When Marcus Ericsson won the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, he had to quit Formula One to become a global sensation. Marcus Ericsson hung on to win the 106th Indianapolis 500 following a late restart, making it one of the most thrilling finishes in recent memory.
Jimmie Johnson’s crash with four laps remaining brought out a rare red-flag halt at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, allowing Ericsson to take control of the race and put Chip Ganassi Racing in a position to win. It is rare for fake cautions or stoppages to be issued in IndyCar, one of the purest forms of motorsport. A crowd of more than 300,000 roared as IndyCar called the cars to the pits, which was the largest sporting event since the pandemic began. Pato O’Ward and the other competitors had almost 12 minutes on pit road to plot their strategy for catching Ericsson and winning the race.
It was only two circuits remaining when the race was restarted, and Ericsson had a commanding lead over O’Ward. O’Ward and Ericsson knew not to push the issue with the Mexican, who had one final look at the lead that Ericsson had defended. Chip Ganassi, the owner of Ganassi Racing, won his seventh Indianapolis 500 on the side of Ericsson’s car. Ericsson is only the second Swedish driver to win the Indianapolis 500 in the 106-race history of the race. Despite IndyCar’s ongoing struggle with Formula 1 for the interest of open-wheel racing fans, the dramatic finish occurred in front of a packed audience — the 500’s first in two years because of the epidemic.