(Editor’s note: NBC Sports has selected the Top 10 Indy 500s of All-Time through an esteemed panel of former drivers, broadcasters, journalists and historians. The countdown begins today and will run through the 107th Indianapolis 500.)
The “Andretti Curse” struck again, but a young American talent still won the race.
That’s the finish of the 2006 Indianapolis 500 in a nutshell.
Marco Andretti, making his Brickyard debut as a 19-year-old, took the lead from his father, Michael, through the outside of Turn 1 on Lap of 198 of 200. The scion of a famous racing family seemed destined for the glory that nearly always eluded Andrettis behind the wheel at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
But Marco’s bid was crushed after the final corner as Hornish whipped past into first a few hundred feet from the finish line, giving Roger Penske his 14th victory at the Brickyard.
The last-lap pass in the 90th Indy 500 was the first in event history.
With their second- and third-place finishes, Marco and Michael made it 50 starts by Andretti family members without an Indy 500 victory since Mario Andretti’s lone win there in 1969. (Michael Andretti has won the Indy 500 five times as a team owner.)
“At Indy, you’re either first or it’s nothing,” Marco said in 2009. “That’s why you saw me bummed after my rookie race.”
“I waited for him to make the first move, and then I went harder with whatever direction he went,” said Hornish, who started on the pole position, led 19 laps and overcame a botched pit stop with a stuck fuel hose. “I figured he’s looking in the mirror thinking ‘Where’d he go?’ and then I’m beside him.
“It was just a great way to be able to win that.”
NBC Sports has ranked the Top 10 Indy 500s through a panel that judged through scores of 1-20 in five categories (with a total of 100 being perfect): quality of racing, memorable moments, strength of competition, historical impact and spectacle.
Here’s a look at No. 9 on the list:
Winner: Sam Hornish Jr.
Margin of victory: 0.064 seconds
Lead changes: 14 among six drivers (the top six finishers in the race each lead at least two laps)
Cautions: Five for 44 laps
Other contenders: Dan Wheldon led a race-high 148 laps in pursuit of his second consecutive Indy 500 victory (and in his first start at Indy for Chip Ganassi Racing), but a late tire puncture dropped him to fourth. … Tony Kanaan led 12 laps and finished fifth in the fifth of seven consecutive Indy 500s in which he led. … Scott Dixon led six laps to take sixth and was upset with Indy Racing League officials after being black-flagged for blocking Kanaan on Lap 175.
Winning move: Hornish swept around Marco Andretti on the inside after carrying a huge run off Turn 4, putting his No. 6 Dallara-Honda ahead at the checkered flag in the third-closest finish in Indy 500 history.
How the voters saw it: The range was narrow for ballots that had the 2006 Indy 500 in their top 10 as each total score fell between 88 and 93.
Motocross 2023: Results and points after SuperMotocross Round 18 at Hangtown
Lawrence led all 16 laps of both races after taking the holeshot in the second moto and grabbing the lead from Dylan Ferrandis in Turn 2 of Moto 1. Lawrence claimed a four-second lead in Moto 1 and five seconds in Moto 2, but as dominant as it seems on paper, there were some exciting moments during the weekend. In the second race, Lawrence wanted to build an advantage that would allow him to maintain his pace and he nearly high-sided a couple of times in heavy ruts.
In his second race back from a concussion, Ferrandis finished in the runner-up spot with a second in Moto 1 and a third in Moto 2. While his finish of second overall goes into the record books, Pro Motocross points are rewarded for each individual race and that meant Ferrandis lost eight points in championship battle to Lawrence. With Sexton failing to mount up for the race, Ferrandis advanced to second in the standings with an 18-point gap to Lawrence. Equally important, Ferrandis gained ground in the SuperMotocross World Championship (WSX) points and now has a gap of 44 over 21st-place Justin Starling.
Cooper Webb is also in his second round since returning from a Supercross injury suffered in Nashville at the end of their season. Claiming results of fourth and second in the two races, Webb earned 40 SuperMotocross points at Hangtown and closed in on Sexton in the WSX battle. Sexton entered Hangtown with a large enough lead that he could not be overtaken, but he is now only 38 points up and could face a difficult decision next week at Thunder Valley in Lakewood, Colorado if he wants to hold onto his lead.
Aaron Plessinger had an adventurous weekend in which he seemed to close on Lawrence in his second race before crashing and dropping to fourth. Coupled with a fifth-place finish in Moto 1, he earned 35 points and was credited with fourth overall.
Cashing in on confidence he gained in the final rounds of the Supercross season, Adam Cianciarulo earned his first top-five of the Pro Motocross championship after narrowly missing out last week with a sixth. He earned the distinction with consistent results of fifth in Moto 1 and fourth in Moto 2.
The Lawrence brothers made history last week as the first siblings to win in two Pro Motocross divisions on the same day. Fans should get accustomed to seeing this happen with some regularity as Hunter Lawrence posted identical results in Hangtown to those he had at Fox Raceway in the season opener.
In both races, Lawrence got off to a slow start in Moto 1 and had to claw his way back to the podium. He dominated Moto 2 in both rounds to earn the overall victories.
Justin Cooper did not allow Lawrence to gain much of an advantage in the Motocross points’ standings, however. Finishing second in both motos, the earned only one point less than Lawrence. His modest showing in Round 1 of the outdoor season has him 12 points out of first in the championship standings.
Haiden Deegan scored his first moto win in just his fourth start in the series. In the first race of the day, he had to withstand constant pressure from Cooper, but when his teammate closed in on him, Deegan reached down and found a little more speed. Now that he’s won one of these races, he has his sight set on challenging Lawrence for the title. Deegan is second in the Pro Motocross championship standings with a 10-point deficit to the leader.
RJ Hampshire rounded out the top five with a pair of fifth-place results and 32 points for the round. Even though the deficit is a whopping 61 points, Hampshire climbed to second in the SuperMotocross championship standings now that Jett Lawrence has moved to the big bikes.
Jalek Swoll struggled last week and finished 21st overall at Fox Raceway. This week, he finished on the cusp of 10th in both races with a ninth in Moto 1 and 11th in Moto 2. In the SuperMotocross standings, he has a lot of ground to make up. He currently sits 49th on the chart with a 70-point gap to Chance Hymas, who is on the bubble to earn a guaranteed position in the SMX Mains for the three playoff races that will be held on September.