Elevated to a front row start after pole sitter Helio Castroneves’ engine penalty, James Hinchcliffe promptly took the lead from Will Power on the opening lap and has been able to stay there throughout the first half of the Iowa Corn Indy 250.
Hinchcliffe maintained his lead through pit stops under yellow after a debris caution at Lap 38, which caused him to lose a six-second advantage on the high-banked short oval. But after the race went back green on Lap 52, Hinchcliffe got back to building up his lead in the early stages of the stint.
Marco Andretti tried to stay within striking distance of Hinchcliffe in the second stint, but soon lost second position to Graham Rahal at Lap 105. A short time later, green flag pit stops began around Lap 115 and Hinchcliffe cycled back into the lead after stopping at Lap 117.
Rahal has stayed in second place, while Andretti has kept third spot. Simon Pagenaud, who vaulted 20 spots to a fifth-place finish last year at Iowa is fourth, and Oriol Servia is giving Panther’s No. 4 car a good run in fifth position.
Red Bull Air Race: Yoshi Muroya joins Sato as Japanese champs at Indy
Takuma Sato isn’t the only major Japanese athlete to take home top honors at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this year. Countryman Yoshihide Muroya joined him in that on Sunday after winning Red Bull Air Race at IMS, and the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in the process.
Fittingly, the 101st Indianapolis 500 champion was there on site to join him in the celebration.
Muroya flew with a track-record run in the final and erased the four-point deficit to points leader Martin Sonka. The record run came after a disappointing qualifying effort of 11th in the 14-pilot field in the Master Class.
A day after the win, Muroya joined Sato in heading to Sato’s new Verizon IndyCar Series team, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s, Indianapolis-based shop.
A few social posts from Muroya’s victory and the subsequent celebration are below.
Muroya wasn’t alone among big winners at the Speedway. In the Challenger Class, Melanie Astles of France became the first woman to win a major race at IMS, and is the first female winner in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.
Nine women have competed in the Indianapolis 500 (Janet Guthrie, Lyn St. James, Sarah Fisher, Danica Patrick, Milka Duno, Simona de Silvestro, Pippa Mann, Ana Beatriz, Katherine Legge) and Mann is the first woman to have been on the pole position at IMS, having done so for the Freedom 100 in 2010 in Indy Lights.