Indianapolis 500: Helio Castroneves holds off Alex Palou for fourth win, Graham Rahal crashes out
Helio Castroneves claimed a historic fourth Indianapolis 500 victory on Sunday after overtaking Alex Palou in the closing laps to win a gripping race at the Brickyard.
The Brazilian joined A.J. Foyt, Al Unser Sr. and Rick Mears, who last joined the club in 1991, as the only four-time winners of ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.’
Castroneves won his third 500 in 2009 and has been chasing win number four ever since.
At 46 years old, in his first season no longer driving for Team Penske, Castroneves won in front of 135,000 fans – the most at any sports event in the world since the pandemic began 18 months ago – before his iconic ‘Spider-Man’ celebration and a victory run down the home straight.
“I love Indianapolis! You guys don’t understand it! The fans, you give me energy,” Castroneves said.
It was a stark contrast to the recent theme of young drivers taking over IndyCar, which now has six different winners through six races this season. Three of them have been first-time winners and four are drivers aged 24 or younger.
Castroneves found himself in a closing duel with one of the young stars, 24-year-old Spaniard Palou, but he passed him for good with two laps remaining and beat him by 0.4928 seconds for the victory.
Former Penske teammate Simon Pagenaud, the 2019 Indy winner, was third, followed by Pato O’Ward, the 21-year-old budding IndyCar star and Arrow McLaren driver.
A year ago, no fans were allowed for the race that was delayed from May to August. This year, fans were everywhere and they were treated to a win by one of the most popular drivers in Indy 500 history.
More to follow.
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