Marcus Ericsson’s heart was full after winning the Indianapolis 500 in 2022.
This year, it was heartbreak as he came less than 1/10th of a second from repeating. The victory went to first-time winner Josef Newgarden.
Ericsson, a Swedish driver who moved to Carmel four years ago, said he felt victory was snatched from him by a decision by race control officials after a third red flag came out with less than five laps to go. The sprint restart came with one lap to go.
Newgarden made a last lap pass in Turn 3 to win by 0.0974 seconds over Ericsson.
“I think there were not enough laps to go to do what we did,” Ericsson said. “I don’t think it’s safe to go out of the pits on cold tires straight on restart. I don’t think that’s a fair way to end the race. I don’t think it’s the right way. I don’t agree with that.”
Ericsson said nothing will change now, so he doesn’t plan to talk to IndyCar officials.
“I did everything I could,” he said. “I felt like I caught Josef by surprise and kept the lead, but it wasn’t enough. For sure, it’s hard to swallow.”
Ericsson said he believed the race should have ended under yellow. Ericsson said if the officials wanted a red flag, they should have started earlier.
“I knew on the last restart it was going to be almost impossible to keep the lead,” Ericsson said.
Had Ericsson won, he would have received an additional $420,000 from Borg-Warner as the first repeat winner since Helio Castroneves in 2001-02.
Conor Daly, who was born and raised in Noblesville, finished eighth. Daly, who was driving for Ed Carpenter Racing, had started 16th.
“Fought our way forward slowly but surely,” said Daly, who was sixth in 2022. “Spent most of the day in the top 10. Our car on long green flags was outstanding. We had a couple of struggles that hurt us at the end.”
Felix Rosenqvist, a Carmel resident, led 33 laps. Rosenqvist started third but finished 27th after he hit the wall on Lap 186, bringing out the first red flag. Rosenqvist’s spinning car was then hit by Kyle Kirkwood’s car.