Aug 23, 2020; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; IndyCar Series driver Takuma Sato celebrates with the milk after winning the 104th Running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

A late crash where Spencer Pigot crashed into the end of the pit wall resulted in Takuma Sato becoming a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner. The 2017 winner, Sato passed the dominant Scott Dixon right before the caution came out with 5 to go and snuck by with the win.

The start was rather eventful. Zach Veech pinched Ed Carpenter into the wall in Turn 1 of Lap 1. And then a few laps later, James Davison had a brake rotor explode on his right front tire, causing big flames to come out of the car.

Dixon dominated, especially in the first half of the race, and the only one to keep up with him on race pace in the first half was Rossi. Rossi suffered a setback when he missed pit road and wound up being separated from Dixon.

On a restart just before halfway, Conor Daly tried to cut it tight and got it too tight, catching himself on the cement strip inside the turn and spinning. Through all the smoke, Oliver Askew tried to miss the spinning Daly and took on a nasty hit on the inside wall. Askew admitted he was shaken up, which is completely understandable, but was okay.

Alex Palou was having a strong run but his Indy 500 run ended on Lap 122 to effectively hand the Indy Rookie of the Year title to Pato O’Ward.

Rossi was Dixon’s biggest competition but on the ensuing pit stop, Rossi was black flagged for an unsafe release when he almost hit Sato and was sent to the back of the pack. Rossi tried to march through the field but he got loose coming out of Turn 2 and went straight into the wall.

With Rossi out, Sato got up to Dixon to take the lead late. He and Dixon were 1-2 heading into the final laps which came to a halt when Pigot crahed. The crash was rather innocent but when he hit the attenuator at the end of pit road, it resulted in an ugly crash that left a mess. Pigot was shaken up and was taken to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis but he was awake and alert.

In what will be a controversial decision, IndyCar officials didn’t throw a red flag to try and have a green flag finish. The decision to not red flag the race ensured Sato his second ‘500 win. A former Formula 1 racer who finished on the podium at Indianapolis, Sato became the 20th multi-time winner. Sato became the first Japanese racer to win the Indy 500 and he is now the first Japanese racer to have multiple wins at the Brickyard.

For Dixon, this has to be a letdown for him. He was solidly up front in every practice and qualifying session. He was up front the entire race and then he fell back to 2nd and finished there. Dixon is dominating the IndyCar Series and will likely win the championship, but for the 2008 Indy 500 winner, he will remember this one for a while.

About Phillip Bupp

Producer/editor of the Awful Announcing Podcast and Short and to the Point. News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. Highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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