Penske, who bought the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar last November, gave the ‘Drivers, Start your engines” command for today’s race. While his own race team looked unremarkable by its high standards performance-wise, ‘The Captain’ was happy with the outcome of the day overall, despite the event having to be run behind closed doors.
“It has been an incredible day, and I want to thank all of the teams, drivers and our partners for an exciting 104th Running of the Indianapolis 500,” said Penske on Sunday evening.
“Congratulations to Takuma Sato, Bobby Rahal, David Letterman, Mike Lanigan and the entire team for winning today’s race and putting on a remarkable show for everyone watching at home on NBC and around the world.
“We certainly missed having all of our fans here with us at the Racing Capital of the World, and we are looking forward to the day when we can welcome everyone back to the Speedway.
“My family and I, along with everyone at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, are so excited about the future as we continue to build on the tradition of ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.’”
Josef Newgarden was the highest finishing Penske-Chevrolet, landing fifth place after running third in the penultimate stint. By going off strategy, Simon Pagenaud, Will Power and Helio Castroneves all ran in the top four but the timing of a caution just before half-distance put the leaders roughly back on the same strategy and dumped this trio back outside the Top 20.
Strong restarts would see Power climb as high as eighth but then a bad restart followed by an error in the pits ultimately left him in 14th, three places behind Castroneves. Defending race-winner Pagenaud, meanwhile, suffered front-wing damage after being struck by Ryan Hunter-Reay, necessitating pit stops that left him two laps down.