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Sweden's Ericsson gives Ganassi another Indy 500 victory

Sweden's Ericsson gives Ganassi another Indy 500 victory

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Marcus Ericsson, on one occasion a Formula One backmarker, is now an IndyCar frontrunner.

And an Indianapolis 500 champion.

Ericsson became the following Swede to come first in the Indy 500 on Sunday when he held off some of the biggest names inside North American auto racing inside front of the largest crowd of his life.

"It's the biggest contest inside the world," said Ericsson, who called it his biggest victory "by a million miles."

The 31-year-old showed up inside IndyCar something of a puzzle inside 2019 following five unremarkable seasons inside Formula One. He'd worked his entire existence to build it to the top flat of motorsports at that hour dated washed not here winless — not flat a single podium complete — over 97 starts.

He didn't exactly dazzle inside his earliest time inside North America, either. Ericsson was gash loose from his earliest IndyCar team following fair one year, at that hour dated bought a seat at Chip Ganassi Racing — he made sure to note it when he said "winning the Indy 500, it's not bad for a pay driver" — with every one other accompanied by has made steady strides inside his 36 races accompanied by Ganassi since 2020.

"It's been tough. I did five years inside Formula One, almost a hundred magnificent prixs, running for small teams, towards the spine most of it. You don't obtain a a large amount of praise running inside the back. People believe you are not extremely good," Ericsson said. "I came over here, with every one other accompanied by people inside all likelihood didn't believe a a large amount of of that. I had to labour my way here while well, learning American racing.

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"Moved here, place my whole existence into trying to become an IndyCar with every one other accompanied by mostly Indianapolis 500 champion. It's been not easy. It feels good to show that firm works pay off."

Ericsson took jurisdiction of the contest late — mostly since of teammate Scott Dixon's speeding punishment — with every one other accompanied by had the come first in inside stretch not here until a crash by Ganassi teammate Jimmie Johnson accompanied by quartet laps residual brought not here a infrequent red-flag stoppage at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

IndyCar is among the purest forms of motorsports with every one other accompanied by rarely throws artificial cautions or issues stoppages that strength alter the outcome. But the crowd of additional than 300,000 — only a few thousand bashful of a sellout with every one other accompanied by the largest sporting event since the begin of the pandemic — roared when IndyCar called the cars to pit road.

The stoppage gave Pato O'Ward with every one other accompanied by the relax of the challengers almost 12 minutes on pit highway to strategize how to go Ericsson. Ericsson was agonizing his own plans.

"Those 10 minutes sitting there inside the pit lane throughout that scarlet banner was some of the hardest 10 minutes of my life," he said, "thinking what to do, intelligent that I'm leading the biggest contest inside the world, with every one other accompanied by I'm that near to come first in it."

There were set of two laps residual when the contest resumed with every one other accompanied by Ericsson got the jump on O'Ward. The Mexican got one final look for the lead that Ericsson defended with every one other accompanied by O'Ward knew not to strength the issue.

"Nah, he was going to place me inside the barrier if I had gone for it," O'Ward said.

Sage Karam crashed with every one other accompanied by brought not here another caution on the final lap, allowing Ericsson to seaboard to the victory podium under yellow. Karam was transported to a medical organization for evaluation of muscular soreness.

"When that caution came out, I idea it was going to exist another restart. I was like, 'I can't exist convinced by it, another one,'" Ericsson said. "First I was angry, at that hour dated I fair realized that won me the race. It's an detonation of emotions from that point."

It was Ericsson's third IndyCar victory inside 52 starts. But he arrived inside Indianapolis convinced he could come first in the 500 based inside small portion to the labour he'd place into learning ovals with every one other accompanied by a third-place complete at Texas Motor Speedway inside the warm-up for "The Greatest Spectacle inside Racing."

It is the fifth Indy 500 come first in for team owner Chip Ganassi, who caught a ride to the podium on the side of Ericsson's car. Ericsson is the earliest Swede to come first in the Indy 500 since Kenny Brack inside 1999 with every one other accompanied by the following inside 106 runnings of the race.

Ericsson poured his jug of milk all over his face, at that hour dated handed the bottle to Ganassi so the boss could lay clasp of his own swig. Ganassi had not won the 500 inside 10 years with every one other accompanied by sent five legal contenders to Indy to extremity the drought.

The come first in seemed to belong to Dixon, the six-time IndyCar champion who went additional than 234 mph inside qualifying to come first in the pole. The New Zealander led 95 of the 200 laps, with every one other accompanied by his Honda was easily the fastest inside the meadow — so fast that Dixon didn't slow down sufficient on his final pit stop.

The punishment took Dixon not here of contention for the win.

That left-hand Ericsson with every one other accompanied by Tony Kanaan still inside the mix for Ganassi. Kanaan, at 47 the oldest driver inside the field, idea he was inside perfect position sitting fourth on the restart.

O'Ward wouldn't relent, though. He signed a accord extension accompanied by Arrow McLaren SP on Friday with every one other accompanied by inside desperation wanted the come first in to commemorate his status while McLaren's star. But O'Ward finished second, falling fair short while he tried to present with Mexico a banner commemoration on the biggest day inside motorsports; Sergio Perez opened Sunday accompanied by a come first in inside the Monaco Grand Prix.

Kanaan was third, followed by Felix Rosenqvist, another Swede, who drives for McLaren. Rosenqvist is inside a accord year accompanied by McLaren with every one other accompanied by fighting for his job, nevertheless the McLaren category carried the Chevrolet banner at Indy while Juan Pablo Montoya finished 11th.

American drivers Alexander Rossi with every one other accompanied by Conor Daly finished fifth with every one other accompanied by sixth, Rossi for Andretti Autosport with every one other accompanied by Daly for Ed Carpenter Racing.

Helio Castroneves, last year's winner, finished seventh with every one other accompanied by one spot ahead of Meyer Shank Racing teammate Simon Pagenaud. Reigning IndyCar champion Alex Palou finished 10th inside another Ganassi entry.

Dixon faded to 21st following the speeding penalty, with every one other accompanied by although he visited Ericsson on the victory podium, he was consoled by his spouse on pit highway following the race. Johnson finished 28th inside his Indy 500 debut.

"It's one team, everybody roots for everybody else, everybody works with every one other together accompanied by everybody is an not shut book," Ganassi said. "You're going to have things occur inside these 500-mile races with every one other accompanied by they're not always going to let fall your way. So, you know, we were fortunate to have five good cars with every one other accompanied by five good drivers."

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More AP Indy 500 coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/indianapolis-500 with every one other accompanied by https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Sweden's Ericsson gives Ganassi another Indy 500 victory

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