2018 Indianapolis 500 - The Live Blog

The 102nd Greatest Spectacle in Racing, the last race of Danica Patrick's career, begins

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Getty ImagesJamie Squire

Lap 200: Will Power becomes an Indianapolis 500 winner! The seventy second unique winner of this race is already an IndyCar champion, already one of the best in the sport. He's already proven his all-around brilliance; Now, he has the real highest accolade in American Open Wheel Racing.

Ed Carpenter finishes second, Scott Dixon makes his way to third after saving fuel in what will likely prove to be a significant result for the championship standings. Robert Wickens is the top finishing rookie in ninth. Stefan Wilson, who stopped from the lead with just five to go, comes home fifteenth.

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Lap 199: White flag is out. One to go.

Lap 197: Will Power, once the oval-averse road course specialist, leads by three seconds.

Lap 196: Wilson and Harvey stop. The miracle is not to be. Power leads.

Lap 195: Power is in third. Wilson leads. Harvey in second.

Lap 194: Stefan Wilson to the lead!

Lap 193: Back to green. Servia leads Stefan Wilson and Jack Harvey, then the fullly-fuelled Will Power, Scott Dixon, Ed Carpenter, and Alexander Rossi.

Lap 190, Seventh Caution: Oriol Seriva's strategist just said "Yeah, we're gonna go for it" with all the conviction of someone who knows something will not go well but understands how incredible it will be if it does. Crazy restart coming up.

Lap 188, Seventh Caution: Tony Kanaan is in the wall out of turn two and Oriol Servia has the yellow he needed.

Lap 187: Servia's gap isn't nearly big enough to take advantage of a top-off and fall back into the top three. He's running all-out and making no effort to save fuel, essentially just hoping for a yellow.

Lap 183: Power's lead over Carpenter is a second, with no gap back to Rossi. He will pass Dixon, whose urgent fuel saving has significantly delayed Power from catching the others on the alternate strategy, in the next two or three laps.

Lap 180: Robert Wickens stops from the lead. Oriol Servia leads the alternate strategy, but they only have a 13 second gap on the primary strategy runners. Dixon, who has what is projected as the best shot to make the end of the race, is just three seconds ahead of Will Power.

Lap 176: The leaders have stopped, and Will Power leads Ed Carpenter and Alexander Rossi among that group. A group of six cars that had pitted under the last caution, led by Oriol Servia and most notably including championship contenders Scott Dixon and Robert Wickens, are throwing up a half-court heave in front of the leaders. They'll need to save one to four more laps of fuel to make the end of this race than Alexander Rossi did when he ran out of gas en route to winning in 2016, but these cars have less downforce and these engines have two more years of development. Is it possible?

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Lap 170: This race is, uh, wild. As a result of that last wave of cautions, everyone should have one stop left. JR Hildebrand becomes the first to take advantage of the open window.

Lap 161: Back to green. Ed Carpenter's been struggling on these restarts all day, but he holds off Alexander Rossi for second. Will Power maintains his lead.

Lap 158, Sixth Caution: Charlie Kimball, Stefan Wilson, and Oriol Servia all stop to top off on fuel under this yellow. Kimball tops off again with one to go, and Scott Dixon stops as well.

Lap 155, Sixth Caution: Sage Karam goes into the wall in turn 4. Not a huge impact, but a bad ending to what had been a quietly good day for Karam.

Lap 154: Back to green. Power leads to green over Carpenter, with a huge gaggle of cars fighting for second behind. In that pack is Alexander Rossi, who is doing the sort of reckless and fun things that have taken him from Guy Who Won The 500 On Fuel Mileage to one of the most exciting drivers in all of racing over the past year. Only Zachary Claman De Melo stopped under that yellow.

Lap 146, Fifth Caution: The chaos erupts. Helio Castroneves spins out of turn four, into the infield wall, and his race is over. This was another hard spin resulting from the tribulations of running 500 miles in what have simply proven to be extremely difficult cars to drive.

Lap 145: Back to green. Will Power leads Ed Carpenter with chaos behind.

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Lap 142, Fourth Caution: Among those stopping with Munoz are Claman De Melo, Charlie Kimball, and Gabby Chavez. Among those staying out who stopped recently enough to be in a strong place on fuel for the final run are Josef Newgarden, Graham Rahal, Robert Wickens, and JR Hildebrand.

Lap 139, Fourth Caution: Sebastien Bourdais, who was set to assume the lead once those on the alternate strategy stopped, snaps out of control and spins into the wall. That's race-ending for the Dale Coyne Racing driver, and the timing of the wreck will be hugely beneficial for current race leader Carlos Munoz, who will now be on more or less his own strategy.

It's been a quiet day so far for Munoz, formerly full-time at Andretti Autosport and twice a runner-up here. This could be a big opportunity for the one-off driver.

Lap 132: Josef Newgarden is now the leader of the alternate strategy group, ahead of Rahal and Wickens.

Lap 128: Ed Carpenter pits from second, starting this cycle for those on the primary strategy.

Lap 123: Power's lead is down to just two seconds over Carpenter.

Lap 114: Kyle Kaiser has blown an engine. The 2017 Indy Lights champion's race is over.

Lap 110: With Carpenter struggling on that run and Kanaan forced to stop twice, it's Will Power that cycles back into the race lead after those on the alternate strategy stop. Power is leading by nearly five seconds.

Lap 106: Graham Rahal pits from the lead. The fuel and tire advantage for those on the alternate strategy is eleven laps, about a third of a stint.

Lap 99: Tony Kanaan's right-rear tire is punctured and going down, forcing the leader of the primary strategy to stop from the back half of the top ten. This stop may push Kanaan off the lead lap, but he has half a race to recover.

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Lap 95: Scott Dixon becomes the last of the leaders to stop, cycling Graham Rahal and the other drivers on the alternate strategy into the lead. Spencer Pigot has received a drive-through penalty for an infraction on his most recent stop.

Lap 93: Carpenter and Kanaan stop, beginning this cycle for the leaders on the primary strategy.

Lap 88: A few others have joined Newgarden and Claman De Melo on the alternate strategy and are now running ahead of them:

Besides Newgarden, Wickens and Rahal are also off sequence and ahead of JN on the same strategy.

— Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno)

Lap 76: Tony Kanaan may be just a one-time 500 winner to date, but as of today he holds an impressive record here:

BTW, Tony Kanaan, 43, has now led a record 14 Indy 500s, breaking the tie he had with his current team owner A.J. Foyt. Kanaan won 2013 race.

— Tim May (@TIM_MAYsports)

Lap 74: Back to green and Kanaan is back to the lead, again passing Carpenter into turn 1.

Lap 72, Third Caution: Zachary Claman De Melo stops, and though he's lost the positions he gained by staying out earlier, he will have 20 more laps of fuel and newer tires than most of the field. Josef Newgarden, who was previously on the primary strategy, also stops to join him on this alternate strategy.

ABC reports that Ed Jones has been transferred to a nearby hospital, complaining of head and neck pains.

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Lap 68, Third Caution: Danica Patrick spins out of turn two. A promising month became a disappointing race, and Patrick's illustrious 500 career, one significantly more impressive than some may think, ends at the one-third mark of her final race.

Lap 65: Carpenter is back to the lead just a lap later.

Lap 64: Back to green. Tony Kanaan gets a run on Carpenter and passes for the lead into turn 2, his first time being passed on track all day.

No leaders stopped under that cycle.

Lap 58, Second Caution: Ed Jones is in the wall on the backstretch after losing control in turn 2. After a spectacular first 500 for the smaller Dale Coyne Racing last season, Jones has struggled mightily throughout what has been his first month with the powerhouse Chip Ganassi Racing.

Lap 56: Back to green. Carpenter and Kanaan make short work of Claman De Melo, a huge gap from those two to third as drivers try to move past the lone car on old tires.

Lap 49, First Caution: Carpenter's stop is now under review. If he's penalized, that will completely change the dynamics of this race that he has more or less led wire to wire so far.

Lap 48, First Caution: Every driver on the lead lap but Zachary Claman De Melo stops. Ed Carpenter comes in first, stops easily in the polesitter's pit stall, and returns to the track in the lead of the group that stopped.

Lap 47, First Caution: James Davison, who has been struggling to control his car, has crashed in turn 4. Defending race winner Takuma Sato is also collected.

Davison was slow and out of control just off the racing line in turn 4 when Sato caught him at full speed mid-corner, unable to do anything but make with Davison's right-rear.

Lap 41: The leaders have now lapped up to 25th.

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Lap 35: Spencer Pigot leads the last group of stoppers. No other entries in that group are running in the top 10 after the first cycle of stops.

Tony Kanaan has moved to second as stops finish cycling out.

Lap 32: Leaders stop. This is near the end of the fuel run.

Lap 29: Further back in the field, James Davison is struggling to control his car as its tires fall off. The leaders are about to catch this pack, but with the pit cycle just a lap or two away, they may choose to stop instead of dealing with lapping these unpredictable, oversteer-happy entries.

Lap 22: Not a whole lot of passing happening over here...

Passing is difficult, continued:

L10 20 22 12 1 18 14 21 3 9 98 / 28 13 4 19 23 6 30 32 29 33 / 25 88 15 64 24 27 59 66 7 60 / 26 10 17

L20 20 22 12 1 18 14 21 3 9 98 / 28 13 4 19 23 6 30 29 32 33 / 25 88 15 64 24 27 59 66 7 60 / 26 10 17

— Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno)

Lap 20: Little to no change in the top 20 through as many laps. Carpenter's lead is around two seconds.

The entire field is struggling mightily with control, thanks in no small part to this being one of the hottest 500 mile races on record. Through half a stint, this race looks nearly unrecognizable from the draft-heavy races run throughout the rest of the DW12 era.

Lap 7: The most significant early movers are Tony Kanaan, who has pushed up from a start of 10th to 6th as they run, and Danica Patrick, who started from 7th but has fallen to 12th after being stuck inside of the only row that seemed interested in doing a real three-wide start.

Lap 1: Ed Carpenter makes his move to secure his lead from pole before the famous three-wide start began, easily leading the first lap of the race. Penske teammates Pagenaud and Power battle for second behind him, allowing some space for a sizable early lead.

Lap 0: The traditional pomp and circumstance of the Indianapolis 500 is reaching its fever pitch. In just a few minutes, the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500 will follow.

It was Chevrolet dominance over both days of qualifying, and while Penske Racing's Simon Pagenaud and Will Power flexed their speed all month, it was owner-driver Ed Carpenter that would actually take pole last Sunday. Sebastian Bourdais has the top Honda in fifth, an impressive run for the small Dale Coyne Racing program. The theme of the time trials (other than James Hinchcliffe missing the race, that is) was a lack of separation, leaving many to believe that this is one of the more open 500s in recent history.

Could a 0ne-off entrant, like JR Hildebrand or Danica Patrick, win? What about a rookie, like Robert Wickens? Given that this is a double points event, does a championship contender like Josef Newgarden lose significant ground in the race for the IndyCar title? All these questions will be answered over the next three hours.

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