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Indy 500 Update: Scott Dixon leads after 100 miles

May 29, 2011 | 10:20 am

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Scott Dixon led the Indianapolis 500 and Alex Tagliani was second after 100 miles Sunday, while defending race winner Dario Franchitti and Tony Kanaan were charging toward the front.

Tagliani was the pole-sitter for the 100th anniversary of the famed race, and he and Dixon swapped the lead several times as in the early stages of the 200-lap event.

Dixon, of New Zealand, won the Indy 500 in 2008. Franchitti, a teammate of Dixon’s at Target Chip Ganassi Racing, started ninth but had climbed to third. Kanaan was eighth after starting 22nd.

Australian Will Power, one of the pre-race favorites who drives for Team Penske, started fifth but suffered a big setback when the left rear tire fell off his car as he left the pits during a caution period around lap 20.

It was a costly and uncharacteristic mistake by Team Penske, and because Power had to return to the pits to replace the tire, he fell back to 29th.

The caution period set the stage for the first "double-file restart" in the Indy 500, a new rule in the Izod IndyCar Series this year in which the field restarts in rows of two by two rather than single file.

The format has been criticized by some drivers as raising the risk of accidents, and as the field moved into Turn 1, driver E.J. Viso lost control and slammed hard into the outside wall, bringing out another yellow flag.

But as the green flag waved again after Viso’s wreck, the field had a clean restart.

RELATED:

Indy 500 has favorites, but also several potential spoilers

Indy 500 trivia: Why does the winner drink milk?

The history of the Indianapolis 500

-- Jim Peltz in Indianapolis

Photo: Scott Dixon leads the field into Turn 1 at the start of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday. Credit: Jonathan Ferrey / Getty Images

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