Sato holds off Helio to give Andretti another Indy 500 win

Monday, 29 May, 2017

In a frenetic finish to a typically hectic and lengthy affair strewn with yellow caution flags, Andretti Autosport's Takuma Sato, formerly of Jordan, BAR and Super Aguri, got the better of Helio Castroneves and held off the Brazilian veteran to become the first Japanese victor of the Indy 500.

Al Unser Sr. was the last American to win two in a row in 1970 and '71.

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.

Sato had won one other time in his 124 starts in the series. His only previous Indy auto victory was in 2013 with AJ Foyt Racing on the streets of Long Beach, California.

The race was won by former Jordan, BAR and Super Aguri driver Takuma Sato, with Hélio Castroneves in second, rookie Ed Jones in third and a certain Max Chilton claiming fourth.

Sato held off Helio Castroneves, who was seeking his record-tying fourth victory in the race. "I grabbed something I left over in 2012 and thanks everyone I can't thank you enough for everyone's support".

"Well, maybe it was meant to be that I'd win it a bunch of times as an owner". The best previous finish by a Japanese driver was fifth by Tora Takagi in 2003.

Sato has been something of a successful journeyman during his IndyCar career, joining with KV Racing for his first ride in 2010, finishing 21st.

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The 42-year-old led just nine laps but it really felt like he had the right combination of veteran experience and a fast auto needed to hold off the field and tie AJ Foty, Al Unser and Rick Mears as four-time Indy 500 champions. "It was so close".

Howard got into the gray marbles and outside the racing line in Turn 2, hit the wall and came down the track and was hit Dixon, who started on the pole. "In the end, we have great people on this team, and they're the ones that got this win". We were in the back and we led some laps.

The century of racing in the Indianapolis 500 is filled with drivers who found disappointment, their dreams of winning the iconic race abruptly shattered by crashes, engine failures, botched pit stops and bad luck. "It was a fantastic race".

"I had to make a decision on which way to go", he said of the incident. "Congrats to Sato. I didn't really have the pace for him and Helio at the end, but we did the best we could".

It just wasn't Fernando Alonso.

Alonso's decision to skip Formula One's Monaco Grand Prix and enter the Indy 500 was the talk of the racing world this month, and his showing Sunday further impressed the sport's fans.

And true to the accommodating nature that he displayed here at Indianapolis the past weeks, Alonso stayed at the track after dropping out and came up to the media center after the checkered flag to answer several questions.

Two-time Formula 1 champion Alonso had been a force at the front of the pack throughout the first half of the race and even looked capable of taking a famous victory at the Brickyard, only for his engine to give up on the main straight and his hopes to go up in smoke. "But today that was not possible".