Sting Ray Robb at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (IndyCar Photo)

Robb On Indy: ‘Most Fun I’ve Had In A Race Car On An Oval’

INDIANAPOLIS — A record 18 drivers led laps in Sunday’s 108th Indianapolis 500 and the two names at the top were somewhat expected.

Pole winner Scott McLaughlin led 64 laps and race winner Josef Newgarden was in front for 26 laps.

But the driver who led the third most laps in the 200-mile contest was Sting Ray Robb.

The A.J. Foyt driver had the No. 41 Chevrolet in front of the field for 23 laps. The team devised an alternate pit stop strategy early in the race when most of the field pitted on Lap 23. That put Robb’s Chevrolet at the front of the field until he was passed on the track by Conor Daly on lap 27.

Although the strategy allowed him to leapfrog his way to the front from his 23rd starting position.

Once in front, Robb made a very positive impression racing in the biggest race in the world. 

He led stints throughout the race and was in front as late as lap 151 when Scott Dixon passed him.

Although the race would end in an amazing battle between Newgarden and Arrow McLaren’s Pato O’Ward, Robb finished 16th, completing all 200 laps.

“I don’t know what to say about the day,” Robb said. “I think that was the most fun I’ve had in a race car today on an oval. 

“The team did such a good job on the stops. I went long on one, but they kept it together. Great stops all day, great strategy.”

Robb believes he was still in contention for a top 10 or even a top-five finish until the final caution flag of the race on lap 147, took away his pit stop advantage.

Sting Ray Robb’s No. 41 Chevrolet at Indianapolis. (IndyCar Photo)

“That last yellow, if it wasn’t for that I think we would have been fighting for the win,” Robb said. “I’m so proud of these guys, I thought we were the car to beat out there. It feels so good. I’m so happy.”

Robb competed in last year’s Indianapolis 500 with Dale Coyne Racing. He moved over to A.J. Foyt Racing in the offseason and teams up with Santino Ferrucci, who finished eighth.

“Real proud of the team today, solid effort all around,” Ferrucci said of his race. “It’s been a far from perfect month of May.

“This was definitely one of the most difficult months of May I’ve had in my six years at this place with the least amount of track time. 

“But we made history today with six top 10s in a row from my rookie start, we raised hopefully over $4 million for our charity Homes For Our Troops which is impressive and that means more than anything else. I think we look back on this month as a whole to understand how we could have been better, try and learn and come back next year to compete to win again. 

“Our teammate Sting Ray did an incredible job leading the race, no easy feat especially in his second year. He looked good and did a helluva job to come up from where he did and nearly get in the top 15. It’s great momentum for the 41 car and all of the boys. They really needed that because they had a rocky start this year.”

Robb’s performance was valuable for his sponsors that have long supported his IndyCar efforts. They got some tremendous exposure in Sunday’s 108th Indianapolis 500.

“Goodheart has been with us for five years – the first dog (referring to the No. 41 livery) to cross the start/finish line in the lead in the Indy 500 so huge thank you to them for sticking with us and getting the rewards for it,” Robb said, referring to his sponsor. “ was a new partner this year and we wouldn’t be here without them so I’m grateful that they’re a part of this.

“I love our brands; our partners and I want more to join the ride so they can experience this with us.”