Indy 500: Marcus Ericsson holds off Pato O'Ward to seal first Brickyard triumph

Indy 500: Marcus Ericsson holds off Pato O'Ward to seal first Brickyard triumph

The former Caterham and Sauber Formula 1 driver took control of Sunday's race late and had it under control for Chip Ganassi Racing until a crash by team-mate Jimmie Johnson with four laps remaining brought out a rare red-flag stoppage at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The stoppage gave O'Ward and the rest of the challengers almost 12 minutes on pit road to strategize how to catch Ericsson for the win.

The race resumed with two laps remaining and Ericsson easily got the jump on O'Ward, but the Mexican got one final look for the lead which the Swedish racer defended. Then a crash back in traffic brought out the caution and Ericsson coasted to the victory podium under yellow.

"I had to do everything there at the end to keep them behind," Ericsson said. "I can't believe it, I'm so happy."

It is the fifth victory at the Brickyard for team owner Chip Ganassi, who caught a ride to the victory podium on the side of Ericsson's car. Ericsson is the second Swede to win the Indy 500 in 106 editions, joining 1999 winner Kenny Brack.

As dictated by Indy 500 tradition, he poured his post-race jug of milk all over his face, then handed the bottle to Ganassi so the boss could take his own swig. Ganassi had not won the 500 in 10 years and sent five legitimate contenders to Indianapolis to end the drought.

O'Ward, who signed an extension with Arrow McLaren SP on Friday, finished second. The Mexican was trying to give his country a banner celebration after compatriot Sergio Perez opened Sunday with a win in the Monaco Grand Prix.

Tony Kanaan was third in a Ganassi car and followed by Felix Rosenqvist, another Swede, who was fourth for McLaren.

American drivers Alexander Rossi and Conor Daly finished fifth and sixth, Rossi for Andretti Autosport and Daly for Ed Carpenter Racing.

Helio Castroneves, last year's winner, finished seventh and one spot ahead of Meyer Shank Racing teammate Simon Pagenaud. Reigning IndyCar champion Alex Palou finished 10th in another Ganassi entry. Honda drivers took six of the top nine spots, along with the win.

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