Rookie J. R. Hildebrand was leading the race when he hit the wall on the final turn of the final lap. As Hildebrand's wrecked car was sliding down the main stretch, Wheldon slipped by in the final 1,000 feet to take the victory. Hildebrand slid across the line to place second. The victory was Wheldon's second at Indianapolis, his previous victory coming in 2005. The race in 2011 would be Wheldon's last at Indy, he would die of severe head injuries just shortly after a collision during the IZOD IndyCar World Championship at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on October 16, 2011 at the age of 33.