Sato holds off Helio to give Andretti another Indy 500 win

"It was so close. I feel really bad for Alex, as well, because he had a bad pit stop", Michael Andretti said. "They worked really hard to get us here", said Andretti. And for a while, it appeared that the gamble might pay off with the ultimate prize, as Alonso battled frequently among the leaders in the race's early stages. When you have six cars, you're probably - if there is a problem, we're going to have a few of them go down. Rookie Ed Jones of Dale Coyne Racing was third, a career best for his IndyCar career and the best 500 finish in Coyne's history.

Brazilian Castroneves, of Team Penske, paid tribute to Englishman Jones's maturity and composure during the post-race press conference.

"We'll be going for the win next year", he said. "It was really hard for me to defend or even attack, which was really frustrating because I think we had the auto to win today".

"He drove unbelievable", Andretti said of his least-heralded driver's performance in a thriller that saw pole-sitter Scott Dixon of New Zealand escape serious injury in a spectacular crash and Formula One star Fernando Alonso's race killed by engine failure. Alonso led 27 laps, but finished 24th after a mechanical issue took him out of the race on Lap 180.

And despite the steep learning curve, and the added demands of USA media that his trans-Atlantic tilt involved, Alonso said he enjoyed the race and the weeks of preparation that led up to it. "Today, (it) was not possible. It was job done, and the last two laps the vehicle worked beautifully". "I came here basically to prove myself, to challenge myself", Alonso said.

"I know that I can be as quick as anyone in an F1 vehicle, I didn't know if I can be as quick as anyone in an IndyCar". "I didn't miss Monaco in terms of result, you know".

"Amazing experience", he said. "Thanks to Indianapolis. Thanks to the fans". "I'm really proud to race here". He's bounced from KV Racing to Rahal Letterman Lanigan to A.J. Foyt Enterprises, and this year, to Andretti Autosport, the best equipment he has steered in the series thus far. "I wanted to keep supporting the children until they become adults, and hopefully one of them becomes a professional race driver". But just, you know, waiting (for) the moment.

"One lap, you put on the lead there, it was already a nice feeling".

There was a record 15 different drivers who led the race with a whopping 36 lead changes. The race was slowed by 11 cautions periods for a total of 50 laps. Pieces went flying in a manner that would suggest Dixon could be hurt as the vehicle was destroyed, but thanks to the safety measures brought into the sport in recent years, Dixon didn't appear to be injured, although later in the race he returned to the med.

The first-half of the race saw a spectacular crash for Chip Ganassi's Scott Dixon: After Jay Howard (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports) ran wide and crashed into the barrier, Dixon was powerless to avoid the stay vehicle, and the the collision launched him into the air. Neither driver was injured. "It was definitely a bit of a rough ride".

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