“He’s a man of the people.” – Leigh Diffey on Newgarden running into the grandstands after winning the Indy 500
“I’ve seen people go up the fence – I wanted to go through the fence. I wanted to celebrate with the people…it was a dream of mine.” – Josef Newgarden to reporter Marty Snider
“19 Wins, and he owns the place? He really, really owns this place.” – Danica Patrick on Roger Penske
“I think we’re going to see the most intense Indy 500 in history.” – Townsend Bell, prior to the start of today’s race
STAMFORD, Conn. – May 28, 2023 – Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden surged past defending champion Marcus Ericsson on the final lap – then ran into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway grandstands to celebrate with 300,000-plus fans – as he won the 107th Running of the Indianapolis 500 on NBC, Peacock and Universo in dramatic fashion, capturing the “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” for the first time in his career.
NBC Sports’ lead INDYCAR commentary team of Leigh Diffey (play-by-play) and analysts Townsend Bell and James Hinchcliffe called NBC Sports’ broadcast of the Indy 500 alongside pit reporters Marty Snider, Kevin Lee, Dave Burns, and Dillon Welch.
NBC Sports host Mike Tirico anchored coverage alongside analyst and former INDYCAR driver Danica Patrick. Dale Earnhardt Jr., one of racing’s most popular personalities and an NBC Sports motorsports analyst, contributed to pre-race coverage alongside NASCAR analyst Steve Letarte, and joined Tirico and Patrick on the Peacock Pit Box during the race.
Newgarden to Snider following his win: “I started out as a fan in the crowd and this place is amazing, regardless of where you’re sitting…I have always wanted to go up into the crowd here. I’ve seen people go up the fence – I wanted to go through the fence. I wanted to celebrate with the people…it was a dream of mine.”
Bell on Newgarden running into the stands at the Yard of Bricks: “He might never make it back.”
Diffey: “This has been a burning desire for Josef Newgarden. It has annoyed him and bothered him for so long that he has never won an Indy 500. That has all been erased and it is all joy and celebration.”
Bell: “So, ‘Spider Man’ climbs the fence. What are we going to call this?”
Diffey: “He’s a man of the people.”
Patrick on Roger Penske: “19 wins, and he owns the place? He really, really owns this place.”
Earnhardt Jr.: “You love to see the emotion of winning…that’s what makes it worth it for the fans that come out. I was glad he did it, you could tell how big this race is. It makes me such a fan of the Indy 500 when you see how much it means.”
Diffey: “Is this the moment when the pain ends? Is the drought over for Josef Newgarden? It’s Team Penske at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Josef Newgarden finally wins the Indianapolis 500! Finally, Newgarden is an Indy 500 champ!”
Hinchcliffe on red flag and a restart with one lap remaining: “Not to be the cynic…but it’s the Indy 500. If I’m Marcus Ericsson, I saw O’Ward get a restart waved off…it’s going to be a white flag. Do you go slow, get your restart waved off, and take the checkered under yellow?”
Bell: “Guess what…it’s green no matter what. Everybody get ready. Forget the niceties you might have enjoyed over the years in INDYCAR. Forget what you think you deserve. This race owes you nothing. If you want to win the Indy 500, it’s time to get up and go.”
Diffey on red flag with 2 laps to go: “This is the race that doesn’t want to end.”
Bell: “None of these 300,000-plus fans want to go home. They want to see how this plays out, just like I do.”
Patrick on Pato O’Ward’s move with 7 laps to go: “We expect it to get a little crazy at the end. It’s a late move, but it’s late in the race…there’s barely enough room for a car. He lost control, it’s the risk-reward with such a late pass.”
Earnhardt: “These late restarts are tough. It’s hard on your mental focus, having to start and stop…you get nauseous thinking about the ‘what-ifs’…O’Ward looked like he was a sitting duck right there. What are you supposed to do on this restart to give yourself the best opportunity to keep the lead that you hold? He launches after a warning, maybe a little less aggressive…right away they’re attacking and losing positions.”
Patrick: “It’s a game of getting to full throttle first…that’s why he went so slow on the restart. He wanted them to pack up and check up so he could hit the throttle and catch everyone off guard to get the best run possible. More speed means everyone has more momentum.”
Bell on the action prior to the O’Ward wreck with 7 laps to go: “You could see the urgency from everyone. ‘This is my chance, this is the big moment.’ If you get 10 drivers thinking the same thing at the same time, we say it a lot…yellows breed yellows.”
Bell on the restart being waved off with 10 laps to go: “I like that call. They were too slow, O’Ward had slowed them way down seemingly to pit lane speed.”
Hinchcliffe on wreck between Felix Rosenqvist and Kyle Kirkwood with 15 laps to go, sending a tire over the fence and resulting in a red flag: “You do not see that often. We have wheel tethers attached to all four corners of these cars and I have seen some monumental hits where the wheels stay attached to the chassis.”
Patrick on the Rosenqvist/Kirkwood wreck: “When you’re in the car and that is going down and you miss it, you almost don’t know how. There’s so much you can’t see beyond you.”
Tirico: “That was a ‘hold your breath’ couple of moments right there.”
Bell on Santino Ferrucci’s final pit stop with 31 laps to go: “They just totally lucked out that random front tire rolling across the pit box was able to be grabbed by the outside front tire changer.”
Diffey on Tony Kanaan going through the grass upwards of 200 mph: “World’s fastest lawnmower!”
Bell: “I’ve only ever done that in a rental car.”
Patrick on Lap 100 atop the Peacock Pit Box: “What’s so shocking is how many cars had trouble getting straight on pit lane, which is telling me that a lot of these cars are running a lot of left-front weight.”
Diffey on Rinus Veekay contacting Alex Palou on pit lane on Lap 95: “Pit lane is where your race can be won or lost, and you’ve seen the latter here with the American Legion Honda of Alex Palou…two guys who shared the lead for so much of this race.”
Patrick on what the drivers are feeling: “This is the biggest, most pressure-filled day of the year. From the moment that cannon goes off at 6 a.m., everything just keeps building, The parades, the cheerleaders, the bands, the DJs…all of the people and the energy, and as that builds, your focus narrows.”
Hinchcliffe: “This is our Super Bowl, our Wimbledon – it’s the whole reason you get into INDYCAR racing. This is immortality for the winner of this race.”
Bell: “I think we’re going to see the most intense Indy 500 in history. Why? It’s the fastest front row we’ve ever seen, and the closest front row we’ve ever seen. Thirty-three drivers are about to sprint into the eye of a tornado, each one of them convinced they will be the first one to the other side. It’s why this is the biggest race in the world and the undisputed greatest race in the world.”
Pre-race coverage highlights included:
- Racing legend and 1969 Indy 500 champion Mario Andretti voicing the open tease;
- A feature on 2013 Indy 500 champion Tony Kanaan, who will be racing in his final Indy 500 10 years after his victory;
- A look at Helio Castroneves’ “Drive for 5” aiming to become the first-ever five-time Indy 500 champion today;
- “My Indy Moment” featuring past champions including Castroneves, Kanaan, Will Power and Simon Pagenaud sharing ever-lasting memories of their Indy 500 victories.
Actress Stephanie Beatriz of upcoming Peacock original Twisted Metal served as the Indy 500 grand marshal and Academy Award-nominated actor Adam Driver served as honorary starter.