INDYCAR: Hunter-Reay outlasts Castroneves in a 'fight' at Indy

Posted May 26, 2014 by John Duarte
Ryan Hunter-Reay feels somewhat vindicated after winning the 2014 Indianapolis 500 on Sunday. He edged Helio Castroneves at the line in the second-closest finish in race history.
Ryan Hunter-Reay shares a winning moment with his young son at the “Yard of Bricks” after winnin...
Ryan Hunter-Reay shares a winning moment with his young son at the “Yard of Bricks” after winning his first Indianapolis 500 on May 25, 2014.
Chris Jones/
“It's a dream come true,” said Hunter-Reay. “This (race) is American history. It's where drivers are made, where history is made.”
The win at the Indy 500 comes a year after a disappointment in 2013, when a late caution flag cost Hunter-Reay a chance of making a run for the win. He ended up third, which was then his best career finish at the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, but he felt cheated. He felt a little better after a hard-fought battle in this year's race.
Hunter-Reay battled three-time 500 winner Helio Castroneves right down to the wire. The two drivers jockeyed for position during the final laps and Hunter-Reay edged Castroneves at the finish line by a scant 0.06 of a second. It was the second-closest margin of victory in Indianapolis 500 history.
Race officials stopped the race with eight laps to go to clear debris from the track. When the 500 got back underway, the drag race for the finish was on. Castroneves made his move three laps from the end, but could only hold off Hunter-Reay for two laps. The eventual race winner passed Castroneves just as the two drivers entered the final lap of the race and then held on to take the checkered flag.
“Just glad I picked the right time to go,” Hunter-Reay said. “This race was ridiculously close and competitive. I hope the fans loved it because I was on the edge of my seat.”
“What a fight. It's interesting when second place (at the Indy 500) kind of sucks,” said the race runner-up. “It was a great race. I'm extremely happy with the result. Unfortunately, it wasn't our day.”
Marco Andretti finished the Indy 500 in third place.
The other interesting story on the day was the attempt by Kurt Busch to become only the second driver to finish both the Indianapolis 500 and NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600. After finishing the Indy 500 in sixth place, Busch took to the air and headed for Charlotte Motor Speedway. Busch's try came up just under 200 miles short when he had to retire from the Sprint Cup Series race due to a blown engine. Busch's NASCAR team owner, Tony Stewart, is the only driver who has completed all 1,100 racing miles in one day. He completed the double twice, in 1999 and 2001.
The win moves Hunter-Reay into the lead of the Verizon IndyCar Series. He leads Will Power by 40 points, with Castrovenes a further 14 points back.
The first of three doubleheaders on the IndyCar schedule will be held May 31 and June 1, 2014. The Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit is held at the Raceway on Belle Isle.