American Wins Indy 500 for First Time Since 2006

Ryan Hunter-Reay's victory is race's 2nd-closest ever

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted May 25, 2014 4:15 PM CDT

(Newser) – The finish at the Indianapolis 500 was worth the wait for Ryan Hunter-Reay. He used a series of daredevil moves to deny Helio Castroneves a chance at history today and became the first American since 2006 to win "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing." Hunter-Reay passed Brazil's Castroneves at the Yard of Bricks as the two bright yellow cars raced wheel-to-wheel under the white flag in a thrilling final lap. As Hunter-Reay surged ahead down the backstretch, Castroneves took one final look coming out of Turn 4, but he couldn't pull off the pass and lost by 0.060 seconds.

Only the 1992 race, when Al Unser Jr. beat Scott Goodyear by 0.043 seconds, had a closer finish. "I'm a proud American boy, that's for sure," Hunter-Reay said in Victory Lane before he was joined by his wife and son. "I've watched this race since I was sitting in diapers on the floor in front of the TV … This is American history, this race, this is American tradition." Castroneves, trying to become the fourth driver to win a record fourth Indianapolis 500, settled for second.

Ryan Hunter-Reay (28) takes the lead from Helio Castroneves, of Brazil, on the white flag lap during the Indianapolis 500.   (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrates after crossing the finish line in front of Helio Castroneves, of Brazil, to win the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500.   (AP Photo/Dave Parker)
Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrates winning the Indianapolis 500 IndyCar auto race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Sunday, May 25, 2014.   (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrates after winning the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500.   (AP Photo/R Brent Smith)
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