Andretti rules Indy _ and other takeaways from the 500

  • Andretti rules Indy _ and other takeaways from the 500

Andretti rules Indy _ and other takeaways from the 500

Sato, the first-ever Japanese victor of the race, held off three-time victor Helio Castroneves in the final laps to close out the victory in the sixth-closest finish in Indy 500 history. He took the lead on lap 37 and was near the front for much of the race. He was bidding to become the event's fourth four-time victor, joining A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears.Twenty-two-year-old rookie Ed Jones of Britain placed third, and last year's victor, Alexander Rossi of the United States, ended up seventh.

This is Sato's second career victory in the Verizon IndyCar Series, his first was the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in 2013. Can't thank enough the support I've got. "Japan is still struggling to recover (from the disaster) so I hope I can give the children something to dream about". It was a tough, tough race.

Going into Sunday's race, No. 20 and No. 21 were Johnny Rutherford and Helio Castroneves, a pair of three-time winners. "Fantastic race. Hopefully the crowd enjoyed it".

"This is mega-big. I can't imagine how it's going to be", Sato, victor of just one prior IndyCar race, said of the likely reaction in his homeland.

"You've got to go for it; run it flat", he said, "and we did it and pulled away". Other shunts included a crash on lap 122 that had doctors checking out 1996 victor Buddy Lazier for chest pain, and a five-car crash on a restart from a caution period 17 laps from the finish. Castroneves was disappointed to fall short of the four-time winners club - particularly since it was his third runner-up finish. "Obviously I couldn't ever win it as a driver".

"I don't blame Honda at all", he said.

"The tweet doesn't represent what we believe nor what we stand for", Tully and Colacioppo said. "We pitted just before the last caution which put us back up front".

But Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a place so special to the Andretti family that its team could not be counted out even after Alonso and Ryan Hunter-Reay exited with engine failures. But fearing he would wind up in the wall, Castroneves lifted as Sato sped past and waited for a second chance that never materialized. He was made to toil hard as Castroneves did his very best to complete a record-tying fourth victory.

But it was Sato, known as a fearless driver, that made the decisive pass. His victory Sunday helped erase the heart-breaking finish of the 2012 Indy 500, when he wrecked while trying to pass eventual victor Dario Franchitti on the final lap.

Attrition was a factor with nine of the 33 cars eliminated in accidents.

But the scariest crash of the day involved pole-sitter Scott Dixon on Lap 53. He walked to a waiting ambulance while the race was placed under red flag and crews began to clean up debris scattered over hundreds of feet in the accident caused when Dixon's vehicle collided with that of Jay Howard. I knew what I needed from the auto today and I knew after the first stint that I had a good shot at it.

"Definitely a wild ride, " Dixon said.

"I have to see what they plan to do", he said.

"I ducked and I closed my eyes, " Castroneves admitted.

Time of Race: 3:13.03.3584. "I know better, and I'm angry at myself because there was no constructive goal to it".

"It has been an incredible experience", he said.

"Helio is just a gentleman, and I knew I was racing against a real champion", he said. "I would consider coming back here to race now that I know all the procedures".

Fernando Alonso vowed to return to the Indy 500 after a cruel retirement cost him on Sunday.