It’s easy to forget that the Indianapolis 500 is the greatest race on Earth, combining the best of oval-track racing like Nascar with F1-style open-wheel cars that can turn laps of 225 mph.
Then the 2015 race rolls around, takes over Indianapolis for Memorial Day weekend — and sees a shootout among three drivers for victory.
Juan Pablo Montoya took the checkered flag, claiming his second Indy 500 (the first was in 2000).
The 39-year-0ld Colombian started the race well back in the 30th position, but ended up in a duel with Team Penske compatriot Will Power and pole sitter Scott Dixon over the final 10 laps. A final pass after several lead changes gave Montoya the win, with Power coming in second.
The Indy 500 is a unique race — a strategic, team-oriented contest that can often come down to pure driver boldness at the end. A missed pass can drop a competitor back and crush 190 laps of hard work. Montoya had his work cut out for him: Power was last year’s second-place finisher, and Dixon won in 2008.
The concluding laps, after a number of crashes had put the race under the yellow flag, were everything a fan could want. Montoya, Power, and Dixon screamed around the turns and straightaways in a tightly packed trio, swapping leads. Montoya found some daylight with three laps to go, and Power couldn’t edge out his teammate.
It was then Montoya’s turn to head for the victory circle and, for the second time, to drink the traditional milk that comes with an Indy 500 win. We’re willing to bet it tasted very sweet.
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