- Associated Press - Sunday, May 29, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - IndyCar’s controversial decision to go to double-file restarts at the Indy 500 claimed its first victim when E.J. Viso was knocked out of the race after bumping into two other cars.

Viso was battling for position on a restart 27 laps into the race when his No. 59 KV Racing Technology-Lotus made contact with another car as they went three-wide, then slammed into the outside wall in Turn 1.

“It was a restart, and I was running with a greyhound, with (James) Hinchcliffe,” Viso said. “I believe Hinchcliffe missed a gear or something. He lost the momentum out of corner four … but approaching corner one, I just got hit in my rear and left tire, and it just (spun) me.”

The accident highlighted the concerns expressed by several drivers in the lead-up to the race about the dangers of the side-by-side restarts, a move the series borrowed from NASCAR in hopes of creating a more competitive product.

Viso, however, refused to blame the restart for the early end to his day.

“It had nothing to do with the restart,” he said. “(Hinchcliffe) lost the momentum, and then we were approaching the corner and he just hesitated and hit my rear tire.”

Takuma Sato also made an early exit from the centennial edition of the 500.

Sato was running in the middle of the 33-car field when his No. 5 KV Racing Technology Lotus went high and brushed the wall. Both Sato and Viso were checked at the infield care center and cleared to drive.

Paul Tracy went down several laps early in the race after brushing the wall between turns 3 and 4.

Driver Will Power, who qualified fifth, ended up doing a lap with just three wheels after he exited a pit stop too soon, sending his left rear tire rolling down pit road as he pulled away. Rookie Jay Howard had a similar miscue, wrecking when his right rear tire came off as he exited pit road and he smacked the inside wall.

Scott Dixon and Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate and defending race champion Dario Franchitti dominated the early portion of the 200-lap race after they passed pole-sitter Alex Tagliani.

Simona De Silvestro, who suffered second and third-degree burns to her hands during a fiery crash earlier this month, started but completed only 44 laps before the car was taken back to the garage.

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