As well as ultra-close competition, the Indy 500 has a habit of producing spectacular crashes.
And though this year's race remained caution-free for well over 100 laps, the number of accidents began to creep up as it reached the deciding stages.
Townsend Bell took the biggest hit. The KV Racing driver had fought for a top-three finish as the contest entered its final quarter, but suffered a heavy impact with the wall less than 10 laps from home. The resulting debris was significant enough to cause a red flag clean-up operation.
Earlier in the race Bell had escaped from a three car crash that claimed poleman Ed Carpenter and second-place starter James Hinchcliffe. The latter subsequently admitted that he and Bell were to blame, while Carpenter was an innocent victim.
2008 Indy 500 winner Scott Dixon also crashed out, resulting in his first DNF at the race since 2005. It was a miserable afternoon for the Ganassi team, with reigning winner Tony Kanaan effectively eliminated from the race by an extended pitstop.
None of the drivers involved were injured.