INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — He had a rough start on Sunday, but Juan Pablo Montoya came out on top.
The Team Penske driver won his second Indianapolis 500 in a thrilling finish that had race fans on their feet. Montoya was neck and neck with Will Power in the final minutes of the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500.
“Oh my God, that was a lot of work today,” Montoya said, following his win.
His 200 laps were hampered early on when his car suffered damage to the rear. A piece of the vehicle was dangling from the back, and he spent several minutes in the pit while crews worked to repair the car.
“We got our composure back,” Montoya said of his comeback after the issue.
Throughout the course of the race, the 39-year-old Montoya became the one to watch, as he moved his way up among the 33 drivers.
Montoya, who was born in Bogota, Colombia and now lives in Miami, Florida, drove the Target car when he won the Indy 500 in 2000, with a race speed of nearly 168 mph. It was his first attempt at the race and the only IndyCar Series start of his career, according to his biography.
PHOTOS | 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500
The 15 years between wins for Montoya is the longest stretch between wins for any Indianapolis 500 winner.
The 99th Running was anything but boring. The race was filled with crashes, some with injury, and a pit incident in which two crew members were hurt — one was released from the medical center at the track and the second was taken to an Indianapolis hospital for further treatment.
A total of eight drivers were involved in collisions throughout the race, including Sebastian Saavedra, Jack Hawksworth, rookie Stefano Coletti, Tony Kanaan, Oriol Servia, Ed Carpenter, Bryan Clauson and Sage Karam. Saavedra suffered an injury to his foot and will need to be re-evaluated before he’s cleared to drive again, health officials said.
FULL COVERAGE | Indy 500
Poll-sitter Scott Dixon dominated for most of the 200 laps. After occasionally falling back in the top five, he was up front with Montoya and Power in the final stretch.
“You’ve got to figure out how to make your move without hurting yourself,” Montoya said of taking the lead toward the end.
Dixon placed fourth, Charlie Kimball third and Power second. Ryan Hunter-Reay, champion of last year’s Indianapolis 500, came in 15th.
Sunday’s race was one that many feared wouldn’t happen, as the threat for rain loomed over most of the week prior. But on a mostly clear, warm day, hundreds of thousands of race fans turned out to see the 99th Indy 500 zoom by.
Now, it’s time to start planning the 100th.