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Power crashes out as teammate wins Indianapolis 500

Australia's Will Power has crashed out and Kiwi polesitter Scott McLaughlin was sixth as their Penske Racing teammate Josef Newgarden stormed to his second consecutive Indianapolis 500 victory in dramatic style.

American Newgarden made a thrilling pass with only two corners remaining to win by 0.34 seconds over Arrow McLaren's Pato O'Ward - the two exchanging the lead repeatedly in the final five laps in one of the most exciting finishes in recent race history.

Newgarden, 33, is the first driver to earn back-to-back wins in the Indy 500 since Helio Castroneves in 2001-02 - earning a $US440,000 bonus for the feat and giving his legendary team owner Penske a record 20th victory in Indycar's most celebrated event.

Newgarden
Josef Newgarden and his team rejoice after his win. (AP PHOTO)

"Just so proud of this team. They crushed it, crushed it," an elated Newgarden said.

Power, the 2018 winner, started from second on the grip alongside three-time Australian Supercars champion McLaughlin with Newgarden in third spot but he crashed out at turn one on the 145th lap of the 200-lap race.

"I feel fine," Power said after being in the IMS medical centre for nearly 30 minutes. "Big hit, but the headrest and the car --- it doesn't feel nice. But it's not like it used to be where you get knocked down, something like that."

It always changes on race day," Power added. "There's a lot of good cars out there. We struggled all day -- we just couldn't get the front to work."

Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon of New Zealand finished third, with Arrow McLaren's Alexander Rossi and Ganassi's Alex Palou rounding out the top five.

The race started four hours late as rain came through the area and the massive 2.5-mile track had to be dried.

The win was an incredible rebound for Newgarden, who last month had his March season-opening victory disqualified because Team Penske had illegal push-to-pass software on its cars.

Roger Penske, who owns the race team, IndyCar, the Indy 500 and the speedway, suspended four crew members, including Team President Tim Cindric. The Cindric suspension was a massive blow for Newgarden as Cindric is considered the best strategist in the series.

Newgarden was thrilled to have the win and put the push-to-pass scandal behind him.

"Absolutely, they can say what they want, I don't even care anymore," he said.

"It's always a team win. This win epitomises a team victory. I'm thankful for Roger Penske, he stood by me. He's the man. He's a legend."

- with AAP and The AP

with AAP and The AP