Bruce Martin
Sunday May 25th, 2008

INDIANAPOLIS -- It's been a hard day for the rookies at the 92nd Indianapolis 500.

The latest victim is Alex Lloyd of Sheffield, England, who hit the outside of the fourth turn wall, then veered into pit lane backwards as IndyCar Series pit lane officials scattered. Lloyd's car came very close to Mario Moraes' pit crew that was being tended to in pit lane.

"It could have been a lot worse," Lloyd said.

The yellow flag allowed teams to pit under caution as teams set their strategy for the final pit stop later in the race.

Dan Wheldon, who had been one of the serious contenders in the race, developed an engine problem as his team began to take the engine cover off the car. He was sent back onto the race course in 19th place.

Further down pit lane, Tom Scheckter's outstanding run came to an end when he had to climb out of his car with a broken gear shaft. Scheckter was among the top five for much of the race and gave team owner Jay Penske hoping of contending for the win later in the race.

"I'm very disappointed, I did what I could do but the big thing now is to thank everybody possible for getting me back out front and do what I love to do," Scheckter said after shaking each crew members' hand.

Ed Carpenter was in front of the field because he did not pit. He had earlier had a gearbox problem where he couldn't get the car into neutral. But when the green flag waved on lap 159, Scott Dixon blew by Carpenter and Vitor Meira went to the outside to take second place.

By the end of that lap, Meira had passed Dixon to take over the lead.

After 400 miles, it was Meira, Dixon, Helio Castroneves, Marco Andretti, Carpenter, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Danica Patrick.

3:42 p.m. EDT

Marco Andretti is in the lead of the 92nd Indianapolis 500 -- but after playing a role in ending teammate Tony Kanaan's race, he's got some explaining to do, according to Kanaan.

Could this be the start of an Andretti Green Racing "Family Feud?"

Scott Dixon was in front at the 300-mile mark of the 500 but one lap later, Andretti sped past Dixon down the frontstretch to pull of the pass in the first turn. Tomas Scheckter was now third and Wheldon dropped to fourth with Ed Carpenter moving into the top five. Danica Patrick remained eighth.

Earlier, young Andretti was involved in a bit of controversy when he tried to pass teammate Kanaan on the inside. Kanaan was the race leader and his car had slid high in the third turn wall after he had to turn away from Andretti to keep from taking both drivers out of the race. That sent cars into the "gray" area of the race track, where little pellets of tire rubble produce what is known as "marbles."

Dixon was able to get by as did Marco Andretti as the fifth yellow flag of the race is being displayed.

Kanaan was not happy with his teammate, Andretti, who went to the inside of Kanaan's car and that forced him up the track.

"He better be sorry, it was a very stupid move, especially on a teammate," Kanaan said. "Me being a teammate, I didn't want to turn into him because it would have taken out two cars on the team. As usual, I'm the leader at halfway and don't win the race.

"My God, I feel so sorry for Sarah Fisher. She was crying so much and I feel so bad for her because they have been trying to get this effort together. I gave her a big hug and told her cry it all out then come out of here with a big smile."

Jeff Simmons became the second driver to crash under caution -- Sarah Fisher did it during the first yellow flag period -- when he wiped out on the frontstretch during the lengthy caution to clean up the debris from the Kanaan-Fisher crash.

3:20 p.m. EDT

Tony Kanaan couldn't beat the odds by winning the Indianapolis 500 for the first time in his career.

The driver from Brazil was the leader of Sunday's 92nd running at Indy at the halfway point of the race -- but six laps later, Kanaan's car slid of the third turn and was T-boned by Sarah Fisher in a vicious crash in the third turn.

Kanaan's car had slid high in the third turn wall after he had a problem on the backstretch. That sent cars into the "gray" area of the race track, where little pellets of tire rubble produce what is known as "marbles."

Indy 500 pole winner Scott Dixon was able to get by and regain the lead after 105 laps as the fifth yellow flag of the race was displayed.

"TK was surprised that Marco Andretti was there," said team owner Michael Andretti. "Should Marco have been there? I don't know. It is a shame because Tony had a really strong car."

Dan Wheldon timed his move perfectly on a restart after a caution on the 91st lap when he drag-raced down the frontstretch to pass race leader and teammate Dixon.

But that set up an opportunity for Kanaan three laps later when he passed both Dixon and Wheldon to take the lead. Kanaan has been in the lead of every Indy 500 he has ever raced in beginning in 2002. He entered Sunday's race with 202 laps led in the Indy 500 but has never taken the victory.

Kanaan was in front of Wheldon, Dixon, AGR teammate Marco Andretti and Tomas Scheckter. Danica Patrick, who dropped to as low as 13th place when her car developed a handling issue, climbed up to eighth place.

There were four yellow flags in the first 100 laps, including debris off Bruno Junqueira's car on lap 8, rookie Graham Rahal's crash in Turn 4 on lap 37, Marty Roth's crash on lap 61 and Jaime Camara's hard slam into the first and second turn walls on lap 80.

2:54 p.m. EDT

It continues to be smooth sailing for the Target/Chip Ganassi Racing duo of Scott Dixon of Auckland, New Zealand, and Dan Wheldon of Emberton, England.

The two drivers have dominated the 92nd Indianapolis 500, running 1-2 through most of the first 85 laps, which featured four caution flags.

Danica Patrick, who dropped to as low as 13th place when handling problems developed on her car, moved up to ninth after pitting with the cars on the lead lap on lap 85.

The top five at that point were Dixon, Wheldon, Tony Kanaan, Marco Andretti and Tomas Scheckter.

Then there was Jaime Camara of Brazil, clearly the "hard-luck rookie" at the Brickyard.

Camara crashed in the first week of practice leading up to Pole Day at the start of the month. That crash kept him off the track for most of the first week while the car was repaired and rain washed out several days of practice.

Then on the 80th lap of today's race, Camara had two hard hits against the wall. He slammed hard into the Turn 1 wall, bounced off and slid down the south short chute, then crashed hard into the second turn wall.

Camara was able to climb out of the race car without assistance.

2:43 EDT

Indy 500 pole winner Scott Dixon continues to lead the crash-filled 92nd Indianapolis 500 after 65 laps.

The driver from Auckland, New Zealand, was ahead of Target/Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Dan Wheldon of Emberton, England. Tony Kanaan is third followed by Marco Andretti and Tomas Scheckter.

The Indy 500 has greatly benefited from a "unified" IndyCar Series as fans have flocked back to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway making this the premier race of the day as even NASCAR President and CEO Brian France is in attendance.

France was on the starting grid in the moments leading up to the start of the 500.

Marty Roth lived up to his last-row reputation as the slowest driver in the field, crashing out on the 61st lap. The bad news for two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves was a piece of debris off Roth's crashed car that hit the front wing on Castroneves' car.

The good news for Castroneves, who is as famous for his Dancing with the Stars title last November, is he drives for Team Penske, which can repair a front nose section on an IndyCar quicker than anyone in the business.

Castroneves drove into the pits, had the front nose replaced, got an adjustment of wing angle and left in 15th position while Roth's crumpled car was still being tended to on pit lane.

2:00 p.m. EDT

A.J. Foyt IV tried to leave his pits on lap 40 but his car caught on fire.

Foyt, the grandson of four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt, had made a basic pit stop but as the car tried to leave the pits, it lurched, then stalled, then lurched again and that is when flames became visible from the highly flammable Ethanol.

Foyt got out of his race car and banged his fist repeatedly on the sidepod of his car. He is out of the race.

Foyt's flare-up came during the second caution of the race when 19-year-old Graham Rahal crashed in the fourth turn on the 37th lap. Rahal said he was held up by Alex Lloyd, who ironically was driving a car owned by Rahal's father, Bobby, in Sunday's race.

At the front of the field are the two Target/Chip Ganassi cars driven by Indy 500 pole winner Scott Dixon and Dan Wheldon. Those two cars have been at the front for most of the race with Wheldon leading 23 of the first 40 laps. Buddy Rice of Scottsdale, Arizona, led eight laps when he did not pit and Dixon led seven laps.

At lap 54, Dixon and Wheldon were the top two cars followed by Tony Kanaan and Tomas Scheckter. Marco Andretti, the 21-year-old grandson of 1969 Indy winner Mario Andretti and son of long-time Indy 500 driver Michael Andretti, is fifth.

Danica Patrick had dropped to 13th place and complained about not getting any speed out of her car as the field charged toward the 200th mile-marker of the race.

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