Ryan Hunter-Reay hangs on for Indianapolis 500 victory

BogV9QbCQAAkKBDRyan Hunter-Reay was denied a shot at a final-lap victory in the 2013 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race because of a yellow flag for a single-car incident in Turn 1. Third place was a career high in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” but the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., resident felt cheated.

A similar situation materialized in the 98th edition, and this time Hunter-Reay was the one drinking the milk in Victory Circle.

Hunter-Reay, driving the No. 28 DHL car for Andretti Autosport, held off three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves by a hair-raising .0600 of a second — the second-closest margin of victory in the history of the event — in a six-lap shootout to claim his first Indy 500 victory. Marco Andretti finished .3171 of a second back for his third third-place finish in nine starts.

“It’s a dream come true,” said Hunter-Reay, who is the first American winner since Sam Hornish Jr. in 2006. “This (race) is American history; this is better than a championship. I hope the fans loved it because I was on the edge of my seat.”

Hunter-Reay started 19th. There were 34 lead changes among 11 drivers.

Castroneves overtook Hunter-Reay in Turn 1 on Lap 199 of 200 entering Turn 1, but Hunter-Reay led at the finish line by .0235 of a second.

“I did everything I could do,” said Castroneves, driving the No. 3 Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Team Penske car. “What a fight.”

Carlos Munoz, who finished second last year as a rookie, finished fourth and 2000 Indy 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya was fifth. Kurt Busch, who had 600 more miles of racing left on the day in North Carolina, placed sixth in his first 500 Mile Race.

Race officials red-flagged the race on Lap 192 for seven minutes to fix the Turn 2 SAFER Barrier and clean up from the single-car incident involving Townsend Bell’s No. 6 Robert Graham KV Racing Technology entry. Bell had been running fifth — 1.8 seconds behind Hunter-Reay.

The first caution flag flew on Lap 150 when the No. 83 car driven by Charlie Kimball made light contact with the SAFER Barrier in Turn 2. The record to start the race had been 65 laps in 2000. The four yellow flags tied the record for fewest (1990); the Speedway started recording cautions in 1976.

Graham Rahal was the first to retire from the race with an electrical issue in the No. 15 entry. Tony Kanaan, who won the race in 2013, developed an early suspension issue and finished 26th.

ABC will televise both rounds of the Chevrolet Detroit Bell Isle Grand Prix on May 31 and June 1 — both races at 3:30 p.m. (ET).

Indianapolis 500 Race Results
Pos. Car # Driver Total Laps Behind Status
1 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay 200 Leader Running
2 3 Hello Castroneves 200 0.0600 Running
3 25 Marco Andretti 200 0.3171 Running
4 34 Carlos Munoz {R} 200 0.7795 Running
5 2 Juan Pablo Montoya 200 1.3233 Running
6 26 Kurt Busch 200 2.2666 Running
7 11 Sebastien Bourdais 200 2.6576 Running
8 12 Will Power 200 2.8507 Running
9 22 Sage Karam 200 3.2848 Running
10 21 JR Hildebrand 200 3.4704 Running
11 16 Oriol Servia 200 4.1077 Running
12 77 Simon Pagenaud 200 4.5677 Running
13 68 Alex Tagliani 200 7.6179 Running
14 5 Jacques Villeneuve 200 8.1770 Running
15 17 Sebastion Saavedra 200 8.5936 Running
16 33 James Davison 200 9.1043 Running
17 18 Carlos Huertas {R} 200 12.1541 Running
18 8 Ryan Briscoe 200 13.3143 Running
19 14 Takuma Sato 200 13.7950 Running
20 98 Jack Hawksworth {R} 200 13.8391 Running
21 7 Mikhall Aleshin {R} 198 -2 Laps Running
22 19 Justin Wilson 198 -2 Laps Running
23 41 Martin Plowman {R} 196 -4 Laps Running
24 63 Pippa Mann 193 -7 Laps Running
25 6 Townsent Bell 190 -10 Laps Contact
26 10 Tony Kanaan 177 -23 Laps Running
27 20 Ed Carpenter 175 -25 Laps Contact
28 27 James Hinchcliffe 175 -25 Laps Contact
29 9 Scott Dixon 167 -33 Laps Contact
30 67 Josef Newgarden 156 -44 Laps Contact
31 83 Charlie Kimball 21 -51 Laps Contact
32 91 Buddy Lazier 87 -113 Laps Mechanical
33 15 Graham Rahal 44 -156 Laps Electrical

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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