Dan Wheldon won Indianapolis 500 image

Dan Wheldon won the Indianapolis 500 on its 100th anniversary after rookie JR Hildebrand crashed into the wall within sight of the finish.

The Englishman looked set to finish in second place for the third year running until leader JR Hildebrand crashed into the wall on the very last turn.

Wheldon, 32, who had yet to compete in an IndyCar race this season, had signed a one-race deal with a part-time team, Bryan Herta Autosport. Officials judged that he had passed Hildebrand’s wrecked car just before the caution lights went on. Wheldon won his first Indy500 in 2005.

“I was trying to go as hard as I could. I kept pushing. It’s such a dream ride. I didn’t want to give up. It’s my only race of the year. I’ll be unemployed come tomorrow.”

Now comes the big question -is winning the Indy 500 for the second time enough to earn Wheldon a ride for the rest of the IndyCar season? His one-and-done contract with Bryan Herta Autosport ended at midnight.