Marco Andretti, who agreed with the IZOD IndyCar Series drivers who said he was the 2012 Indianapolis 500 favorite, is leading at Indy after the first 55 laps.
The first quarter of the 96th Indy 500 had just one caution flag – a spin for Bryan Clauson, who kept it off the wall and did not damage his car – but the biggest story so far was the black flag for the two Lotus-powered cars.
Lotuses driven by Simona De Silvestro and Jean Alesi were slow all month at Indy – the team got a late start – and race director Beaux Barfield had little tolerance for their turtle-like speeds at the start of the race.
After just 10 laps, De Silvestro and Alesi were both given a black flag and parked for the remainder of the race.
In a separate development, Dario Franchitti spun on pit road during the first caution after he was hit from behind by E.J. Viso.
As of lap 55, Andretti leads Scott Dixon, James Hinchcliffe, pole-sitter Ryan Briscoe and the surprising Takuma Sato.