SPEEDWAY — Following in the footsteps laid by Sweden’s Kenny Bräck more than 20 years ago, Marcus Ericsson is any Indy 500 champion.
Ericsson capitalized on a speeding penalty late by Scott Dixon, who dominated much of the first 180 laps of the race.
After a crash by Jimmie Johnson with six laps to go, the field stopped for a red flag. A two-lap shootout to win the race ended with Ericsson heading to victory lane.
"I had to work for it for sure," Ericsson said. "(This is the biggest win of my career) By a million miles."
The win is Ericsson’s third IndyCar Series win and first-ever on an oval.
"I always thought ovals would suit me," Ericsson said. "Coming up in Europe I enjoyed the highspeed courses, so I thought ovals would suit me. I learned quickly that oval racing means you have to get the small details right. I had great teachers with Hinch at Schmidt Peterson then Dixie (Scott Dixon), TK (Tony Kanaan), Jimmie (Johnson) and Alex (Palou)."
Before coming to IndyCar, Ericsson spent six years in Formula One.
"I put my whole life into being here and becoming an Indianapolis 500 champion," Ericsson said.
He is the second-ever Swedish-born Indy 500 champion. Kenny Bräck was the first in 1999.
During the press conference with media following the win, Kenny Bräck joined via Zoom to congratulate Ericsson.
"You do not know what this means for your career yet," Bräck said. "You deserved this."
Five drivers crashed during the race. Rinus Veekay, Callum Ilott, Jimmie Johnson and Romain Grosjean each crashed in turn two and Scott McLaughlin crashed in turn three.
Their crashes were the only five cautions in the race.
Helio Castroneves finished 7th in his first attempt at a fifth Indy 500 win.
Full unofficial top 10 finishers:
1.) Marcus Ericsson
2.) Pato O' Ward
3.) Tony Kanaan
4.) Felix Rosenqvist
5.) Alexander Rossi
6.) Conor Daly
7.) Helio Castroneves
8.) Simon Pagenaud
9.) Alex Palou
10.) Santino Ferrucci