Sato holds off Helio to give Andretti another Indy 500 win

Hope Soto
May 30, 2017

Four other cars-including that of 2014 Indy 500 victor Ryan Hunter-Reay-failed to finish due to mechanical issues, while nine more were knocked out of contention in a series of crashes that wiped out some of the other big names in the race, including pole-sitter Scott Dixon and 2014 IndyCar Series champ Will Power. The driver of the No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda edged three-time Indy 500 victor Helio Castroneves to the finish line by 0.2011 of a second to become the first Japanese victor of "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing".

The win marked the ex-Formula One driver's second victory in IndyCar racing- five years after he crashed on the final lap of the race trying to defeat Scotland's Dario Franchitti.

A joyful Sato dumped a bottle of 2 percent milk over his head, received a kiss from the Indy 500 Princess and raised his finger in the air.

"Again, I will say I'm sorry, I know better and I'm angry at myself because there was no constructive objective in saying it." he added.

"But, yes, I do feel after 2012 I really needed to correct something I left over".

The 42-year-old Castroneves then warmly congratulated Sato and, after noting Sato's age, quipped that "we get better when we get old".

Yes, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Fernando Alonso had their chances go up in smoke along with their Honda engines.

If adding Alonso to the stable came at the expense of the team effort, it never showed.

It's no surprise that Alonso has been facing engine woes with his McLaren vehicle in F1 and it seemed the troubles weren't ready to leave him at Indy 500.

Takuma Sato, of Japan, celebrates winning the Indianapolis 500 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Sunday, May 28, 2017 in Indianapolis.

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Until Sunday, seven seasons on the IndyCar circuit with KV Racing, Rahal Letterman, AJ Foyt and Andretti had produced just one win, at Long Beach in 2013.

Rookie Ed Jones demonstrated the speed of Dale Coyne Racing's Hondas by finishing a deserved third, followed by Chilton and IndyCar veterans Tony Kanaan and Juan Pablo Montoya.

But with a six-car team at Indy, Michael Andretti has yet to get his son to the finish line first.

"I'm really happy for Honda". It also serves as redemption of sorts for Sato, having crashed out on the last lap in 2012, while fighting for the lead with eventual victor Dario Franchitti.

"I knew I could do it but I was waiting for the moment and the last few laps there was a moment", said Sato, who snatched the lead from Castroneves with five laps remaining after both had worked their way past Briton Max Chilton.

Before the battle over the final laps Sato made a daring move on Lap 179, going three wide through Turn 1 and moving from fourth to second.

"There wasn't a vehicle that I came up on that I couldn't get by at will". He's done it three times.

"I apologise to Takuma Sato, I made a stupid reference during an emotional weekend, to one of the nations that we fought in World War II", Frei wrote. "We had really strong cars, but they seemed like everyone started to have problems". Castroneves finished second. for the third time in his career. Then, it bounced around the city to places like the Murat - where, according to legend, the drivers enjoyed ice cream shaped like race cars - and the Indiana Convention Center before settling into its current home at Indy's J.W. Marriott hotel. "It was definitely a bit of a rough ride".

"I'm not really sure what's happening", Hunter-Reay said.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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