|Indianapolis Motor Speedway|
|Season||2011 IndyCar season|
|Date||May 29, 2011|
|Winning team||Bryan Herta Autosport|
|Average speed||170.265 mph (274.015 km/h)|
|Pole position||Alex Tagliani|
|Fastest qualifier||Alex Tagliani|
|Rookie of the Year||J. R. Hildebrand|
|Most laps led||Scott Dixon (73)|
|National anthem||Seal, Kelly Clarkson, and David Foster|
|"Back Home Again in Indiana"||Jim Nabors|
|Starting Command||Mari Hulman George|
|Pace car||Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible|
|Pace car driver||A. J. Foyt|
|Honorary starter||Bruce P. Crandall|
|Estimated attendance||Est. 300,000+|
|TV in the United States|
|Announcers||Marty Reid, Scott Goodyear, Eddie Cheever|
The 95th Indianapolis 500 was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana on Sunday May 29, 2011. The race was part of the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series season. The track opened for practice on May 14 and time trials were held from May 21 to 22. The race was won by Dan Wheldon (his second after winning the 2005 race) and this was the last win of his racing career. Alex Tagliani won the pole position. It was the first of two Indy victories for car owner Bryan Herta.
American rookie J. R. Hildebrand of Panther Racing took the lead with two laps to go. As the leaders were frantically cycling through pit stops, Hildebrand was nursing a car very low on fuel. He was attempting to stretch his tank to the finish line and hold on for a shocking, upset victory. It would have been the long-awaited first Indy 500 win for Panther Racing, after three consecutive runner-up finishes, and two series championships. On the final turn of the final lap, Hildebrand went high to pass the slow car of Charlie Kimball, having little choice but to lap him the outside lane. Hildebrand drifted up into the marbles in turn four, and smacked the outside wall, equivalent to the way Tomas Scheckter did in 2002 when he was in the lead. As his wrecked car was coasting down the frontstretch, Dan Wheldon slipped by in the final 1,000 feet to take the victory. Hildebrand slid across the finish line to finish second. Four months later, Wheldon was killed in a crash in the IZOD IndyCar World Championship at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, driving the car Tagliani had qualified on the pole in.
The race was the culmination of the three-year-long Centennial era, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the opening of the track (1909) and the 100th anniversary of the inaugural race in 1911. Throughout May, the race was advertised as the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 and the Centennial Indianapolis 500. Since the race was suspended during World War I and World War II, the 100th running of the 500 would not be held until 2016.
See Team and driver chart for more information
On April 15, 2011, the Official Entry List was released, featuring 83 cars for 42 entries. As of April 15, thirty-five car/driver combinations had been announced. On May 9, a revised version of the entry list was released. The entry from China Racing was withdrawn. The final list includes 79 cars for 41 entries.
Since the Indy 500 was the first oval race of the 2011 season, per IndyCar regulations, rookies who have not competed on an oval were required to take part in Pre-Indy Oval testing. Scott Speed and Ho-Pin Tung, along with Wade Cunningham (who didn't race Indy but participated at Texas) completed the test at Chicagoland Speedway on May 9.Speed was legally exempt from this test because of previous high-speed oval experience in ARCA and NASCAR, but chose to test with his teammate to learn the car.
|1||4||J. R. Hildebrand||Panther Racing||221.533|
|2||8||Ho-Pin Tung||Dragon Racing||220.477|
|3||06||James Hinchcliffe||Newman/Haas Racing||219.602|
|1||67||Ed Carpenter||Sarah Fisher Racing||224.786|
|2||9T||Scott Dixon||Chip Ganassi Racing||224.491|
|3||4T||J. R. Hildebrand||Panther Racing||224.433|
|1||77||Alex Tagliani||Sam Schmidt Motorsports||225.878|
|2||9||Scott Dixon||Chip Ganassi Racing||225.124|
|3||38||Graham Rahal||Chip Ganassi Racing||225.071|
|1||26||Marco Andretti||Andretti Autosport||220.656|
|2||27||Mike Conway||Andretti Autosport||219.910|
|1||12||Will Power||Team Penske||227.778|
|2||77||Alex Tagliani||Sam Schmidt Motorsports||227.652|
|3||6||Ryan Briscoe||Team Penske||227.217|
|1||3||Hélio Castroneves||Team Penske||228.611|
|2||77||Alex Tagliani||Sam Schmidt Motorsports||228.327|
|3||9||Scott Dixon||Chip Ganassi Racing||228.181|
|1||77||Alex Tagliani||Sam Schmidt Motorsports||228.184|
|2||44||Buddy Rice||Panther Racing||227.849|
|3||12||Will Power||Team Penske||227.766|
|1||77||Alex Tagliani||Sam Schmidt Motorsports||227.472 mph (366 km/h)||15|
|2||9||Scott Dixon||Chip Ganassi Racing||227.340 mph (366 km/h)||13|
|3||2||Oriol Servià||Newman/Haas Racing||227.168 mph (366 km/h)||12|
|4||99||Townsend Bell||Sam Schmidt Motorsports||226.887 mph (365 km/h)||11|
|5||12||Will Power||Team Penske||226.773 mph (365 km/h)||10|
|6||98||Dan Wheldon||Bryan Herta Autosport||226.490 mph (365 km/h)||9|
|7||44||Buddy Rice||Panther Racing||225.786 mph (363 km/h)||8|
|8||67||Ed Carpenter||Sarah Fisher Racing||225.121 mph (362 km/h)||7|
|9||10||Dario Franchitti||Chip Ganassi Racing||No time||6|
|10||5||Takuma Sato||KV Racing Technology - Lotus||225.736 mph (363 km/h)||4|
|11||14||Vitor Meira||A. J. Foyt Enterprises||225.590 mph (363 km/h)||4|
|12||4||J. R. Hildebrand (R)||Panther Racing||225.579 mph (363 km/h)||4|
|13||06||James Hinchcliffe (R)||Newman/Haas Racing||225.572 mph (363 km/h)||4|
|14||30||Bertrand Baguette||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||225.285 mph (363 km/h)||4|
|15||11||Davey Hamilton||Dreyer & Reinbold Racing||225.250 mph (363 km/h)||4|
|16||3||Hélio Castroneves||Team Penske||225.216 mph (362 km/h)||4|
|17||43||John Andretti||Andretti Autosport||224.981 mph (362 km/h)||4|
|18||59||E. J. Viso||KV Racing Technology - Lotus||224.732 mph (362 km/h)||4|
|19||41||Bruno Junqueira||A. J. Foyt Enterprises||224.691 mph (362 km/h)||4|
|20||22||Justin Wilson||Dreyer & Reinbold Racing||224.511 mph (361 km/h)||4|
|21||88||Jay Howard (R)||Sam Schmidt Motorsports||224.483 mph (361 km/h)||4|
|22||07||Tomas Scheckter||SH Racing||224.433 mph (361 km/h)||4|
|23||82||Tony Kanaan||KV Racing Technology - Lotus||224.417 mph (361 km/h)||4|
|24||78T||Simona de Silvestro||HVM Racing||224.392 mph (361 km/h)||4|
|1||83||Charlie Kimball||Chip Ganassi Racing||226.822 mph (365 km/h)|
|2||7||Danica Patrick||Andretti Autosport||226.252 mph (364 km/h)|
|3||26||Marco Andretti||Andretti Autosport||226.181 mph (364 km/h)|
|25||23||Paul Tracy||Dreyer & Reinbold Racing||224.939 mph (362 km/h)||3|
|26||7||Danica Patrick||Andretti Autosport||224.861 mph (362 km/h)||3|
|27||6T||Ryan Briscoe||Team Penske||224.639 mph (362 km/h)||3|
|28||26||Marco Andretti||Andretti Autosport||224.628 mph (362 km/h)||3|
|29||83||Charlie Kimball (R)||Chip Ganassi Racing||224.499 mph (361 km/h)||3|
|30||38||Graham Rahal||Chip Ganassi Racing||224.380 mph (361 km/h)||3|
|31||19||Alex Lloyd||Dale Coyne Racing||223.957 mph (360 km/h)||3|
|32||36||Pippa Mann (R)||Conquest Racing||223.936 mph (360 km/h)||3|
|33||24||Ana Beatriz||Dreyer & Reinbold Racing||223.879 mph (360 km/h)||3|
|1||9||Scott Dixon||Chip Ganassi Racing||225.474|
|2||77||Alex Tagliani||Sam Schmidt Motorsports||224.739|
|3||10||Dario Franchitti||Chip Ganassi Racing||224.658|
(W) = Former Indianapolis 500 winner; (R) = Indianapolis 500 rookie
|1||77||Alex Tagliani||9||Scott Dixon (W)||2||Oriol Servià|
|2||99||Townsend Bell||12||Will Power||98||Dan Wheldon (W)|
|3||44||Buddy Rice (W)||67||Ed Carpenter||10||Dario Franchitti (W)|
|4||5||Takuma Sato||14||Vitor Meira||4||J. R. Hildebrand (R)|
|5||06||James Hinchcliffe (R)||30||Bertrand Baguette||11||Davey Hamilton|
|6||3||Hélio Castroneves (W)||43||John Andretti||59||E. J. Viso|
|7||22||Justin Wilson||88||Jay Howard (R)||07||Tomas Scheckter|
|8||82||Tony Kanaan||78||Simona de Silvestro||23||Paul Tracy|
|9||7||Danica Patrick||6||Ryan Briscoe||26||Marco Andretti|
|10||83||Charlie Kimball (R)||38||Graham Rahal||19||Alex Lloyd|
|11||36||Pippa Mann (R)||24||Ana Beatriz||41||Ryan Hunter-Reay1|
Failed to qualify
|8||Ho-Pin Tung (R)||Dragon Racing||Crashed during qualifying attempt on Pole Day, not medically cleared to continue taking part in qualifying.|
|17||Raphael Matos||AFS Racing||Bumped from the field, too slow to re-qualify.|
|18||James Jakes (R)||Dale Coyne Racing||Bumped from the field, too slow to re-qualify.|
|20|| Scott Speed (R)
|Dragon Racing||Speed did not attempt to qualify on Pole Day.|
Team withdrew on Bump Day after Carpentier crashed and the team could not secure a back-up car.
|27||Mike Conway||Andretti Autosport||Bumped from the field, too slow to re-qualify.|
|28||Ryan Hunter-Reay||Andretti Autosport||Bumped from the field - replaced Bruno Junqueira in the #41.|
|34||Sebastián Saavedra||Conquest Racing||Bumped from the field, too slow to re-qualify.|
The 95th running of the Indianapolis 500 began at 12:00 PM EDT on a hot, muggy day, shortly after the traditional pre-race ceremonies of the invocation, national anthem, and the singing Back Home Again in Indiana by Jim Nabors. Mari Hulman George gave the starting command around 12:05 PM, as the cars took two parade laps and one pace lap, led by four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A. J. Foyt, who was driving the pace car. The green flag came out to see Scott Dixon pass by pole-sitter Alex Tagliani to take the early lead in the race. The first 20 laps of the race saw a relatively smooth pace set in. Unlike past years there was no accident in the first two laps, with the first caution coming out on Lap 18 when Takuma Sato made contact with the wall. During the first caution period many team made pit-stops including Will Power who left the pit area and drove a lap without a left-rear tire, which all but eliminated the IndyCar points leader from having an opportunity to win the race.
Shortly following the green flag restart (which was changed to a two-car abreast start during the drivers meetings) Sato's teammate, E. J. Viso was turned heading into turn 1 by James Hinchcliffe and was the next driver to make contact with the wall and eliminate himself from the race. Following the cleanup and restart after Viso's crash saw the field taking shape and aligning themselves for the long 400+ miles remaining. Simona de Silvestro, who was burned in a crash earlier in the month, was not able to pick up speed in her back-up car and quickly fell from 23rd position, to last. On lap 44, it was clear that the car would not be able to keep up with the field, she was called into the pits and her day was over.
Defending winner Dario Franchitti, along with Scott Dixon, Alex Tagliani, and Oriol Servià all began to take their places at the top of the field with each of them leading more than 10 laps in the race respectively. Later accidents occurred with rookies Jay Howard and James Hinchcliffe. Howard lost a right-rear wheel on lap 61, while Hinchcliffe slid high in turn 3 and bounced off the wall at the halfway mark.
Following James Hinchcliffe's crash on lap 101, the green flag remained out for over 40 laps as many different drivers shared the lead and got in position for the shootout in the final 10. On lap 148, it was the pole-sitter Alex Tagliani who would be called into pit lane after making slight contact with the wall. Tagliani, who had not had a good day, started in first, fell all the way down to 12th before the crash, was finished for the day, with his final finish position being 28th. One of the few multi-car crashes of the day occurred on lap 158 between Ryan Briscoe and Townsend Bell. Up to that point in the day, Team Penske had been running slow and really did not have a good shot at any of their drivers winning the race, and with the crash and elimination of Ryan Briscoe all hope seemed gone as Hélio Castroneves and Will Power were both down due to bad pit stops and slow cars. With no more lengthy cautions the remainder of the race it turned into a fight for the lead as the laps dwindled down.
As the race prepared to go back to green on lap 164, a handful of drivers ducked into the pit area to top off their fuel, in hopes of going the distance without another pit stop. Dario Franchitti and J. R. Hildebrand were among those who gave up their track position, and topped off their fuel.
For the first time in his Indy career, Graham Rahal took the lead of the race and held it for six laps. However, he lost a battle to Scott Dixon and was forced to a pit stop which dropped out of the top five. However, he was able to finish the race in third place. Tony Kanaan also saw his flirt with Indy glory as he made his way all from the middle of the pack to second place at one point, but was forced as well to drop on a pit stop with less than 20 laps to go. As the race came to down to its final 15 laps, it was still Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti, two Chip Ganassi Racing cars and former winners, who looked like they would win the race. However, late in the race after a series of pit stops by most in the lead, it was an unlikely Bertrand Baguette who would lead the race as the action came to it climax. Baguette was expected to pit again but as the laps dwindled down and he did not come in, it became increasingly likely that this new face would win the race.
The final 10 laps became a battle between Baguette, Franchitti, and rookie J. R. Hildebrand (all of whom were all trying to stretch their fuel to the finish), as well as Dixon and Dan Wheldon behind but good to the finish having recently pitted. With three laps to go, Baguette pitted for fuel and Franchitti continued to slow to conserve fuel. This gave the lead to Hildebrand while Franchitti continued to fade, falling behind Dixon and the charging Wheldon. As the field was given the white flag, it seemed all but certain a rookie would win the 500 for the first time since Castroneves won it in 2001. Hildebrand moved his way down into the north short chute and down into turn four. Coming in on the front stretch, Hildebrand went high to avoid the slower car of Charlie Kimball, who was on the inside line, and collided with the wall. Without steering and on only three wheels, the car slid down the frontstretch towards the finish line. Dan Wheldon, who was second, skirted by in the final 1,000 feet, and crossed the line to win the race. Hildebrand continued to slide, and crossed the finish line in second.
Dan Wheldon became the 18th person to win two or more Indianapolis 500's, his first coming in 2005. The 200th lap was the only one he led in the race, breaking Joe Dawson's 99-year-old record for the fewest laps led by an Indy winner. As he took to victory lane, he celebrated with the traditional ceremonies of the wreath, glass of milk, and the presentation of the Borg Warner Trophy. As the celebration was occurring, his former team Panther Racing considered filing for a review, stating that Wheldon made an illegal pass during the yellow on Hildebrand's car. In the end, video showed that the yellow did not come out until after Wheldon had passed, and even if it would have come out before the pass, the president of competition ruled that Hildebrand's car was a "wounded car", and was therefore allowed to be passed in the race.
|1||98||Dan Wheldon (W)||Bryan Herta Autosport||Dallara/Honda/Firestone||200||2:56:11.7267||6||1||59|
|2||4||J. R. Hildebrand (R)||Panther Racing||Dallara/Honda/Firestone||200||+2.1086||12||7||44|
|3||38||Graham Rahal||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dallara/Honda/Firestone||200||+5.5949||29||6||38|
|4||82||Tony Kanaan||KV Racing Technology - Lotus||Dallara/Honda/Firestone||200||+7.4870||22||0||36|
|5||9||Scott Dixon (W)1||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dallara/Honda/Firestone||200||+9.5434||2||73||45|
|6||2||Oriol Servià1||Newman/Haas Racing||Dallara/Honda/Firestone||200||+9.5435*
|7||30||Bertrand Baguette||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||Dallara/Honda/Firestone||200||+23.9631||14||11||30|
|8||07||Tomas Scheckter||SH Racing||Dallara/Honda/Firestone||200||+24.3299||21||0||28|
|9||26||Marco Andretti||Andretti Autosport||Dallara/Honda/Firestone||200||+25.7411||27||0||25|
|10||7||Danica Patrick||Andretti Autosport||Dallara/Honda/Firestone||200||+26.4483||25||10||23|
|11||67||Ed Carpenter||Sarah Fisher Racing||Dallara/Honda/Firestone||200||+27.0375||8||3||26|
|12||10||Dario Franchitti (W)||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dallara/Honda/Firestone||200||+56.4167||9||51||24|
|13||83||Charlie Kimball (R)||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dallara/Honda/Firestone||199||+1 lap||28||0||20|
|14||12||Will Power||Team Penske||Dallara/Honda/Firestone||199||+1 lap||5||0||26|
|15||14||Vitor Meira||A. J. Foyt Enterprises||Dallara/Honda/Firestone||199||+1 lap||11||0||19|
|16||22||Justin Wilson||Dreyer & Reinbold Racing||Dallara/Honda/Firestone||199||+1 lap||19||0||18|
|17||3||Hélio Castroneves (W)||Team Penske||Dallara/Honda/Firestone||199||+1 lap||16||0||17|
|18||44||Buddy Rice (W)||Panther Racing||Dallara/Honda/Firestone||198||+2 laps||7||0||20|
|19||19||Alex Lloyd||Dale Coyne Racing||Dallara/Honda/Firestone||198||+2 laps||30||0||15|
|20||36||Pippa Mann (R)||Conquest Racing||Dallara/Honda/Firestone||198||+2 laps||31||0||15|
|21||24||Ana Beatriz||Dreyer & Reinbold Racing||Dallara/Honda/Firestone||197||+3 laps||32||0||15|
|22||43||John Andretti||Andretti Autosport||Dallara/Honda/Firestone||197||+3 laps||17||0||16|
|23||41||Ryan Hunter-Reay2||A. J. Foyt Enterprises||Dallara/Honda/Firestone||197||+3 laps||33||0||12|
|24||11||Davey Hamilton||Dreyer & Reinbold Racing||Dallara/Honda/Firestone||193||+7 laps||15||0||16|
|25||23||Paul Tracy||Dreyer & Reinbold Racing||Dallara/Honda/Firestone||175||+25 laps||24||0||13|
|26||99||Townsend Bell||Sam Schmidt Motorsports||Dallara/Honda/Firestone||157||Contact||4||0||21|
|27||6||Ryan Briscoe||Team Penske||Dallara/Honda/Firestone||157||Contact||26||0||13|
|28||77||Alex Tagliani||Sam Schmidt Motorsports||Dallara/Honda/Firestone||147||Contact||1||20||25|
|29||06||James Hinchcliffe (R)||Newman/Haas Racing||Dallara/Honda/Firestone||99||Contact||13||0||14|
|30||88||Jay Howard (R)||Sam Schmidt Motorsports||Dallara/Honda/Firestone||60||Contact||20||0||14|
|31||78||Simona de Silvestro||HVM Racing||Dallara/Honda/Firestone||44||Handling||23||0||14|
|32||59||E. J. Viso||KV Racing Technology - Lotus||Dallara/Honda/Firestone||27||Contact||18||0||14|
|33||5||Takuma Sato||KV Racing Technology - Lotus||Dallara/Honda/Firestone||20||Contact||10||0||14|
|Lead changes: 23 among 10 drivers|
|OFFICIAL RACE REPORT|
The race had 23 lead changes among 10 drivers.
Typically, the presentation of the Borg-Warner Trophy replicas ("Baby Borg") for the driver and owner takes place in January in Detroit during the North American International Auto Show, but Wheldon was killed at Las Vegas in October. Car owners Bryan Herta and Steve Newey, along with Wheldon's widow Susie, were presented in Detroit with their trophies.
The Indianapolis 500-winning car, Dallara IR3007, was the seventh chassis made by Dallara Automobili from the 2003 specifications. Originally a Panther Racing car, it was sold to Adrian Fernandez and later Marty Roth, before FAZZT bought the car in 2010, which became Sam Schmidt Motorsports' car in 2011 when it was used to win the Indianapolis 500. It was raced the next race at Texas Motor Speedway as a Sam Schmidt Motorsports #99 for Wade Cunningham, who crashed it in the first of the Twin 275 km races. The car has been rebuilt and restored in 2011 Indianapolis 500 condition as part of a Wheldon tribute. (Andretti Autosport owns the other Wheldon winner, and is restoring that car too in 2005 Indianapolis 500 race-winning trim.)
The race was televised in high definition in the United States on ABC, the 47th consecutive year on that network. Marty Reid served as anchor. The telecast utilized the Side-by-Side format for commercial breaks. In the Indianapolis market, the live broadcast was blacked out on WRTV, and shown same-day tape delay in prime time. In some markets in northern Indiana, the final 15 laps of the race were not shown due to a weather bulletin.
The race received a 4.3 overnight rating on ABC, up 7% over 2010. The top local markets included Indianapolis (14.5), Dayton (10.5), and Ft. Meyers/Naples (8.5). The final rating was 4.0 with 6.711 million viewers, up 11% in ratings and 16% in viewership compared to 2010.
|Booth Announcers||Pit/garage reporters|
Dr. Jerry Punch
Time trials and Carb Day were covered live in the United States on Versus. The announcing team consisted of Bob Jenkins, Jon Beekhuis and Wally Dallenbach, Jr. Pit reporters included Lindy Thackston, Marty Snider, and Kevin Lee. Robin Miller serves as analyst and "insider."
Daily practice was streamed live over the internet.
The race was broadcast on radio by the IMS Radio Network. Mike King served as anchor. The broadcast reached approximately 400 affiliates, as well as AFN, the LeSEA broadcasting network, and World Harvest Radio. The broadcast was carried on XM channel 145 and on Sirius channel 212 through the "Best of XM" package.
After eliminating the position for 2010, the turn one location was brought back for the broadcast. Jerry Baker reprised his role in turn 1. The position was brought back in response to the league adopting double-wide restarts. Kenny Brack returned as "driver expert," joining the booth in-progress after participating in various pre-race festivities.
In 2010, drivers from the starting field were used to recite the famous out-cue "Stay tuned for the greatest spectacle in racing." For 2011, in celebration of the Centennial Era, the out-cues for each commercial break were recordings of previous renditions by the former "Voices of the 500." Each commercial break would feature a different chief announcer, rotating through Sid Collins, Paul Page, Lou Palmer, Bob Jenkins, and Mike King. This format was also used in 2009.
|Booth Announcers||Turn Reporters||Pit/garage reporters|
Turn 1: Jerry Baker
|Michael Young (north pits)|
Nick Yeoman (center pits)
Kevin Lee (south pits)
Dave Wilson (garages)