Past Lap 54, Josef Newgarden pitted from the lead in the No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda. He exited ahead of the Andretti Autosport teammates of Ryan Hunter-Reay and James Hinchcliffe.
Hunter-Reay, meanwhile, made an ambitious maneuver to Newgarden’s inside at Turn 4 when going for the lead. RHR, on hot tires, sought to pass Newgarden on cold ones.
They made contact and it triggered a multi-car pileup where Hinchcliffe, Tony Kanaan, and Takuma Sato were all eliminated and Helio Castroneves, Juan Pablo Montoya and Jack Hawksworth.
Newgarden, who was in podium position, had this to say to NBCSN: “It’s hard to tell. I was on cold tires. I knew RHR was on hot and would probably get me. But so little room in 4, you normally can’t make a pass there. I tried to give him a little room. Next thing I knew I was in the wall. That shouldn’t happen up front.”
RHR’s reaction to NBCSN: “We had a strong car, Newgarden, I knew he was on cold tires. He had some wheel spin and went for it, so I started to back out because he closed the door. I could have waited a bit later, that’s my fault. But if you back it up, I had half a car alongside of him. So I went for it. It’s down to me to make the pass. I made the decision at that split second to go for it.”
Michael Andretti, RHR’s team owner, stressed patience for the 2012 series champion. Sarah Fisher’s reaction is below.
Past the restart, Scott Dixon contacted Justin Wilson at Turn 8, with Dixon emerging unscathed. It’s been a crazy race.