Sato wins the 104th Indy 500, Alonso finishes in 21th place

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Takuma Sato emerged victorious at the action-packed 104th running of the Indy500 race. Two-time Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso finished his third Indy500 appearance in 21th position.

At the start, Scott Dixon took over the lead as pole-sitter Marco Andretti dropped to third. Just as the New Zealander started to build up a bit of a gap, James Davison encountered technical problems. The front right brake system on his Dale Coyne Racing car caught fire, and he had to stop his machine on the track. The pace car was deployed.

At the restart, Ryan Hunter-Reay jumped to second. On lap 25, Marcus Ericsson clipped the wall, damaging the right side of his Chip Ganassi Racing car. Another yellow flag was deployed. Using the pace car period, multiple drivers opted to pit for new boots and fuel, including race leader Dixon.

At the restart, Arrow McLaren SP driver Oliver Askew found himself at the front, but Simon Pagenaud quickly jumped to the top. The Frenchman and the American dived into the pits on lap 45, handing over the lead to Will Power. The lead of Team Penske’s Australian did not last long as he visited the pit lane just two laps later.

Following the pit stops, Dixon found himself back at the front on lap 49. Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi was chasing down the championship leader. Rookie driver Rinus VeeKay was holding the third place, six seconds behind the race leader.

On lap 60, the 2017 Indy500 winner Takuma Sato passed Hunter-Reay to improve to fourth place. In the meantime, two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso was driving down in 20th spot.

Dixon pitted on lap 64 for fuel and new Firestone tyres. On lap 77, the trio of Power, Castroneves and Pagenaud decided to pit.

On lap 85, Dalton Kellett hit the wall and was forced to park his car on the track. Another yellow flag was deployed, bringing out the Corvette Stingray coupe pace car to the circuit. Most of the drivers capitalized on the latest pace car period, pitting for new boots and some fuel.

At the restart, Conor Daly clipped the inside concrete part of the track and lost the back end of his Ed Carpenter Racing car. Trying to avoid the incident, Oliver Askew braked hard, which made his car light at the rear. As a result, the American crashed heavily into the concrete walls. Another yellow flag was deployed.

On lap 103, Rossi took over the lead from Dixon. Three laps later, the New Zealander retook the lead, but Rossi flew back to the top on the next lap only to lose the lead again to Dixon a lap later.

On lap 122, the rookie Dale Coyne Racing driver Alex Palou hit the wall, wrecking his car into pieces. The race director enforced another yellow flag period to give marshal time to clear the track. Most of the drivers took the opportunity to dive into the pits. Rossi and Sato touched each other while battling for positions in the pit lane.

At the restart, Felix Rosenqvist led the way, but he was quickly denied by Dixon. The Sweden pitted for new tyres and fuel on lap 138.

On lap 144, Rossi lost control over his car and crashed into the walls, enforcing another yellow flag period. At the restart, Dixon defended his lead from Sato. The former F1 driver jumped to the front on lap 158 as Dixon started to save fuel.

On lap 168, Marco Andretti came into the pits for his final planned stop. On the following lap, Sato and Newgarden both pitted for the final time, followed by Dixon on the next lap. The New Zealander came out in front of the Sato and Newgarden, but the Japanese driver passed him a three laps later.

In the closing stages, Sato managed to escape a bit from Dixon, but he encountered heavy traffic with eight laps to go. With five laps to go, Spencer Pigot suffered a heavy crash with the incident enforcing another caution period.

The race did not restart, drivers completed the last laps behind the pace car. Takuma Sato clinched his second Indy 500 victory with Scott Dixon and Graham Rahal completing the podium.