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Rubens Barrichello ... Rookie of the Year!

ESPN Staff
May 29, 2012
Rubens Barrichello with his Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year award © Twitter

Proving you can teach an old dog new tricks, Rubens Barrichello was named the Rookie of the Year after his 11th-place finish at the Indianapolis 500.

The 40-year-old Barrichello, who switched to Indycar after being released by Williams at the end of last season, was in the top ten at the three-quarter mark before being edged out by Helio Castroneves.

"It was a great achievement today," he said. "My first oval experience, it was very different than anything I've done. I'm very proud of what the team achieved. It's a pity that we didn't finish top 10 but I can be proud of that for my first time out.

"People were racing hard, it's just madness out there sometimes."

Another former Formula One stalwart - 48-year-old Jean Alesi - was the oldest man to make his Indy debut, but his day ended early and in frustration. He was black flagged by the officials after nine laps because his Lotus was too slow.

"We tried many things to avoid a lack of performance but it couldn't be overcome," Alesi said."It was frustrating but the regulation is fair and I leave with a lot of respect for the Indy 500. I hope to return next year. I will start to prepare now."

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