Josef Newgarden drinks the winner's milk after winning the 108th Indianapolis 500. (Al Steinberg Photo)

Indy 500 Notes: Newgarden’s Powerful Drive

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis 500 is annual tale of history in live action as one of the world’s greatest and longest lasting sporting events adds more to its history every year.

The 108th Indianapolis 500 was historic in many ways as it ended shortly before 8 p.m., making it one of the latest Indy 500s in history. The start of the race was delayed four hours because of rain and did not get underway until 4:45 p.m. ET. 

Once it started, it was a thrilling spectacle of speed, an all-time classic in my ways as Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden won his second-straight Indy 500 and with it the $440,000 Borg-Warner Rollover Bonus. He is the first back-to-back Indy 500 winner since Helio Castroneves in 2001 and 2002.

There are many more notes that came out of Sunday’s race and thanks to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway media relations staff, here is a detailed list of notes that can be added to the glorious history of the Indianapolis 500.

Historical and event notes from the 108th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge at Indianapolis Motor Speedway:

• This was the second career Indianapolis 500 victory for Newgarden in his 13th career “500” start.

• Josef Newgarden became the sixth driver to earn back-to-back victories in the Indianapolis 500 and the first since Helio Castroneves achieved the feat for Team Penske in 2001-02. The others: Wilbur Shaw (1939-40), Mauri Rose (1947-48), Bill Vukovich (1953-54) and Al Unser (1970-71).

• Newgarden became the 11th two-time winner of the Indianapolis 500. He is the first driver to join the two-time winner’s club since Takuma Sato in 2020. Sato also won in 2017.


• Team Penske earned its 20th Indianapolis 500 victory, extending its event record. Chip Ganassi is second with six wins, five with Chip Ganassi Racing and one as a co-owner with Pat Patrick.

• Team Penske repeated its feat of sweeping the front row in qualifying and winning the race. Rick Mears won from the pole in 1988 after his teammates Danny Sullivan and Al Unser started second and third, respectively. Team Penske drivers Scott McLaughlin, Will Power and Newgarden started 1-2-3, respectively, in this race in only the second front-row sweep in “500” history.

• This is the 14th time the car that started third won the Indianapolis 500. The last winner from the No. 3 starting spot was Sato in 2020. The event record is 21 winners from the pole.

• This is the 13th Indianapolis 500 victory for a Chevrolet engine, elevating it to third in event history. Offenhauser is first with 27 wins, followed by Honda with 15.

• This is the 11th time car No. 2 has won the Indianapolis 500, tying that number with No. 3 for the most wins in “500” history. Newgarden also won last year in No. 2.

• The last time an American driver or drivers have won two consecutive Indianapolis 500s came in 1991 and 1992. Rick Mears won in 1991, Al Unser Jr. in 1992.

• Newgarden is the fourth driver to win the Indianapolis 500 at age 33. The last was Ryan Hunter-Reay in 2014.

• This is only the fourth time the Indianapolis 500 has been decided by a last-lap pass. The other two times: 2006: Sam Hornish (Team Penske) passed Marco Andretti on the front straightaway; 2011: Dan Wheldon passed JR Hildebrand on the front straightaway; 2023: Newgarden (Team Penske) passed Marcus Ericsson on the back straightaway.

• Sixteen different drivers led at least one lap on Sunday, an event record. The previous record was 15 drivers in 2017 and 2018.

• Helio Castroneves completed the full 500-mile distance for the 18th time in his Indianapolis 500 race career, extending his race record. He has been running at the end of the race in 22 of 24 career starts, also a race record.

• There were 21 cars on the lead lap at the finish, just shy of the event record of 22 set in 2021 and 2022.

• Scott Dixon led 12 laps to extend his event record to 677 career laps led.

Josef Newgarden during the 108th Indianapolis 500. (Al Steinberg Photo)

• Dixon has led at least one lap in 16th Indianapolis 500s, breaking the event record of 15 races led he shared with Tony Kanaan.

• Christian Rasmussen was the top-finishing rookie in 12th place.

• There were 49 lead changes, the fourth-highest total in “500” history. The record is 68 in 2013, followed by 54 in 2016 and 52 in 2023.

• Castroneves made his 24th Indy 500 start, moving into a three-way tie with Gordon Johncock and Johnny Rutherford for fourth place for career Indianapolis 500 starts. The record is 35 by A.J. Foyt, followed by Mario Andretti with 29 and Al Unser with 27.

• The last time there was a yellow caution flag on the opening lap was 2015 when there was contact between several cars in turn one, eliminating Sage Karam from the race.

• Ericsson became the first former winner to finish last since Juan Pablo Montoya in 2016.

• Roger Penske is the first team owner to have two drivers win back-to-back Indianapolis 500s, with Castroneves in 2001-’02 and Newgarden in 2023-’24.

• Dixon finished third, giving him nine top-five finishes in 22 career starts.

• Conor Daly advanced more positions than any other driver, finishing 10th after starting 29th.

• Fourth-place finisher Alexander Rossi finished in the top five for the sixth time in nine Indy 500 career starts.

• Christian Lundgaard recorded the fastest lap (226.373 mph) of the race on Lap 175.

• NTT P1 Award winner McLaughlin led a race-high 64 laps at Indy, the first “500” laps he has led in his career.

• There were seven drivers who led the Indianapolis 500 for the first time: McLaughlin, Sting Ray Robb, Lundgaard, Kyle Kirkwood and rookie drivers Kyffin Simpson, Kyle Larson and Christian Rasmussen.

• All 18 lap leaders finished on the lead lap, beating the event record of 11, set in 2023.