2020 Indianapolis 500 (August): IndyCar Race Results - Sato Wins Second 500!
Takuma Sato wins the 2020 Indianapolis 500 (August Edition) at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Credit: PaddockTalk/Paul Hurley
By Mike Sulka
Rising sun. Takuma Sato and his No. 30 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda held on to win the 2020 Indianapolis 500 (August Edition). For Sato, it is his second Indianapolis 500 win, first win of the season, and sixth of his IndyCar career. His previous best finish this season was a sixth place run at Iowa.
Scott Dixon and his No. 9 Chip Ganassi Honda would finish second - for the third time under yellow at Indianapolis. Dixon would charge hard over the final laps, but the final yellow of the day would end his opportunity for another Indianapolis 500 win. For Dixon - who has owned this season everywhere else - it is his fifth podium of the year, and 117th IndyCar podium. Dixon now has 120 major open-wheel podiums.
In third, Graham Rahal would pick up his third podium of the year, and 27th of his IndyCar career. Rahal has 31 major open-wheel podiums in his career.
Santino Ferrucci would finish fourth with Josef Newgarden rounding out the top five finishers.
The green flag dropped with Marco Andretti leading from Pole as they crossed the yard of bricks, but Scott Dixon had tucked in behind Andretti to slingshot past to lead entering Turn One of Lap One.
Dixon would lead Lap One, Takuma Sato, Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Rinus VeeKay would follow. At the end of Lap Two, Ed Carpenter would be the first to pit after touching the wall hard trying to avoid Zach Veach. "He had to have known I was there." An extended stop for suspension repairs blighting his day.
Hunter-Reay would move forward on Lap 5 getting past Andretti in the short chute and charge Sato on the main straight and get past.
The first yellow would fly on the next lap as James Davison's right front Firestone was engulfed a circle of fire after the brakes exploded while running alone on track. The rear 11 drivers all stopped early to top off for fuel and fresh rubber.
Dixon would lead Hunter-Reay back to the green on lap 13, Andretti would battle Sato for third. James Hinchcliffe would move up to fifth. Three laps later, Hinchcliffe would get past Andretti for fourth.
On Lap 25, Marcus Ericsson would bring out the second yellow of the afternoon with a hard hit against the SAFER barrier in Turn One after losing a tank-slapper. The right side impaled with the right side tires holding on for dear life. The result would bring in the other 22 cars which didn't pit early and many who did. Neither Dixon or Hunter-Reay would make changes to their IndyCars.
With the jumbled field, Oliver Askew would lead Simon Pagenaud on Lap 32, but not for long. Will Power would run third, Charlie Kimball and Helio Castroneves would round out the top-five. Dixon would re-start 8th with Hunter-Reay mired in 12th. By Lap 35, Dixon would run sixth, Rossi 7th, and Hunter-Reay up to 10th.
On Lap 46, the pit strategy cars of Pagenaud, Askew, Castrovneves would finally stop after 37 laps on track. Power and Kimball would stop on the next lap. Dixon would resume the lead followed by Rossi, Rinus VeeKay (r), Hunter-Reay, and Sato - all on the primary pit stop strategy.
On Lap 61, Andretti would pit from sixth. Hunter-Reay would stop from fifth on the next lap. Veekay would stop - running third - on the following lap and stall. Dixon and Rossi would pit along with Veekay from the one-two slots without incident.
Dixon would lead on Lap 67 even while the pit-strategy cars stayed on track. Rossi would run fifth the the middle of the pit-strategy cars. Sato and Andretti would run 8th and 9th waiting for the alternate cars to clear. By Lap 74, Sato would do the best in traffic - running fifth ahead of Rossi.
Order would generally resume on Lap 77 as Dixon would lead Askew - pit strategy - would run second, Sato third, Rossi fourth and Andretti fifth. Askew would hold out until Lap 80. Dixon would hold a massive 10 second lead.
The third yellow would fly for Dalton Kellett (AJ Foyt Racing) on Lap 85 who's day would end against the wall after getting a run on Ben Hanley. Most of the field would stop under yellow. Dixon would safely exit leading those who pitted. Andretti would have trouble with his right rear slowing his stop. The alternative strategy cars would all stop putting everyone back on the same strategy - for now.
On the restart, Conor Daly would spin in Turn Four after getting low onto the concrete, and Oliver Askew would slam the inside SAFER barrier very hard taking evasive action. Even so, Askew would need an assistance slowly departing his stricken ride.
Once the track was clear, Dixon would lead the field back to green on Lap 100 - followed by Sato, Rossi, Patrico O'Ward, Josef Newgarden. Rossi would take Sato into Turn One. Santino Ferrucci would displace Newgarden quickly as well.
Rossi would take the lead on Lap 103 entering Turn One. Dixon apparently trying to save fuel to try to make the finish on two stops. After six laps, Dixon would move back to the front. The next lap, the leap-frogging would continue. The pair would try to break the draft to the field. Sato would join the two front runners dispatching O'Ward and stay within a second.
The fifth yellow would fly for rookie Alex Palou as IndyCar would slam into the outside of Turn One. The field would stop on Lap 125 except Felix Rosenqvist. He was followed by Dixon, O'Ward, Rossi, Sato. Rossi's exit from his pit stall would result in a touch with Sato - right rear to left front. The situation created by a slightly longer stop after the right rear nut popped off the wheel. Rossi would be sent to the back of the field as a penalty by the Chief Steward for an "unsafe release".
On Lap 131 racing would resume with Dixon fighting through lapped cars to chase down Rosenquist. Behind Rossi would carve through the backmarkers jetting from 24th to 17th quickly. Before the start of Lap 133 Dixon was back in front followed by Rosenqvist, Rahal, Sato and Newgarden.
Dixon would lead Lap 140 as Rosenqvist would clear the track. Rahal, Sato, Newgarden and Ferrucci would follow.
Yellow six would find Rossi sliding down the track out of Turn Two with his right side smoking from contact with the barrier. The driver would simply lose it on Lap 145 of 200.
With 45 laps to go, Dixon would lead over Sato, Rahal, Newgarden, Ferrucci. Newgarden would quickly take Rahal for third. On Lap 158, Sato would take the lead.
Andretti would be the first to make his final stop - Lap 168. Sato, Newgarden and O'Ward would all stop the next time by. Dixon, Rahal, and six other IndyCars would all stop on the next lap.
With 26 laps to go, only Veach, and Max Chilton would remain out front having not pitted. Sato, Dixon, Rahal, Ferrucci, Newgarden would follow. Chilton would peel off with 17 laps to go. Veech's run in the sun would end on the next lap as he pitted.
Dixon would attempt to pass over the next few laps, but each time Sato would appear to block him at least once.
With 10 laps to go, Sato led. Dixon's gap to Sato would begin to swell. Rahal would start to drop behind Dixon. Two laps later, Sato would get stuck behind lapped traffic and definitely slow. Dixon would close quickly. Sato would get clear of Kanaan with six to go.
Spencer Pigot would hit the outside of the Turn Four, and slide extremely hard into the pit lane attenuator with four laps to go. He would exit the car very slowly.
IndyCar would make the decision to end the drama by ending the race under yellow.
Congratulations to Takuma Sato and Rahal Letterman Lanigan winners of the 2020 Indianapolis 500 (August).
Next up, the IndyCar series will travel to St. Louis for a double-header in six days.
2020 Indianapolis 500 Results
1. Takuma Sato
2. Scott Dixon
3. Graham Rahal
4. Santino Ferrucci
5. Josef Newgarden
6. Pato O'Ward
7. James Hinchcliffe
8. Colton Herta
9. Jack Harvey
10. Ryan Hunter-Reay
11. Helio Castroneves
12. Felix Rosenqvist
13. Marco Andretti
14. Will Power
15. Zach Veach
16. JR Hildebrand
17. Max Chilton
18. Charlie Kimball
19. Tony Kanaan
20. Rinus VeeKay
21. Fernando Alonso
22. Simon Pagenaud
24. Sage Karam
25. Spencer Pigot
26. Ed Carpenter
27. Alexander Rossi
28. Alex Palou
29. Oliver Askew
30. Conor Daly
31. Dalton Kellett
32. Marcus Ericsson