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Hunter-Reay holds Helio Castroneves at bay to win Indy 500

Hunter-Reay celebrates his first Indianapolis 500 win.
Hunter-Reay celebrates his first Indianapolis 500 win.
Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images

Ryan Hunter-Reay won his first Indy 500 after holding off a fast closing charge by 4-time Indy champ Helio Castroneves, in the “second closest finish in the race’s 98-year history. for the first time. The Andretti Autosport #28 Dallara Honda driver Hunter-Reay was able to overtake Castroneves with four laps to go, and never gave the lead back, becoming the first American driver to make it to Victory Lane since Sam Hornish won eight years ago (2006). The win was also vindication for Hunter-Reay who ended up third in last year’s race after losing the lead to Tony Kanaan.

"There was no practice for it," stated Hunter-Reay who started from 19th position. describing how he managed to pass Castroneves. "Never ran those lines at all. I didn't know if we had what it took; I did my absolute best, and everything worked out right, and that's what it takes to win this race. I'm just thrilled. "It's a dream come true, man, it hasn't even sunk in yet. I'm a proud American boy, that's for sure, he exclaimed.."
Castroneves finished second, followed by Marco Andretti, Carlos Munoz and Juan Pablo Montoya. In the meantime, Kurt Busch, who finished 6th, took off immediately for his second race of the day, the Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Speedway.

Those unable to complete their Indy 500 run included 2008 winner Scott Dixon who spun out in turn 4 on lap 168 (shortly after Charlie Kimballs’ spin out brought the first caution of the race). Dixon ended up destroying the front suspension of his car when it slammed into the outside wall before the car finally stopped close to the inside wall of the frontstretch. In addition, a collision between Ed Carpenter and James Hinhcliffe (believed to have been caused by an aggressive move by Townsend Bell on a late restart) knocked them both out. Bell was able to continue, however. This was Hinchcliffe’s second major accident in two weeks, when he was hit with flying debris and sustained a concussion at the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis May 10th.