Josef Newgarden Overtakes Pato O’Ward in the Last Lap to Win the Indianapolis 500 Twice in a Row

At Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Josef Newgarden triumphed for the second year in a row after passing Pato O’Ward on the penultimate lap to win the Indianapolis 500.

In addition, Newgarden won the 2023 Indianapolis 500, making him only the sixth driver in the 200-lap race’s history to win both races in back-to-back fashion. Helio Castroneves had done it previously, in 2001 and 2002.

The weather caused a delay, but fans who stuck around were treated to an exciting finish line spectacle: as the final lap commenced, O’Ward, one of the two Arrow McLaren cars pursuing Newgarden alongside Alexander Rossi, passed the Team Penske driver for the lead.

After his last pit stop on lap 172, O’Ward had the tires and fuel, but Newgarden had stopped three laps earlier.

To begin the last lap, he opened up a tiny space, but Newgarden was calmly waiting for him to make the proper move.

With Newgarden hard on his tail, O’Ward quickly regained the lead by popping out to the right and picking up speed.

The final nail in the coffin was that.

With another straightaway, Newgarden distanced himself from the field. As the checkered flag flew and he turned the last corner, he was raising his hand in the air, knowing he had won the race once more.

Newgarden was spotted leaping into the bleachers to join the celebration and bask in the love and applause from the crowd.

O’Ward was visibly upset when he was spotted in the pit with his Arrow McLaren team, while Newgarden was enjoying their victory. O’Ward, the 25-year-old Mexican driver who finished second in the two races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway before, leaned over his car and cried while his crew comforted him.

With Team Penske controlling the front row and colleagues Scott McLaughlin and Will Power starting first and second, respectively, Newgarden started the race in third place.

Sean Dixon, who started the race in twenty-one, finished third, and O’Ward, who started in eight, finished second. Alex Palou and Rossi completed the top five.

As he celebrated his career’s second Indianapolis 500 victory in victory lane with his crew, he drank the customary milk jug.