebrand crashes at last corner

  1. Damon (@damon) said on 29th May 2011, 21:10

    Wow, they’re using ten-thousandths of a second?

    Anyway, the last quarter of the race was super exciting, and the finish was spectacular.

    For anybody who didn’t see it – last lap replay:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZc_u2lfOeo

  2. TommyB (@tommyb89) said on 29th May 2011, 21:11

    You couldn’t write the script.

    Two incredible finishes in two incredible races.

    What a day of motorsport we’ve had.

    • Scalextric (@scalextric) said on 29th May 2011, 23:35

      Would be nice to see a link for his post-race interview. Can anyone find it?

      Summary from memory: Didn’t want to slow for turns 3-4 as he was a) v. low on fuel b) concerned about being caught from behind. So he got up in the marbles going round that slower car and BANG.

  3. Ads21 (@ads21) said on 29th May 2011, 21:23

    Absolutely remarkable, a 23 year old rookie crashes on the last corner of the Indy 500 handing the victory to a guy without a full time drive. As if that kind of thing happens in real life!

    • Ragerod said on 29th May 2011, 22:09

      Not only is it a guy without a full-time drive but it’s the guy who was fired to make room for the rookie.

    • Solo (@solo) said on 30th May 2011, 2:51

      As a guy that first time watched an Indy 500 event and although that last corner scenario was amazing staff the reality is that the whole thing is beyond ridiculous.
      That ain’t even racing. And i though F1 was overdoing it with 4 and 5 pit-stops and things getting a little messed up and leaving too much things on strategy instead of racing. Well F1 is an easy watch in-frond of this guys.

      Indy is a complete joke of racing in-frond of F1 and not because the cars aren’t as advanced.
      I saw 4 races out of 5 this year and all i saw was a lottery with people getting out and in of the pits like a throw of the dice on whether they will find their self anywhere imaginable and all the pit stops just be a matter on when the safety car will appear so they can make them or whether they will be forced to come before that. And all this because the safety car WILL appear since it seems 3/4 of the race in Indy are happening behind safety cars.
      What a joke!!
      And this people have a problem embracing F1 and complain F1 isn’t exiting?!!!

      Sorry but after watching the bad show that is called Indy and the even worse abomination called Nascar i just can’t get what kind of taste they have not going crazy over F1. Even Gp2 and other like that look better than those.

      Maybe is just the time schedule and the bad coverage the problem.

      • Chris said on 30th May 2011, 3:32

        No offense, but I watched (most of) the Indy 500 this year, and I think the complete opposite of you. It was way more exciting than any Grand Prix in recent memory. The one thing i can agree on is the horrible coverage. Commercials every other minute, and the commentators seemed to have no idea what was going on.

      • Joey-Poey (@joey-poey) said on 30th May 2011, 5:42

        Hate to break it to you, but most of us watch racing because we don’t know how it’s going to come out. So F1 is just as much a lottery. As Monaco just proved. If you don’t like it, don’t watch. That simple.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 30th May 2011, 8:32

          LOL +1

        • Solo (@solo) said on 30th May 2011, 15:28

          As the wise Greek philosopher Socrates ones said “everything with the right measure”.

          There is a limit to not knowing the resold and basically just making racing almost insignificant. From when is winning on the track too predictable?

          Besides F1 can get predictable and boring because some teams have amazing difference over others. I thought that in Indy their cars weren’t that different?

          Sure i enjoyed some moments too but in general it’s your tolerance over a different type of racing that allows you to be so forgiving.
          If F1 races had half there race be done behind safety cars and drivers weren’t even allowed to race each other(who made the silly rule about no defending? That’s crazy!) and all the cars enter and leave the pits all the time with Trulli finding himself once 24th and once 4th and then back to 24th and then again to 7th by the end of the race while not really himself doing anything, you will be screaming of how much of a joke racing in F1 has become.

          • Joey-Poey (@joey-poey) said on 30th May 2011, 21:38

            First of all I absolutely do not agree with the no defending rule. I don’t pretend the rules are perfect. However, the way Indycar handles cautions has always been very different to how Indy handles it. As you said, this plays a part in a bit of the chaos. However, keep in mind that you can’t let cars continue to circle ovals the same way you could with lots of run-off area on a road course. The yellows are simply a part of the game. They take this into account of their strategy the same way that other factors play into F1. If you watched, the cars that made their way up to first from very far back, managed that by a mix of strategy and attrition. The ebb and flow is essentially no different than F1 pit stops shuffling the order momentarily. The difference is that the yellows allow a bit more variety in how everyone plays their cards.

            That said, you’re HIGHLY unlikely to win with a slow car. The driver and the team are NOT insignificant in this as you might suggest. You still must have the right setup and you must know how to drive a long distance race such as this (F1 isn’t FULL BLAST all the time, is it? Same with Indy cars, so there is more to it than sheer luck). Even from the infield without a radio to know details of the strategy that’s unfolding, we knew Danica had pitted a long time ago and could not go the distance. More than that, she had had a slower car all day. Even with a yellow to allow her the flexibility to make it on fuel, she would have been eaten alive on the restart. So her chances of winning despite leading late in the race were absolutely slim to none.

            That’s just an example of how it might seem chaotic on the surface, but it’s not simply a crap shoot. I do not scream that F1 is a joke. I express my distaste for additions such as the DRS (which, btw, if you’re going to criticize the no defending rule, how is an unfair advantage given to the trailing car any different?). But in spite of a few rules which I disagree with, I LOVE watching F1. Just like I’ve loved watching Indy cars for so many years. If you don’t like Indycar, don’t watch it. But don’t consider it any lesser of a form of racing simply because it’s different. I don’t like NASCAR as much, but I understand oval racing requires quite a bit of skill that is NOT the same skill set as road course racing.

            Indy’s unpredictable nature is a result of the same unpredictable nature of F1: people make choices in response to the events around them and in turn every one else has to make choices in response to those and so on. You can never tell who is going to do what. And that is why I love racing in general.

          • Joey-Poey (@joey-poey) said on 30th May 2011, 21:39

            However, the way Indycar handles cautions has always been very different to how Indy handles it.

            I meant very different to how F1 handles it.

      • I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the 4 road course races I’ve watched this year. Not so bothered about the oval rounds but they’ve been just as exciting to watch as the F1 races this year, although maybe not knowing the cars, drivers and tracks has made it more mysterious and interesting. Either way, I’m enjoying my first season of indycar.

  4. SoLiDG (@solidg) said on 29th May 2011, 21:26

    damn, I’m feeling for Hildebrand.

  5. gwenouille (@gwenouille) said on 29th May 2011, 21:38

    What a nice track !

  6. Xusen said on 29th May 2011, 21:43

    Unbelievable ending, Felt bad for Hildebrand, that back marker lost him the win, he should have slowed down and flatted it on the straight but i guess it wasn’t to be and he at least got 2nd.

  7. Alexi said on 29th May 2011, 21:51

    Poor boy. He must be feeling devastated, at least he ended up second.

  8. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 29th May 2011, 22:03

    It couldn’t be less American, could it?

    It looked like Driven, starring Stallone. A guy crashing, almost getting the victory with him, and the underdog winning!

  9. motocan (@motocan) said on 29th May 2011, 22:13

    Seems his head was a half kilometre ahead of his butt. I guess we all have something to regret in our lives due to brain fade. Then again Wheldon is just floating a few inches above earth at this moment.

  10. Mouse_Nightshirt (@mouse_nightshirt) said on 29th May 2011, 22:21

    I find it just as amusing that of all people to finish last, it’s Takuma Sato. And for what reason? Contact!

  11. The Last Pope said on 29th May 2011, 22:22

    D’oh!

  12. darren said on 29th May 2011, 22:43

    just woke up to watch that ending wow! You’d rather break down on the first lap than to lose the race on the last corner, and of all places to make a rookie mistake, poor dude, thats nightmare material

  13. Dan_the_McLaren_fan (@dan_the_mclaren_fan) said on 29th May 2011, 22:54

    Incredible Race!
    I was shocked at the end (because of the crash … and because of the milk! :-) )

    But, I was quite disppointed with Bertrand Baguette, who had to pit at the very end while he was leading! :-(
    7th place is a good resut though!

  14. SennaNmbr1 (@sennanmbr1) said on 29th May 2011, 22:59

    How sad :(

    But odd things happen in this sport. Vettel wins his first Monaco GP and a rookie loses the Indy 500 on the very last corner on the same day.

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