October 24, 2017

JR Hildebrand crashes in final turn of Indy 500 to gift victory to Wheldon

The damage to JR Hildebrands car that put him out of the race only seconds away from victory.

JR Hildebrand was one turn away from winning the Indianapolis 500 at his first attempt. Within sight of the checkered flag, the 23-year-old Californian slammed into the wall on the final turn, and Britain’s Dan Wheldon drove past to claim the Indy 500 victory in his race of the year.

Wheldon, the 2005 winner, does not have a full-time drive this season, looked like he was going to get his third straight runner-up finish until Hildebrand came up on another rookie, Charlie Kimball, in the fourth turn. Instead of backing off, Hildebrand slid to the outside, got in the rough patch of the track, lost control and slammed the wall.

Hildebrand managed to coast across the finish line for second place. New Zealand’s Scott Dixon finished sixth.