Honda won the Indy 500 at its first attempt when Buddy Rice took the chequered flag in the rain-shortened race on Sunday. The Japanese manufacturer also took the top seven finishing positions.

Honda won the Indy 500 at its first attempt when Buddy Rice took the chequered flag in the rain-shortened race on Sunday. The Japanese manufacturer also took the top seven finishing positions.


Rice took the lead on the 151st lap, held it through a pit-stop cycle, during which raindrops threatened to bring out the yellow flag, and held on to win. But his victory was hard-fought, Rice stalled his engine during a pit stop and dropped from the lead to eighth place. But in the span of 19 laps, he fought back from seventh back into the lead.


Tony Kanaan finished second and led a 2-3-4 finish by Andretti Green Racing, with Dan Wheldon finishing third and Bryan Herta fourth. Bruno Junqueira finished fifth, Vitor Meira sixth and Adrian Fernandez seventh.


Scott Dixon, who finished eighth, drove the highest-finishing Toyota. Alex Barron, 12th, drove the highest-finishing Chevy. Panoz G Force prevailed in the chassis battle with Dallara, putting seven cars in the top 11.


Rice, who was fired by Eddie Cheever with three races left last season, wondered about his future until Rahal contacted him and offered the chance to fill in until Kenny Brack recovered from injury. After winning the pole position at the season opener at Homestead-Miami Speedway in February, it became apparent that Rice would become a more permanent fixture with his new team.


Several drivers led the early portions of the race, which was delayed nearly two hours because of rain and stopped 20 laps short of full distance because of another shower.


South African Tomas Scheckter finished in 18th position, and said: "The Pennzoil Panther got loose on me during the late stages of the race.


"The car felt great during a good part of the day, but then it really started to get away from us. Say what you want about the other engines out there, but our Chevrolet was great. I was making passes on the high side against some of the fastest cars on the track. It was a disappointing finish, but you can't say enough about how hard the Panther guys worked this month."


Scheckter ran inside the top ten during the race, and completed one of the most impressive moves of the day. While running in 15th late in the race, he exited turn three behind a cluster of cars. The Pennzoil Panther machine took the high side in a group of cars running four-wide, and by the time Scheckter's car had entered the front-stretch the South African had passed five cars. The move jumped Tomas from 15th up to 10th place.

Original article from Car