Sage advice: You can’t win Indy 500 on first lap

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Sage Karam offered advice for avoiding that scenario next year: Don’t be a bonehead.

Karam’s comment was directed at A.J. Foyt Racing driver Takuma Sato, who tried to make it three-wide coming out of the first turn on the opening lap. Karam, who had 2014 champion Ryan Hunter-Reay underneath him, ran out of room in the middle and touched Sato’s car. Karam ended up in the wall, ending his race in 32nd.

Officially, Karam’s race lasted 3.07 seconds.

“Kind of a bonehead move. He sees me and Hunter-Reay side-by-side and on the first lap he’s trying to make it three wide,” Karam said. “He had a big run, yeah, but he doesn’t need to go popping outside on lap one, turn one. It just doesn’t make sense. It ruins a lot of people’s races, you know.”

Sato finished on the lead lap in 13th place.

“I was staying in my line outside going into turn one outside and exited outside and it all looked good,” Sato said. “(Karam) was coming up and my front wheel was already in front of his rear wheel so I could do nothing. I was sandwiched between him and the wall.”

Rough day for Coyne Racing: An unusual lead-up to the Indy 500 turned even more odd for Dale Coyne Racing on Sunday.

James Davison, driver of the No. 19 car, had another racing commitment on qualifying day so fill-in Tristain Vautier put the car on the grid for DCR. Vautier was ready to board a plane in Chicago last week when he was called back to Indy to replace Carlos Huerta in the No. 18. Huerta was bumped from the race by an ear infection.

Vautier ended up starting next to Davison in Row 11 because of the driver changes. They met again on lap 116.

Davison pulled out of his pit stall and made contact with fellow DCR teammate Pippa Mann as she come down pit lane. The contact sent Davison’s car into Vautier’s stall, located directly in front of Davison’s.

Davison’s car violently swept two Vautier pit crew members to the ground. One was treated and released at the infield car center. The other was transported to IU Health Methodist Hospital with an ankle injury.

The No. 18 and No. 19 cars both went to the garage. Davison finished 27th and Vautier 28th. Mann kept going and finished 22nd.

Penske power: The Indy 500 win was the record-extending 16th for car owner Roger Penske and first since 2009. Eleven different drivers have won in Penske cars. This was the first with Montoya. He won in 2000 driving for Ganassi.

Penske joined Ganassi as the only team owners with Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500 victories in the same season. Joey Logano won Daytona in February.

Chevy tough: Chevrolet took the top four spots and nine of the top 11. Graham Rahal and Marco Andretti gave Honda its only top-10 finishes at fifth and sixth, respectively.

Happy anniversary: The countdown has begun for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 in 2016. The race takes place on May 29.

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