They call it the greatest spectacle in racing – in a good year, 400,000 spectators can make the Indianapolis 500 the world’s biggest one-day sporting event.
This year, five British drivers were among the 33 that streamed past actor Jack Nicholson as he waved the green flag to start the race – and, by the end of the 200 laps, all of them had woven their names into the fabric of the race.
Dario Franchitti, of course, led for three quarters of the way and took the chequered flag to win it – but he wasn’t far ahead of Dan Wheldon, who was able to finish faster thanks to better fuel consumption and took the runner-up spot for the second year in a row.
Alex Lloyd crossed the line third to give Dale Coyne Racing a thoroughly unlikely celebration, though the shine was taken off somewhat when the Boy Scouts of America car was demoted to fourth after race officials decided Marco Andretti had a better claim to the place.
Justin Wilson led late in the race, and in so doing became the 200th driver in the history of the Indianapolis 500 to lead laps.
And his team-mate Mike Conway preceded him as the 199th – before wrecking at the end in a truly horrifying crash that left him in hospital with a fractured leg and back.
Here are highlights from the day’s action, from sunrise to race end, through the lenses of the IndyCar Series’ team of photographers.