June 23, 2017

Sato holds off Helio to win Indy 500

31 May 2017, 05:08 | Tami Weber

Sato holds off Helio to give Andretti another Indy 500 win

Steady Sato wins Indianapolis 500

He became the first Japanese driver to win the race at the iconic Brickyard.

"Hopefully, the crowd enjoyed it", Sato said of the race.

"Yes, I think that really showed. talk about what IndyCar is like", he said with that patented, infectious smile. "I must admit that this is the happiest of things, and I can get on with that".

This is Sato's second career victory in the Verizon IndyCar Series, his first was the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in 2013. However, Takuma Sato for Andretti Autosport won the Indy 500 defeating Team Penske's Helio Castroneves in an 11-lap duel. This is, like, the best win in my life in this moment. "I had already picked that way to go, and it was nowhere else to go to avoid him". He was trying to join elite company as the only drivers to win here four times.

"I had a few hours" sleep, so I had a headache and was kind of feeling not great", he said, "and oh, my gosh, was it just a dream? This place is incredible. The vehicle driven by Scott Dixon, of New Zealand, goes over the top of Jay Howard, of England, in the first turn during the running of the Indianapolis 500 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Sunday, May 28, 2017, in Indianapolis. I know I bumped Sato's auto a few times. I was passing, watching the tower, saw the 29 on top of it.

Castroneves overcame a black-flag penalty for jumping a restart and dodged mayhem in two race incidents to finish second at Indy for the third time - making him one of seven drivers with three Indianapolis 500 runner-up finishes.

Two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso delivered a strong performance - a masterful first Indianapolis 500 experience - until his Honda engine failed on Lap 179. There has been talk all month about the unreliability of the Honda program, which has seen several failures here. "It's a shame. Who knows what it could be?"

"Definitely, yes", Alonso said, via ESPN, when asked if he was hungry to return.

"He put himself out there and exposed himself, delivered the goods, which isn't a surprise to anyone that has watched Fernando race", Brown said.

"I didn't picture myself winning, but always winning is our aim", he said.

[Last Race: 19th (+1)] - Charlie Kimball is driving for one of the sport's best teams, yet he has just one top 14 finish so far this season and is buried deep in the championship standings. He was met with a warm reception and often said he was overwhelmed by the fan support.

Andretti Autosport teams also claimed victories in 2005, 2007, 2014 and 2016, making the 54-year-old former CART Indycar champion the dominant team owner of the current era.

So what if three Honda engines blew up Sunday while they were running with the leaders?

NOTES: Veteran driver Sebastien Bourdais, who suffered pelvic fractures and a broken right hip in qualifying last weekend, attended the race on crutches.

He started well from eleventh on the grid but remained calm and composed despite falling to the back of the field after being forced to pit for a new rear wing after hitting debris from Scott Dixon's crash with Jay Howard that brought out the red flags on lap 52.

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