Race Report: Indianapolis 500
INDIANAPOLIS May 25, 2014—The stage was set for a memorable Indianapolis 500 and the drivers of the Verizon IndyCar Series didn’t disappoint. With Ryan Hunter-Reay and three-time victor Helio Castroneves dicing back and forth for the lead in the closing laps—which included a red flag to repair a safer barrier with nine laps to go--the action was intense.
Hunter-Reay prevailed to take his first 500 victory which was the second-closest margin of victory at .0600 of a second. The closest margin of victory in race history was .043 of a second when Al Unser Jr. edged Scott Goodyear in 1992. Third through fifth were Marco Andretti, Carlos Munoz and Juan Pablo Montoya. NASCAR star Kurt Busch finished sixth and then headed to Charlotte to compete in the World 600 (engine trouble forced him out).
For 150 laps, the IndyCar drivers ran hard and clean—and there wasn’t a yellow flag in sight. Takuma Sato appeared to be headed for his first top-10 in the 500 (and possibly a top-five finish) but a piece of carbon fiber from Scott Dixon’s lap 168 accident effectively put an end to Sato’s charge. The debris lodged in the undertray and served as a brake on Sato’s speed down the long straightaways.
Prior to that incident Race, Sato had been making his way into the top 10 after adjusting the car on pit stops to the changing track conditions. The ABC Supply team had been quick all day on their pit stops with most falling in the 8.7-second range.