Sato holds off Helio for Indy 500 win
- Author: Julie Sanders May 30, 2017,
May 30, 2017, 2:28
Really, Alonso's decision was validated well before the green flag flew at the Brickyard, in the day's Monaco results- another scoreless disappointment for McLaren-Honda. "It was a fantastic race". "But my manager said, come on, you've got five minutes to go for the interview". "In 2012, going into Turn 1 with Dario was a big risk". Sato beat Castroneves by 0.2011 seconds, setting a final time of 3:13:03.3584. Maybe when I'm 80 years old, hopefully I'll have more wins than Roger.
"I had a few hours" sleep, so I had a headache and was kind of feeling not great", he said, "and oh, my gosh, was it just a dream?
It only took one to win "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing". "We were lucky. You don't win this race without some luck". "But then again we just didn't have the outright speed we needed".
A five-car accident took out Team Penske drivers Will Power and Josef Newgarden, plus James Hinchcliffe, Oriol Servia and Jay Davison, who was substituting for the injured Sebastien Bourdais.
On the restart, Max Chilton was out front chased by Sato, Jones, Castroneves and JR Hildebrand.
Sato was in contention at the 2012 Indianapolis 500 but wrecked on the final lap while battling for the lead.
But it was Sato, known as a fearless driver, that made the decisive pass.
And finally the most awesome crash in a race with 11 caution flags and a record 15 race leaders (four of the top six racing for Andretti), ends with no drivers seriously injured.
Attrition was a factor with nine of the 33 cars eliminated in accidents. 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.
What do you do on the day after you win the Indianapolis 500?
"Definitely, yes", Alonso said. "I couldn't do what he was doing", said the Brazilian, who improved 17 places from his starting position.
"The race was very good, our performance was good, I was in the lead several times in front of the big names of Indycar - we were in it", Alonso added.
Castroneves just avoided being caught up in the incident, driving under Dixon's vehicle as it was spiraled through the air.
"I ducked and closed my eyes", he laughed. "I thought the auto has got tremendous speed, and from talking with my race engineer, I knew from the numbers it looked quite promising".
There was a record 15 different drivers that led laps and 35 lead changes. The race was slowed by 11 cautions periods for a total of 50 laps.
Alonso, the two-time Formula 1 champion, said he came to Indianapolis to challenge himself.
"Sebastien is progressing amazingly fast for having pelvis and hip fractures, and considering the severity of the crash", said orthopedic surgeon Dr. Kevin Scheid, an INDYCAR medical consultant. I feel really bad for Fernando. "I would consider coming back here to race now that I know all the procedures".
Most people assume only Americans watch IndyCar, but Sunday's running of the Indianapolis 500 averaged 443,000 viewers in Alonso's home country of Spain, according to SportsBusiness Journal's Adam Stern. Anyway, (it) was a great experience, the last two weeks.