Ryan Hunter-Reay wins Indianapolis 500 in thrilling finish

May 25, 2014

In a breathtaking duel in the final six laps between Ryan Hunter-Reay and Helio Castroneves, it was Hunter-Reay who was able edge out his competitor at the end to win the 2014 Indianapolis 500 and taste the milk in Victory Circle.  The race was the second-closest finish in the history of "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing," with Castroneves finishing in second place by a mere 0.0600 of a second.  Marco Andretti finished .3171 of a second behind 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, driving the No. 28 DHL car for Andretti Autosport, started 19th.  Altogether there were 34 lead changes among 11 drivers.

"There was no practice for it," said Hunter-Reay.  "We never really ran those lines at all the whole month and that was all new. Everything everybody was doing at the end was all new. I didn't know if we had what it took but I've got the best team behind me. Nobody can stand on their own without a good team behind them."

Castroneves led 38 of the 200 laps, and overtook Hunter-Reay in Turn 1 on Lap 199 of 200 entering Turn 1, but was passed by Hunter-Reay as the two approached the start-finish line.

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

The race was caution-free for the first 149 laps – the longest uninterrupted run in the event since 1976 – but a series of incidents over the final 51 laps eliminated several drivers, including pole-sitter Ed Carpenter.

Carpenter was running in the top five when he got caught up in a wreck shortly after a re-start on lap 175.

"Hinch (James Hinchcliffe) tried to make three wide in turn one with 25 laps to go," said Carpenter.  "Not a smart move.  It wrecked both of our races.  I told him if he didn't have a concussion last week that I would have punched him in the face.  It wasn't a green-white-checkered situation.  Of all of the guys out there, I wouldn't have thought it would be Hinch.  I am pretty good friends with him and those guys at Andretti.  I think he just didn't use his head right then."

Hinchcliffe, took some responsibility for the incident, but also blamed Townsend Bell, stating, "You know, it could have been the last restart and you have to go for it. Ed gave me the room initially. I honestly don't think Townsend (Bell) knew we were three-wide. I haven't seen the replay yet, but from what I saw Townsend came down into Ed, who came down into me. I was the last guy there, so I have to take a portion of the blame for sure. I feel bad for Ed. I knew Townsend had popped out, but I honestly didn't think he'd hold the outside. You just can't do that here. Partially my fault. Partially Townsend's fault. 100 percent not Ed's fault."

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 for longest stretch before a first yellow flag had previously been set at 65 laps in 2000.

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 in North Carolina, placed sixth in his first Indy car race.

Montoya overcame an early pit-road penalty and also registered the fastest lap (225.191 mph on lap 182) of the race.

“Unfortunately, I made a mistake on one of the pit stops when I was resetting the fuel. I pressed the wrong button. We got a penalty for that but we came back,” Montoya said. “I was proud of the way we fought. I don’t think we had anything for the Hunter-Reay or Helio. But I was happy with the Verizon Chevy and it was good to be back in Indy. It was cool to watch them swap the lead back and forth of the final laps. I had a good seat for it; I just wish we were in the middle of it, but we just had too much understeer at the end.”

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.

Round 6 and 7 of the Verizon IndyCar Series will be telecast live on ABC May 31 and June 1 for the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix -- both races at 3:30 p.m. (ET).

Here are the official final results of the race:

1. (19) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running
2. (4) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Chevy, 200, Running
3. (6) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running
4. (7) Carlos Munoz, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running
5. (10) Juan Pablo Montoya, Dallara-Chevy, 200, Running
6. (12) Kurt Busch, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running
7. (17) Sebastien Bourdais, Dallara-Chevy, 200, Running
8. (3) Will Power, Dallara-Chevy, 200, Running
9. (31) Sage Karam, Dallara-Chevy, 200, Running
10. (9) JR Hildebrand, Dallara-Chevy, 200, Running
11. (18) Oriol Servia, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running
12. (5) Simon Pagenaud, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running
13. (24) Alex Tagliani, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running
14. (27) Jacques Villeneuve, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running
15. (32) Sebastian Saavedra, Dallara-Chevy, 200, Running
16. (28) James Davison, Dallara-Chevy, 200, Running
17. (21) Carlos Huertas, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running
18. (30) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Chevy, 200, Running
19. (23) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running
20. (13) Jack Hawksworth, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running
21. (15) Mikhail Aleshin, Dallara-Honda, 198, Running
22. (14) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 198, Running
23. (29) Martin Plowman, Dallara-Honda, 196, Running
24. (22) Pippa Mann, Dallara-Honda, 193, Running
25. (25) Townsend Bell, Dallara-Chevy, 190, Contact
26. (16) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Chevy, 177, Running
27. (1) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Chevy, 175, Contact
28. (2) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Honda, 175, Contact
29. (11) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Chevy, 167, Contact
30. (8) Josef Newgarden, Dallara-Honda, 156, Contact
31. (26) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Chevy, 149, Contact
32. (33) Buddy Lazier, Dallara-Chevy, 87, Mechanical
33. (20) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 44, Electrical

Race Statistics
Winners average speed:  186.563
Time of Race: 02:40:48.2305
Margin of victory: 0.0600 of a second
Cautions: 5 for 21 laps
Lead changes: 34 among 11 drivers

Lap Leaders:
Hinchcliffe 1-9
Carpenter 10-28
Hinchcliffe 29
Power 30
Kanaan 31
Aleshin 32
Hinchcliffe 33-36
Power 37-57
Andretti 58-61
Castroneves 62
Dixon 63
Montoya 64-66
Castroneves 67-91
Carpenter 92-93
Dixon 94
Montoya 95-99
Hunter-Reay 100-107
Castroneves 108-117
Hunter-Reay 118-123
Dixon 124
Montoya 125-132
Hunter-Reay 133-138
Andretti 139-153
Carpenter 154-157
Hunter-Reay 158-162
Carpenter 163
Hunter-Reay 164-170
Tagliani 171-173
Hunter-Reay 174-181
Andretti 182
Hunter-Reay 183-184
Castroneves 185
Hunter-Reay 186-195
Castroneves 196
Hunter-Reay 197-200

Point Standings: Hunter-Reay 274, Power 234, Castroneves 220, Pagenaud 211, Andretti 192, Munoz 160, Montoya 152, Bourdais 143, Dixon 132, Wilson 123.

By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services

No comments:

Post a Comment

We encourage all intelligent, passionate comments. Please refrain from any ignorant, racist, or offensive rants.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...