Sato holds off Helio to give Andretti another Indy 500 win

May 29, 2017, 07:55

"I heard the noise, the engine friction".

If there's a silver lining, though, it's that coming so close to victory hopefully will persuade Alonso to return to Indy for years ago come. The last few laps, they were the moment.

"It's handsome, you know..."

Alonso's final visit to pit road was sparked by another caution called for a Honda engine failure, this time leaving Charlie Kimball on the sidelines. At that point, Alonso was in second position after overtaking Rossi, trailing behind Ryan Hunter-Reay.

"We had the right guy doing it, for sure", Andretti said. It's going to be huge.

Added Sato about the popularity of his victory in Japan: "This is going to be mega big".

Sato becomes the sixth different victor in as many Verizon IndyCar Series races this season and jumps to third place in the standings. "We showed the great result today and I am very proud of it".

Here's more about Takuma Sato from his website. Castroneves was disappointed to fall short of the four-time winners club - particularly since it was his third runner-up finish.

He started from the inside of Row 2 and beat Castroneves by 0.20011 of a second. "After so many things did happen, i want to give the perspective that I did give my best". The Indy fans sure encouraged him, giving him a huge ovation when he got out of his broken vehicle.

Before Sato reached victory lane, Andretti had headed that way.

Eventual victor Sato was just ahead of Alonso when the engine went up in smoke, suggesting Alonso had a brilliant chance himself to claim victory before his incredibly unfortunate ending. Takuma Sato took to the new vehicle immediately, and when he found himself behind the leading Dario Franchitti with one to go and a strong run heading into turn 1, it seemed he was destined to take a dramatic win.

Sato had won one other time in his 124 starts in the series.

Ed Jones finished third, Max Chilton was fourth and Tony Kanaan was fifth, while Sato's teammates on Andretti Autosport, Alexander Rossi and Marco Andretti, also finished in the top eight.

Only one of the team's five drivers, Will Power, qualified in the top half of the 33-car field. It was polesitter Scott Dixon leading early, but his race would end in disaster when a laps-down Jay Howard slipped out of the groove in turn 3, bouncing back into traffic and launching Dixon into the air.

Dixon said he couldn't have avoided Howard's auto.

The tub of the vehicle remained intact and the 2008 champion was able to climb out on his own to a roar from the crowd.

Dixon's auto struck the vehicle of Jay Howard, who had slid into the outside wall and then careered back across the track.

"I'm just a little beaten up", said Dixon, driver of the No. 9 Camping World Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing.

"Definitely, yes", Alonso said. "We had a great shot". Eighteen minutes later, the red flag came to an end and they got racing again after a round of pit stops.

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