Brake Failure Ends Driver’s Indy 500 with Fiery Wheel

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – James Davison’s sixth Indy 500 start ended just six laps into the 200-lap race when his Dale Coyne Racing with RWR/Byrd/Belardi car suffered a front-right brake issue that caused the wheel to catch alight.

The Australian was left dumbfounded after his early exit in the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500 following a dramatic and fiery brake failure.

On the back straight, the wheel center exploded, Davison bringing the car – flaming front-right and all – safely to a halt near pit entry.

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It was the first of seven cautions in the race, which was won by Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Takuma Sato.

Davison started the race from 27th, with his fortnight highlight a ninth-place finish in Thursday practice ahead of qualifying weekend.

The 33-year-old also steered a Rick Ware Racing-run Ford Mustang to 30th in a NASCAR Cup Series race at the Daytona road course between his Indy 500 commitments.

However, speaking after the race, Davison could not hide his confusion over his race-day drama.

“The front brakes were stuck on, and in the end, the temperatures went through the roof,” Davison said outside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway medical center.

“Obviously, I’m very disappointed. It’s incredible to be out of the Indy 500 within the first couple of laps and in those circumstances.

“I can’t remember when something like that has ever occurred. It’s craziness but again, it’s still 2020.”

About the Indianapolis 500

Takuma Sato climbed to a higher level of immortality Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, winning the 104th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge and becoming just the 20th driver to capture “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” at least twice.

Sato, from Japan, won the race under caution in the No. 30 Panasonic/PeopleReady Honda fielded by Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing when Spencer Pigot crashed in turn four on Lap 195.

Sato also won the race in 2017, with Andretti Autosport.

Scott Dixon finished second in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda despite leading a race-high 111 laps. It was the third career Indy 500 runner-up finish for Dixon, a five-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion and the 2008 Indianapolis 500 winner.

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