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Simon Pagenaud fends off Alexander Rossi, wins Indy 500

By
Connor Grott
Simon Pagenaud douses himself with the traditional bottle of milk after winning the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo by Edwin Locke/UPI
Simon Pagenaud douses himself with the traditional bottle of milk after winning the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo by Edwin Locke/UPI | License Photo

May 26 (UPI) -- Simon Pagenaud sped past Alexander Rossi with under two laps to go and held on to win his first Indy 500 on Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Pagenaud's victory gave car owner Roger Penske his 18th career Indianapolis 500 win. He finished only two-tenths of a second ahead of Rossi.

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"It's hard to believe right now, to be honest with you," Pagenaud told reporters. "It's been such an intense race. I believe we led most of the race. ... It's a dream come true, a life of trying to achieve this. I'm just speechless. I never expected to be in this position but I certainly was trying to make it as hard as I could."

Rossi held the lead after the final restart of the race with 13 laps remaining. Pagenaud, who started on the pole and dominated for a majority of the first half of the race, soon retook the top spot.

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The two drivers traded the lead multiple times before Pagenaud executed a spectacular pass entering the third turn with a lap and a quarter to go and beat Rossi to the finish line.

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Takuma Sato finished third, followed by Josef Newgarden and Will Power. Scott Dixon came in 17th place and Helio Castroneves was in 18th.

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Moments from Indianapolis 500

Simon Pagenaud Wins the 103rd Indianapolis 500
Simon Pagenaud, winner of the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, celebrates during the traditional photo shoot at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Monday. Photo by Mike Gentry/UPI

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