Chaves wins Indy 500 Rookie of the Year honors

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It was confirmed on Monday that Gabby Chaves, the 2014 Indy Lights champion, has won Rookie of the Year honors for the 2015 Indianapolis 500.

Chaves is the fourth Colombian to win the award, after Carlos Munoz (2013), Juan Pablo Montoya (2000, also race win) and Roberto Guerrero (1984).

It means Bryan Herta Autosport now has both an Indianapolis 500 win (2011 with the late Dan Wheldon) and a rookie-of-the-year winner (Chaves) in the last five years.

Chaves described his day, where he started 26th, ran as high as eighth, and ultimately ended 16th in the No. 98 Bowers & Wilkins/Curb Honda.

“It was a very good race for us. I wish I could go out there and do it again,” he said. “One mistake cost us a lot of time. We had to drive back through the field. We drove all the way up to ninth before that last caution.

“Right before the caution, we were overtaking a car that was a lap down, lost our front wing. Very unfortunate. We didn’t change the wing just to see how long the caution would be, would stay. Unfortunately once we got back to green, it was a handful. I lost a few positions, lost a couple positions in that last stop as well.

“But we had a great car. We drove through the field twice, into the top 10 twice after two mistakes. I wish I could go out there and do it again. But I’m very happy with the job my crew did, my team. I’m super excited to keep using this momentum, keep progressing through the season.”