Sato holds off Helio to give Andretti another Indy 500 win

Andretti, who led 431 laps in 16 Indy 500s - the highest total by a driver who didn't win "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" - scored his second consecutive win and third in the last four 500s as a team owner when Takuma Sato crossed the finish line ahead of Helio Castroneves today.

His victory came five years after Sato tried to win the race with an aggressive last-lap pass of Dario Franchitti that backfired when Sato lost control and slammed into the wall, enabling Franchitti to capture the win.

One difference he noted between being part of the Andretti Autosport team and his experience with F1 teams was sharing information. I dreamed of something like this since I was 12.

"Always nervous wherever he is", Sato said.

"I'm really happy for Honda". "It's such a privilege to win here".

Andretti hired Sato last fall after he had spent three season and earned one Verizon IndyCar Series victory with A.J. Foyt's team.

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. The top three at that point was Max Chilton, Takuma Sato, and Helio Castroneves. "I was like, 'Whoa, we might have a shot here" because he had a really strong auto all day".

Castroneves got a dose of bad luck moments later when race control issued a drive-through pit road penalty for passing a vehicle prior to the green flag waving. Castroneves was driving a Chevy-engined auto owned by Roger Penske. He went to the infield medical center to check on Dixon after his crash, just as Dixon had visited him in the hospital. Castroneves was followed by IndyCar rookie Ed Jones, Englishman Max Chilton and 2013 victor Tony Kanaan. "That's how this place works, and we'll come back with another shot at it next year".

Speaking after his retirement, Alonso said he would be back in the future: "Yeah, obviously".

The 35-year-old driver's McLaren-Honda IndyCar came to a stop during the 179th lap of the Indy 500 while he was holding eighth position in the race. "I knew Howard would bounce back down the track". After all, he wants to become the second driver to secure auto racing's "Triple Crown", which means winning at Monaco, at Indy and at the 24 Hours of LeMans.

France's Simon Pagenaud was never a contender Sunday, and two-time 500 victor Juan Pablo Montoya, of Colombia, led only two laps and finished sixth.

Sato, 40, screamed into his radio as he slowed down the front stretch, his Honda engine still under power after three others let go while their drivers were near the front of the race.

But the luck ran out when it really counted, as the McLaren-Honda Andretti driver blew a motor with 21 laps to go, ending his day in 24th. The contact sent Dixon's vehicle airborne and caused it to land on top of the retaining wall and in the catch fence, shredding the auto. It was a scary crash that saw Dixon's auto flip into the air, bounce off a barrier, and come to a rest with about half the bodywork stripped off.

The race narrowly avoided another setback. He began covering races in 1965 for Racing Wheels newspaper in Vancouver, WA as a reporter/photographer and his first credentialed race was Jim Clark's historic Indy win.Paul has also done reporting, columns and photography for Midwest Racing News since the mid-sixties, with the 1967 Hoosier 100 being his first big race to report for them.He is a retired middle-grade teacher, an avid collector of vintage racing memorabilia, and a tour guide at Miller Park.

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