After parking in Victory Lane, Alexander Rossi removed his helmet and sat motionless in his race car for a moment, seemingly to fully grasp what had just happened.
And why not? Rossi, 24, had won the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 as a rookie after a stunning turn of events in the closing laps.
The native of Nevada City, Calif., inherited a sizable lead after front-runners Tony Kanaan, Josef Newgarden and Carlos Munoz were forced to pull into the pits for a splash of fuel.
Rossi’s car also was running out of fuel on the final lap, and he slowed sharply as he approached the checkered flag at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.