After mistake in 2012, Sato learns lesson to win Indy 500

It just wasn't Fernando Alonso.

Sato sped to victory at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday ahead of Brazil's Helio Castroneves, with Team Penske, who came within a whisker of his fourth Indy 500 win, and newcomer Ed Jones, with Dale Coyne Racing, a Briton born in Dubai, reports Efe.

"Definitely yes", Alonso told reporters when asked if the premature end to his day, in a race won by Japan's Takuma Sato, left him hungry to return.

"I knew I could do it but I was waiting for the moment and the last few laps there was a moment", said Sato, who snatched the lead from Castroneves with five laps remaining after both had worked their way past Briton Max Chilton. "We only needed one to come through".It was only the second IndyCar victory for Sato, who won driving for A.J. Foyt at Long Beach in 2013.Sato's victory gave Andretti a second consecutive win in "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing".Castroneves spent the rest of the race playing cat-and-mouse with Sato and nearly had him just as the second-to-last lap began.

It's the third win for Andretti Autosport in the past four Indy 500s.

Sato is not only fast on the track but his charming personality should serve as a boost for the sport, both nationally and on the worldwide front. Two-time Formula 1 Champion Fernando Alonso finished in 24th after an engine failure ended his day prematurely.

The Honda teams had a clear horsepower advantage over Chevrolet, but things were dicey in Indy for more than a week and certainly on race day: Before Alonso's failure, 2014 victor Ryan Hunter-Reay lost his Honda and so did Charlie Kimball.

Honda engine failures also ended the hopes of Ryan Hunter-Reay and Charlie Kimball. He wound up fourth, behind victor Takuma Sato, Castroneves and Jones.

It was Sato's second career victory in the Verizon IndyCar Series; his first was the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in 2013, when he drove for A.J. Foyt Racing. In the closing laps, he efficiently dealt with Ganassi Racing's Max Chilton (who led the most laps with 50 and ultimately finished fourth) and traded the lead with three-time Indianapolis victor Hélio Castroneves, one of the most experienced men in the field.

"Being second again sucks, being so close to getting my fourth", Castroneves said. Michael Andretti ran down pit lane to reach Sato's crew, then rushed to hug his driver.

Before today, the 40-year-old Sato had never placed higher than 13th at the Indianapolis 500, according to the Indianapolis Star.

"It's handsome", Sato said after the race, according to the Los Angeles Times. But Sato had one of the fastest cars, and he survived all the carnage throughout the race to win. Two-time victor Juan Pablo Montoya was sixth. Alonso meanwhile was making good progress, entering the top six less than 20 laps into the 200 lap race. "But that's why we had six bullets in the gun, right?"

The decision rankled some in Formula One, but Alonso a two-time victor at Monaco, had no regrets.

Still, his race was spectacular and Alonso simply fell victim to his engine late in the race. Alonso skipped the Monaco Grand Prix to contest in the American race and led for a total of 27 laps before his Andretti Autosport Honda race auto gave up with just 21 laps to go, while he was in the seventh place. Four other cars-including that of 2014 Indy 500 victor Ryan Hunter-Reay-failed to finish due to mechanical issues, while nine more were knocked out of contention in a series of crashes that wiped out some of the other big names in the race, including pole-sitter Scott Dixon and 2014 IndyCar Series champ Will Power.

But hardcore Indy fans already viewed him as a hero with significant history in their beloved race. "It's a shame because I felt we deserved to finish and experience the last lap - who knows where we could have finished".

"I knew I could do it", he said. "I don't know how many opportunities you get to be in that battle".

The race was red-flagged on Lap 55 for a frightening crash on Lap 53 when Jay Howard got out of the groove in Turn 2, hit the outside retaining wall coming down the track and collected pole-sitter Scott Dixon.


Popular
  • 'Nice to show our muscle' at Kansas - Blaney

    'Nice to show our muscle' at Kansas - Blaney

    It all came down to the restarts, and that's when Truex was at his best, especially on the final restart with two laps remaining. But it was really whoever got in front and got the lead at that point, and he was really fast in that little final stage.

    Trump Faces Tensions at G-7 Summit

    In this unique and preeminent task, Trump said, "Muslim-majority countries must take the lead in combatting radicalization". President Donald Trump has faced a much cooler reception in Europe than the welcome he received in the Middle East.
    LeBron struggles, exchanges words with fan after Game 3 loss

    LeBron struggles, exchanges words with fan after Game 3 loss

    If the Celtics were playing with house money heading into the series, they are flush with it again as they return to the Garden. Kelly Olynyk (15 points) and Jonas Jerebko (10 points) also gave the Celtics a lift too. "You can't (think about it)".
  • New arrest in 'full tilt' Manchester attack investigation

    New arrest in 'full tilt' Manchester attack investigation

    On Sunday, a 25-year-old man was arrested in Manchester on suspicion of terror offenses in the Old Trafford area. There were prayers for the victims at church services across Manchester on Sunday.
    Trump meets European Union  chiefs in Brussels

    Trump meets European Union chiefs in Brussels

    President Trump was also very tough regarding North Korea. "France itself knows what it is like to suffer from terrorist attacks". On the other hand, certain topics, like counter-terrorism, went down smoothly; others, like climate and trade, were less settled.
    Microsoft Clarifies Xbox Scorpio Frame Rate/Fidelity Stance

    Microsoft Clarifies Xbox Scorpio Frame Rate/Fidelity Stance

    The Xbox Scorpio is the upcoming beast of a console which looks to completely change the console genre. As with the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Pro, all Xbox One games will work on the Scorpio.
  • Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill fires shots at Team New Zealand

    The team that really needs to worry is Groupama Team France, which seemed to struggle for control in the shifty land breeze. They span the wind range, and some teams had fitted a light wind, low drag type; some bigger, more powerful foils.
    Government will not go back on its promise on black money: Modi

    Government will not go back on its promise on black money: Modi

    Amit Shah said that he supported the decision of Army Major Leetul Gogoi's to use a "human shield" in Kashmir as it saved lives. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "abrupt" decision of recalling old notes has benefited India's $2 trillion economy.
    NBA Draft prospect Josh Jackson must attend anger management courses per agreement

    NBA Draft prospect Josh Jackson must attend anger management courses per agreement

    Jackson was in Toronto to work out for the Raptors on Tuesday, on the eve of the deadline for early-entry candidates to withdraw. Jackson was a five-star recruit who was the No. 1 player in the class of 2016 coming out of high school.
  • Manchester terror blast - Police conduct search in St Helens

    Manchester terror blast - Police conduct search in St Helens

    Manchester slowly returned to normal, though the damaged arena and adjacent Victoria train station remained closed. Security is being increased at football cup finals at Wembley Stadium in London and the Great Manchester Run.

    Underdog Cavs insist they have plenty of bite for Finals

    It's the matchup most expected, the matchup most predicted, and probably the matchup the Cavaliers and Warriors wanted, as well. OddsShark.com posted its NBA Finals MVP odds on Tuesday, even before the Cavs clinched the Eastern Conference title again.

    Trump pushes aside Montenegro leader _ who calls it natural

    Russian Federation annexed Crimea in 2014, and fomented a pro-Russia separatist movement in eastern Ukraine that same year. The US President then stood near Mr Markovic and spoke to Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite .

CONNECT