Josef Newgarden wins his first Indianapolis 500 in red flag race after major crashes in final laps

The fastest 33-car field in race history continued to prove that things can change at any second. The Indianapolis 500 boasted a plenty of formidable starters. Alex Palou came in as the fastest pole position qualifier (234.217 mph). Four-time victor Helio Castroneves started in the seventh row, seeking a record fifth race victory. Defending champ Marcus Ericsson started from the fourth row. But it was Josef Newgarden to take the win after the race’s third pivotal restart.

Newgarden, the 2017 and 2019 IndyCar Series Champion, now has his first-ever Indy 500 win.

Pato O’Ward’s late move leads to second red flag

With 40 laps remaining, America’s Santino Ferrucci passed Ericsson to take the lead. But With 25 laps remaining, frantic movement put Pato O’Ward up front. O’Ward was in third place with eight laps remaining,

O’Ward had just been passed by Josef Newgarden for the lead. He was right under Ericsson as he entered Turn 2, and suddenly went into a spin. The race was red flagged with seven laps remaining. Agustín Canapino and Simon Pagenaud were also part of the collision.

“I was way too nice, I got onto the apron to give [Ericsson] room and I got squeezed,” he said after he was released from the infield medical care center. “I’ll remember that one.”

Kirkwood, Rosenqvist collide in final laps

Kyle Kirkwood and Felix Rosenqvist collided for a scary crash with 15 laps remaining. Felix Rosenqvist’s car spun out of control, leaving Kyle Kirkwood with nowhere to go. Kirkwood flipped upside down and dragged, as one of his tires flew out of the track.

Kirkwood, who was conscious and claimed to only have knee pain, was quickly attended to by safety workers. The race was red-flagged, and Kirkwood eventually gave the crowd a thumbs up after it resumed. He was placed in an ambulance and taken to the infield care center for evaluation. After he was released, he spoke with the NBC’s broadcasters. “Glad I’m okay but disappointed in that finish, no doubt,” he said.

There were no reported injuries from the crowd, as the tire apparently hit a car in the parking lot. There was more concern from officials about the safety of audience members than Kirkwood, a testament to the advancement of the technology in these race cars.

This story will be updated.