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Hunter-Reay holds off Castroneves to win Indy 500



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."

Join the discussion

1000|Char. 1000  Char.
Grandma Iris May 25 2014 at 4:29 PM

Congratulation Ryan Hunter-Reay for bringing the trophy HOME.

Flag Reply +16 rate up
scooter May 25 2014 at 5:56 PM

Way to go Kurt Busch

Flag Reply +10 rate up
John May 25 2014 at 4:43 PM

Congrats to Ryan. The fans were treated to a good race, and a great finish.

Flag Reply +10 rate up
blueeyessing May 25 2014 at 5:35 PM

Congratulations to Hunter-Reay. I do not know why such a big deal has to be made out of an American winning though. All of the racers are professional drivers, and country-of-origin does not matter...to me anyway.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
5 replies
propickup May 25 2014 at 5:56 PM

Kurt Busch will do the double. he's on Stewarts team. I'm sure he will complete the task at hand. I think they should be offering Kurt a ride in one of those Indy cars full time. Maybe gene should be looking into having Busch drive that formula 1 car. He did a great job beating out a lot of great drivers in his first outing in a back up car.I just like the guy

Flag Reply +5 rate up
frank1946 May 25 2014 at 5:58 PM

Great Drive, Great Team...................Great Victory.

Hunter-Reay is Somebody today !

Ditto Andretti Team.

Flag Reply +5 rate up
larry May 25 2014 at 5:00 PM

Made in USA----------

Flag Reply +5 rate up
1 reply
fourprs larry May 25 2014 at 7:40 PM

Honda?

Flag Reply +1 rate up
2 replies
Sue fourprs May 25 2014 at 7:47 PM

HONDAS ARE MADE IN THE STATES , APPARENTLY YOU'RE THE ONLY ONE WHO DIDN'T KNOW THAT.

Flag +2 rate up
Gin fourprs May 26 2014 at 1:23 AM

yep Hondas are made in the states...I helped build them

Flag +1 rate up
rfghonda May 25 2014 at 4:40 PM

saw every 500 since 1959,that had to be 1 of the
greats,for sure. plus I had ryan for 50.00 bucks,
that made it better yet.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
spdy65 May 25 2014 at 4:46 PM

Great finish, though the Danny Sullivan spin out 380 on his last lap and then went on to win was right up there to!

Flag Reply +3 rate up
1 reply
jimmimcbiggin spdy65 May 25 2014 at 5:20 PM

Sullivan spun on lap 120 not lap 200. I was sitting in the infield , turn one just before the short chute and watched it happen in 1985.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
Katie May 25 2014 at 5:55 PM

I enjoyed the race. Glad hunter-Reay won even though I was pulling for Helio. But...note to ABC broadcasting, I would have loved to see the end of the race in full screen.....Show me the jumping bimbos later. p.s. Kurt, ya done good, Kid. :)

Flag Reply +2 rate up
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