Ryan Hunter-Reay - Anne Proffit photoEnlarge Photo
Ryan Hunter-Reay took his second win of the 2014 IndyCar season at the weekend, emerging victorious in the 98th running of the famous Indianapolis 500.
Hunter-Reay, driving the DHL Honda for Andretti Autosport, has become the first American to win the event since 2006, snatching the lead from Helio Castroneves at the start of the final lap--managing to fend off his rival all the way to the checkered flag. The result drew the closest 500 finish since 1992 and the second closest in the race's history, Hunter-Reay's winning margin a scant 0.06 seconds.
Had Castroneves won, it would have been his fourth victory at the event--matching a record already held by three other drivers. Though "devastated" by the defeat, according to Associated Press (via Fox News), Castroneves was magnanimous. "It was a great fight" he said, and that he had a great time--"...but second sucks" he added. Hunter-Reay was understandably more jubilant, telling reporters he'd watched Indy 500 races since he was in diapers. "I'm a proud American boy, that's for sure" he said in Victory Lane.
Marco Andretti took the final step of the podium, followed home by Carlos Munoz. Juan Pablo Montoya took fifth, chased by fellow NASCAR regular Kurt Busch, the third Honda in the top six. Busch left soon after the race to compete in the Sprint Cup round at North Carolina--hoping to add 600 miles to the 500 at Indianapolis. Hunter-Reay though got to enjoy the traditional milk on the top step--and also leads the 2014 IndyCar season standings on 274 points.
Below is the 2014 Indy 500's top ten placings:Ryan Hunter-Reay (DHL Honda)