Wheldon A Winner Dan Wheldon won the Indianapolis 500 in spectacular fashion on Sunday after rookie J.R. Hildebrand slammed the wall in the final turn

Race Results below
2011 ESPN Internet VenturesDan Wheldon gets stunning Indy win
Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — JR Hildebrand was one turn away from winning the Indianapolis 500 on his very first try. Then, within sight of the checkered flag, the 23-year-old Californian made the ultimate rookie mistake.

Hildebrand slammed into the wall on the final turn, and Dan Wheldon drove on past to claim an improbable Indy 500 win Sunday in his first race of the year.

Wheldon, the 2005 winner but without a full-time ride this season, appeared headed for his third straight runner-up finish as Hildebrand took the white flag with a comfortable lead and needing only to make it through the last of 200 laps around the 2½-mile speedway.

The first three turns went smoothly. Then, 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 and lost control. He slammed the wall, allowing Wheldon to drive into Victory Lane.

“I caught him in the wrong piece of track,” Hildebrand said. “I got up in the marbles and that was it.”

Hildebrand’s crumpled machine slid across the finish line in second place while hugging the wall. While Wheldon celebrated, IndyCar officials reviewed the video to see if Wheldon passed the wrecked machine before the caution lights went on. It appeared he did, giving the Brit another Indy 500 title with a part-time team.

“I just felt a lot of relief. It’s an incredible feeling,” Wheldon said. “I never gave up.”
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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Race Results
1 Dan Wheldon(leads on lap 200) 98 Honda
2 J.R. Hildebrand 4 Honda
3 Graham Rahal 38 Honda
4 Tony Kanaan 82 Honda
5 Oriol Servia 2 Honda
6 Scott Dixon 9 Honda
7 Bertrand Baguette 30 Honda
8 Tomas Scheckter 07 Honda
9 Marco Andretti 26 Honda
10 Danica Patrick 7 Honda
11 Ed Carpenter 67 Honda
12 Dario Franchitti 10 Honda
13 Charlie Kimball 83 Honda
14 Will Power 12 Honda
15 Vitor Meira 14 Honda
16 Justin Wilson 22 Honda
17 Helio Castroneves 3 Honda
18 Buddy Rice 44 Honda
19 Alex Lloyd 19 Honda
20 Pippa Mann 36 Honda
21 Ana Beatriz 24 Honda
22 John Andretti 43 Honda
23 Ryan Hunter-Reay 41 Honda
24 Davey Hamilton 11 Honda
25 Paul Tracy 23 Honda
26 Townsend Bell 99 Honda
27 Ryan Briscoe 6 Honda
28 Alex Tagliani 77 Honda
29 James Hinchcliffe 06 Honda
30 Jay Howard 88 Honda
31 Simona De Silvestro 78 Honda
32 E.J. Viso 59 Honda
33 Takuma Sato 5 Honda
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