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Pato O’Ward reflects on second place finish in Indy 500

Pato O’Ward reflects on second place finish in Indy 500

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — It looked like it was going to be Pato O’Ward’s day on Sunday. He overtook Josef Newgarden right as they passed the white flag in the last lap. He held that lead around Turns 1 and 2. But then came Turn 3. Newgarden closed the gap on the straightaway before and zipped around O’Ward on the outside to win the Indianapolis 500.

After the race, he sat in his car, dejected. His head, helmet still on, rested on the front of the seat of his car.

“You just can’t time when you make those moves,” O’Ward said after the race. “It was the last lap, and in hindsight, I would say ‘Go one straightaway later.’ I’m sure one day it’ll happen. It’s just really making me work for it.”

O’Ward finished in second place for the second time in three years. He also finished in second place in 2022.

He was more reflective a day later though, at Monday’s Indy 500 Victory Celebration.

“I think fighting for the win was almost not in the cards for us,” O’Ward said. “We battled all race. I wasn’t having the easiest of times, you know, taming my beast. It stings that much more because it opens a bottle of emotions that have been here before. And each time they just weigh a big heavier and heavier, right. And all we can wish for next year is just having that opportunity again, you know, and just continue knocking on the door.”

O’Ward started the race in eighth. He lead for a total of 11 laps.

He’s currently in fourth place of the NTT IndyCar Series Championship.

The IndyCar Series gets back in action on Sunday, June 2 for the Detroit Grand Prix. Last year, O’Ward finished in 26th out of 27 drivers, only completing 41 of the 100 laps.