The 105th running of the Indy 500 is officially in the books. And while Hélio Castroneves is walking away as a four-time winner, one driver had his afternoon cut short after a big crash.
There were around 135,000 fans in attendance for this year’s race. That figure puts the Indy 500 as the largest sports event since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. And all of those fans were on hand to see the good and the bad from each of the drivers.
Graham Rahal led for 18 laps before disaster struck on lap 119. The 32-year-old was coming around Turn 2, when one of his rear tires peeled off, causing him to spin out and take a hard hit into the wall. IndyCar on NBC shared footage of the Indy 500 incident on their official Twitter account.
“Graham Rahal loses a wheel and hits the wall in the #Indy500. The wheel then hits Conor Daly’s aeroscreen, but Daly is able to continue. TV: @NBC.”
Upon watching the video for ourselves, it looks like Rahal’s left rear tire was not completely attached all the way at his pit stop. That one mistake caused the driver to spin out of control. Thankfully, however, Rahal was checked for injuries and released from the infield care center.
“We had them, we had them,” Rahal said after the race. “We were just cruising, we had them today. Sorry, we didn’t win this thing because we should have.”
Rahal is a 14-year Indy 500 veteran and has two third-place finishes under his belt. One of those came just last year.
Fans React to Graham Rahal’s Indy 500 Crash
Racing fans were pretty evenly split on social media over who was at fault in the Graham Rahal crash from today’s Indy 500. Some thought that Rahal was at fault for driving off without a signal. However, others were of the belief that it could just be instinct to take off when the jack is dropped.
“It doesn’t look like anyone told Graham to go,” one fan wrote. “So it may still be on him.”
Another follower replied saying, “If the instinct/signal is to go once the jack is dropped, then it’s not him. The tire changer might’ve had an issue, but it’s not really on him either.”
Despite his day at the Indy 500 being cut short, Graham Rahal stayed positive. He took to Twitter after his day concluded early to cheer on his fellow RLL Racing teammate, Takuma Sato.
“Let’s go @TakumaSatoRacer!!! Our 15 team is heartbroken, but an @RLLracing win would help greatly. This is hurting even more knowing I was the only one good in only one more stop, all of these guys needed 2. WE HAD THEM! Thank you all for your well wishes, I am ok.”