Hunter-Reay holds off Castroneves to win Indy 500

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Hunter-Reay holds off Castroneves to win Indy 500
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 25: Ryan Hunter-Reay driver of the #28 Andretti Autosport Dallara Honda leads the field out of the pits during the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 mile race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 25, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 25: Ryan Hunter-Reay driver of the #28 Andretti Autosport Dallara Honda leads Helio Castroneves of Brazil driver of the #3 Team Penske Dallara Chevrolet during the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 mile race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 25, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 25: Ryan Hunter-Reay, driver of the #28 Andretti Autosport DHL Honda, races Helio Castro-Neves, driver of the #3 Penzoil Ultra Platinum Penske, during the final laps of the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race at Indianapolis Motorspeedway on May 25, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Hunter-Reay went on to win the race. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 25: Ryan Hunter-Reay, driver of the #28 Andretti Autosport DHL Honda, passes the pagoda during the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race at Indianapolis Motorspeedway on May 25, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 25: Ryan Hunter-Reay, driver of the #28 Andretti Autosport DHL Honda, drosses the finish line ahead of Helio Castro-Neves, driver of the #3 Penzoil Ultra Platinum Penske, to win the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race at Indianapolis Motorspeedway on May 25, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS - MAY 25: Ryan Hunter-Reay driver of the #28 DHL Andretti Autosport Chevrolet Dallara celebrates winning the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on May 25, 2014 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 25: Ryan Hunter-Reay driver of the #28 Andretti Autosport Dallara Honda celebrates with his wife Beccy and his son Ryden after winning the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 mile race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 25, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 25: Ryan Hunter-Reay, driver of the #28 DHL Andretti Autosport Honda Dallara, celebrates in Victory Lane with milk after winning the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motorspeedway on May 25, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 25: Ryan Hunter-Reay driver of the #28 Andretti Autosport Dallara Honda celebrates by kissing the bricks at the start finish line after winning the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 mile race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 25, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 25: Ryan Hunter-Reay, driver of the #28 DHL Andretti Autosport Honda Dallara, celebrates after winning the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race at Indianapolis Motorspeedway on May 25, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 25: Ryan Hunter-Reay, driver of the #28 DHL Andretti Autosport Honda Dallara, celebrates with hid son Ryden after winning the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race at Indianapolis Motorspeedway on May 25, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 25: Ryan Hunter-Reay, driver of the #28 DHL Andretti Autosport Honda Dallara, celebrates with his son Ryden and wife Beccy after winning the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motorspeedway on May 25, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
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BY JENNA FRYER
AP AUTO RACING WRITER

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- The finish was worth the wait for Ryan Hunter-Reay, who used a series of daredevil moves to deny Helio Castroneves a chance at history.

Hunter-Reay became the first American since 2006 to win the Indianapolis 500, passing Castroneves at the Yard of Bricks as the two bright yellow cars raced wheel-to-wheel under the white flag in a thrilling final lap. As Hunter-Reay surged ahead down the backstretch, Castroneves took one final look coming out of Turn 4 but couldn't pull off the pass.

Hunter-Reay won by 0.060 seconds - the second closest finish in race history since Al Unser Jr. beat Scott Goodyear by 0.043 seconds in 1992.

"I'm a proud American boy, that's for sure," Hunter-Reay said in Victory Lane. "I've watched this race since I was sitting in diapers on the floor in front of the TV. This is American history, this race, this is American tradition."
Hunter-Reay: 'Dream Come True'

Castroneves, trying to become the fourth driver to win a record fourth Indianapolis 500, settled for second. He was devastated by the defeat and needed several moments to compose himself, slumped in his car, head down and helmet on, before he was ready to speak. The Brazilian said a caution with 10 laps to go that caused a red flag so track workers could clean up debris and make repairs to the track wall broke his rhythm.

"It was a great fight," he smiled. "I tell you what, I was having a great time. Unfortunately second. It's good, but second sucks, you know what I mean?"

Marco Andretti finished third and Carlos Munoz was fourth as Andretti Autosport had three cars in the top four, as well as the winner.

Kurt Busch, also in a Honda for Andretti, was sixth in his first race of the day. He left immediately after the race to fly to North Carolina for Sunday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup race, where he was expected to run 600 miles in his bid to become just the second driver to complete 1,100 miles in one day.

Three other drivers made the attempt, but only Tony Stewart in 2001 completed The Double. Stewart was sixth at Indy and third at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

"All in all, I'm very pleased. I cannot believe the execution of this team," Busch said before hustling away to a helicopter ride to his waiting plane. "I tried to enjoy it. My throat's real dry because I was smiling the whole time and the fresh air was coming in my mouth."

Marco Andretti appeared to have a shot at the win, but never could mix it up with Hunter-Reay and Castroneves as the two leaders swapped position four times in the final five laps.

"Ryan's just been a huge part of our team, a great guy, a friend," said Michael Andretti, who won for the third time as a team owner and watched his son finish third. "To have him get a win here is awesome, he deserves it, he deserves to have his face on that trophy. If it couldn't be Marco, he's the next guy I wanted."

A year ago, Hunter-Reay was passed for the lead with three laps remaining and went on to finish third as the race finished under caution. He was leading Sunday and had control of the race until Townsend Bell's crash brought out the red flag. Hunter-Reay figured his chances were over.

"I can't get a break," he lamented on his team radio.

But after swapping the lead with Castroneves three times, including a dramatic inside move in Turn 3, Hunter-Reay made the final and decisive pass as the two cars took the white flag.

"At the end of the day there's stupid and bravery, and I think we were right there on the edge, both of us," said Castroneves. "I'm glad we both come out in a good way. I'm sad it did not come out the way I wanted."
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