Did you know that history was made at the 2019 Indianapolis 500?
Before the drivers even started their engines for the 103rd running of the iconic IndyCar race, while Kelly Clarkson belted out the National Anthem, more than 300,000 attendees and countless more NBC viewers got to witness the first-ever double flyover in Indy 500 history.
With four United States Air Force planes being involved in the pre-race stunt (P-40 Warhawk, P-51, A-10 Warthog, and F-16 Viper), the A-10 and the F-16 planes sped around the track, and for the absolutely epic finishing touch, the F-16 shot straight up into the air.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway provided this awesome onboard look at the F-16’s vertical climb, and let’s just say that this clip looks like something straight out of Top Gun.
WATCH: Double Flyover at the 2019 Indy 500
The U.S. Air Force definitely outdid themselves with these race day festivities. Fire up the Kenny Loggins, because this is a legitimate highway to the danger zone if I’ve ever seen one.
I don’t care if it’s a high school football game or the Super Bowl. Any flyover makes for a seriously amazing experience. Chills, no matter the occasion or venue. That being said, this particular flyover for the 103rd Indianapolis 500 is on another level of awesome, and getting the inside-the-cockpit look just adds that much more to the spectacle.
Considering the whole thing went down during Memorial Day weekend makes this momentous Indy 500 flyover all the more memorable.
What Happened at the 2019 Indy 500?
Let’s set the scene for the 2019 Indy 500 with a couple of pre-race storylines: Will Power came into “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” as the defending Indy 500 champ, 19-year-old IndyCar Series rookie Colton Herta was the first driver entered in Indy history to be born in the 2000s, and Marco Andretti sported a throwback paint scheme that celebrated the 50th anniversary of Mario Andretti’s 1969 victory. Unfortunately for Marco, he wouldn’t be able to break the infamous Andretti Curse.
As for the race itself, Team Penske driver Simon Pagenaud started on the pole and dominated the majority of the race, though not without a little bit of a challenge from Alexander Rossi during the later laps. With 23 laps to go, Rossi stole the lead from Pagenaud, who was in a sticky situation and desperately needed to conserve fuel.
Pagenaud’s salvation came in the form of a wreck, after Sebastian Bourdais and Graham Rahal made contact. Felix Rosenqvist, Zach Veach, and Charlie Kimbal were also caught up in the crash, which brought out the red flag and allowed Pagenaud to refuel.
With 14 laps to go, Pagenaud and Rossi traded the lead back and forth, while Takuma Sato was close behind. Rossi snatched the lead from Pagenaud with three laps left, but Pagenaud’s passing move on Rossi with a lap-and-a-half to go solidified his win at IMS.
Simon Pagenaud’s victory at the 2019 Indy 500 marked his 13th win and also spelled the 18th Indy 500 win for Roger Penske, who is the winningest racing team owner at the Indy 500.
This post was originally published on June 4, 2019.