The 24-year-old Californian - a former Formula One test driver - used a fuel-saving run to record a stunning 200-lap triumph on the 2.5-mile (4km) Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval."I have no idea how we pulled that off," Rossi said. "I just can't believe we have done this. It's an amazing result."
Colombia's Carlos Munoz ended at second place just like he did in his 2013 Indy debut. American Josef Newgarden finished at third place and 2013 Indy 500 winner, Brazil's Tony Kanaan, came fourth.
Rossi started from ninth place on the final restart and was afraid that he would lack the fuel to reach the checkered flag. But he drained the final drops long enough to win. "I'm just so thankful for doing this on the 100th running," Rossi said. "We rolled the dice and made it happen. I'm at a loss for words. It will change my life." Rossi created history by becoming the ninth Indy 500 rookie to win, the first since Helio Castroneves in 2001.
It was the second Indy 500 triumph for car owner Bryan Herta. "I want to thank DW," Herta said. "Man, it was so close at the end and for a rookie to drive with the poise (Rossi) did in that situation, it was incredible." Munoz was in the lead with 10 laps remaining but he was forced into the pits after five laps.