101st Running of the Indianapolis 500
101st Running of the Indianapolis 500
Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Indianapolis, IN
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
EVENT DETAILS
101st Running of the Indianapolis 500
28May
Race Complete
ABCRogers Sportsnet 360
Sirius
Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Oval)
About the track

With four corners banked at 9 degrees, 12 minutes, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway drives more like a road course than an oval. But each of the corners is different, with weather influencing the car's characteristics. The straightaways are 5/8ths of a mile long -- time to catch your breath and dive into the next corner.

Race Review

INDIANAPOLIS (Sunday, May 28, 2017) - Many wondered if an experienced Formula One driver competing for Andretti Autosport could win the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil. It happened, just not by the one some expected.

Takuma Sato capped off another thrilling Indianapolis 500 that featured a record number of drivers leading the race. The driver of the No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda edged three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves to the finish line by 0.2011 of a second to become the first Japanese winner of "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing."

Sato passed Castroneves for the lead on Lap 195 - the last of 35 lead changes in the 200-lap race on the historic 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval and the seventh straight year that the decisive pass for the Indy 500 lead occurred in the last six laps. Sato held off aggressive charges from Castroneves, the driver of the No. 3 Shell Fuel Rewards Team Penske Chevrolet, in the sixth-closest finish in Indy 500 history.

After spending seven years in Formula One, Sato came to the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2010. His only previous Indy car victory was in 2013 with AJ Foyt Racing on the streets of Long Beach, California. Sato joined Andretti Autosport this season, and his first oval win today is the fifth for Andretti Autosport in the Indianapolis 500 - including three in the last four years.

"It's such a privilege to win here," said Sato, who crashed while battling eventual winner Dario Franchitti for the lead on the final lap of the 2012 Indy 500. "So whether it was the first attempt or eighth attempt or you had a drama in the past, it doesn't really matter. Winning today, it's just superb.

"But, yes, I do feel after 2012 I really needed to correct something I left over. Today, I was so happy that I made it and won in a good move."

Sato is the 71st driver to win an Indianapolis 500 in its 101 runnings. The best previous finish by a Japanese driver was fifth by Tora Takagi in 2003.

Castroneves overcame a black-flag penalty for jumping a restart and dodged mayhem in two race incidents to finish second at Indy for the third time - making him one of seven drivers with three Indianapolis 500 runner-up finishes. It is the 41st second-place finish of the Brazilian's 20-year Indy car career, which ranks second all time.

"The Shell Fuel Rewards Chevy team almost got it done today," said Castroneves, attempting for the eighth straight year to join A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears as four-time Indy 500 winners. "It was so close.

"I say, 'great job' to my guys," added Castroneves, who recovered from his worst Indy 500 start (19th) and the pit drive-through penalty to finish runner-up. "They worked their tails off, we saw it all today. We were in the back and we led some laps. We avoided disaster and we almost got (win) No. 4."

Dale Coyne Racing rookie Ed Jones finished a career-best third. Like Castroneves, Jones had to climb from the rear of the field after having the rear wing assembly on his No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda replaced during a pit stop.

"We kept pushing on, kept making up positions," the 23-year-old from Dubai said. "I had a great Dale Coyne Racing car underneath me the whole way that got me to make those passes. ... Congrats to Sato. I didn't really have the pace for him and Helio at the end, but we did the best we could."

Fernando Alonso was the most heralded rookie coming into the race. The two-time Formula One champion, who bypassed today's F1 Monaco Grand Prix to fulfill a dream to drive in the Indy 500, started fifth, ran up front most of the day and led 27 laps in the No. 29 McLaren-Honda-Andretti Honda. Alonso's race came to a premature conclusion 24th place with a mechanical issue after 179 laps.

"Obviously disappointed not to finish the race because every race you compete, you want to be at the checkered flag," Alonso said. "Today, (it) was not possible. Anyway, (it) was a great experience, the last two weeks. I came here basically to prove myself, to challenge myself. I know that I can be as quick as anyone in an F1 car. I didn't know if I can be as quick as anyone in an Indy car.

"Thanks to INDYCAR, an amazing experience," the 35-year-old Spaniard added. "Thanks to Indianapolis, thanks to the fans. I felt at home. I'm not American, but I felt really proud to race here."

Despite going a lap down early with handling issues, Chip Ganassi Racing's Max Chilton led the most laps (50) before finishing fourth. It was the best showing of the 26-year-old Brit's two-year Verizon IndyCar Series career.

"I don't think anyone has ever won this race without a little bit of luck," said Chilton, driver of the No. 8 Gallagher Honda. "When we did end up getting out front, the car was really quick and you can see why this place is so special and so electric in that moment. ... To come from a lap down to lead and have a chance to win here at Indy is a massive accomplishment for the whole team."

A total of 15 drivers led the event, breaking the record of 14 set in 2013. The race was slowed by 11 cautions periods for a total of 50 laps. A red flag stopped action for 19 minutes to repair the SAFER Barrier and catch fencing in the short chute between Turns 1 and 2. It was the result of a Lap 53 collision between Jay Howard and pole sitter Scott Dixon that vaulted Dixon's car into the safety materials on the inside of the track. Neither driver was injured.

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

"I was hoping that Jay was going to stay against the wall, but obviously, there was the impact. I had already picked that way to go and there was nowhere else to go to avoid him. It was definitely a wild ride. Big thanks to the Holmatro Safety Team, INDYCAR and Dallara and everyone for the safety standards we have on these cars."

Buddy Lazier was involved in a single-car incident on Lap 122. The 1996 Indy 500 winner spun and contacted the Turn 2 SAFER Barrier in the No. 44 Lazier Racing-StalkIt-Tivoli Lodge Chevrolet. Complaining of chest discomfort, Lazier was transported to IU Health Methodist Hospital, where he was treated and released.

The final caution flag waved on Lap 184 when the cars of James Davison and Oriol Servia touched in Turn 2, sparking a five-car incident that also collected James Hinchcliffe, Josef Newgarden and Will Power. None of the drivers was injured.

Sato becomes the sixth different winner in as many Verizon IndyCar Series races this season and jumps to third place in the standings. Castroneves leads with 245 points while reigning series champion Simon Pagenaud, Sato and Dixon each has 234. Alexander Rossi is fifth in points with 190 after finishing seventh today.

Top Three Positions
1st
Takuma Sato
Andretti Autosport
2st
Helio Castroneves
Team Penske
3st
Ed Jones
Dale Coyne Racing
Past track winners
Takuma Sato / 2017
Alexander Rossi / 2016
Juan Pablo Montoya / 2015
Ryan Hunter-Reay / 2014
Tony Kanaan / 2013
Dario Franchitti / 2012
Dan Wheldon / 2011
Dario Franchitti / 2010
Helio Castroneves / 2009
Scott Dixon / 2008
Dario Franchitti / 2007
Sam Hornish, Jr. / 2006
Dan Wheldon / 2005
Buddy Rice / 2004
Gil de Ferran / 2003
Helio Castroneves / 2002
Helio Castroneves / 2001
Juan Pablo Montoya / 2000
Kenny Brack / 1999
Eddie Cheever, Jr. / 1998
Arie Luyendyk / 1997
Buddy Lazier / 1996
Jacques Villeneuve / 1995
Al Unser, Jr. / 1994
Emerson Fittipaldi / 1993
Al Unser, Jr. / 1992
Rick Mears / 1991
Arie Luyendyk / 1990
Emerson Fittipaldi / 1989
Rick Mears / 1988
Al Unser / 1987
Bobby Rahal / 1986
Danny Sullivan / 1985
Rick Mears / 1984
Tom Sneva / 1983
Gordon Johncock / 1982
Bobby Unser / 1981
Johnny Rutherford / 1980
Rick Mears / 1979
Al Unser / 1978
A.J. Foyt / 1977
Johnny Rutherford / 1976
Bobby Unser / 1975
Johnny Rutherford / 1974
Gordon Johncock / 1973
Mark Donohue / 1972
Al Unser / 1971
Al Unser / 1970
Mario Andretti / 1969
Bobby Unser / 1968
A.J. Foyt / 1967
Graham Hill / 1966
Jim Clark / 1965
A.J. Foyt / 1964
Parnelli Jones / 1963
Rodger Ward / 1962
A.J. Foyt / 1961
Jim Rathmann / 1960
Rodger Ward / 1959
Jimmy Bryan / 1958
Sam Hanks / 1957
Pat Flaherty / 1956
Bob Sweikert / 1955
Bill Vukovich / 1954
Bill Vukovich / 1953
Troy Ruttman / 1952
Lee Wallard / 1951
Johnnie Parsons / 1950
Bill Holland / 1949
Mauri Rose / 1948
Mauri Rose / 1947
George Robson / 1946
NO RACE - WWII / 1945
NO RACE - WWII / 1944
NO RACE - WWII / 1943
NO RACE - WWII / 1942
Floyd Davis & Mauri Rose / 1941
Wilbur Shaw / 1940
Wilbur Shaw / 1939
Floyd Roberts / 1938
Wilber Shaw / 1937
Louis Meyer / 1936
Kelly Petillo / 1935
Bill Cummings / 1934
Louis Meyer / 1933
Fred Frame / 1932
Louis Schneider / 1931
Billy Arnold / 1930
Ray Keech / 1929
Louis Meyer / 1928
George Souders / 1927
Frank Lockhart / 1926
Peter DePaolo / 1925
Lora Corum & Joe Boyer / 1924
Tommy Milton / 1923
Jimmy Murphy / 1922
Tommy Milton / 1921
Gaston Chevrolet / 1920
Howdy Wilcox / 1919
NO RACE - WWI / 1918
NO RACE - WWI / 1917
Dario Resta / 1916
Ralph DePalma / 1915
Rene Thomas / 1914
Jules Goux / 1913
Joe Dawson / 1912
Ray Harroun / 1911