In the closing laps of the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, that proved to be the case.
Montoya, who won the race 15 years earlier, held off reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion and teammate Will Power by .1046 of a second — the fourth-closest finish in race history — in a thrilling battle over the final 15 laps that also included pole sitter and 2008 race winner Scott Dixon. Five of the 37 lead changes occurred in the final 15 laps following a restart, with Montoya overtaking Dixon in Turn 1 for second place and Power in Turn 4 to lead Lap 197 by .0420 of a second.
“It was awesome,” Montoya said in Victory Circle. “This is what racing in Indy car is all about, racing down to the wire. These guys, Team Penske, did an amazing job. I had the feeling that I had a really good car, but that fight at the end was really, really hard. All the way down to the wire. This is pretty awesome.”
The victory extended Roger Penske’s record of Indy 500 victories to 16.
“You give that guy the bit and put it in his mouth and he doesn’t give up,” said Penske, the race strategist for three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves. “It’s a great day for Team Penske. I knew we had two up there, but the worry was Dixon and the 83 (Charlie Kimball). At the end of the day, they played fair. Good passing and we won the race.”
|Indy 500 Race Results|
|1||2||Juan Pablo Montoya||200||Running|
|19||29||Simona de Silvestro||200||Running|