Second-closest Indy 500 finish ever sees Hunter-Reay seal maiden win

Hunter-Reay Indy

Ryan Hunter-Reay's win in yesterday's Indianapolis 500 was the second-closest on record.

Andretti Autosport driver Hunter-Reay held off three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves (Penske) by just 0.06 seconds, having spent much of the afternoon battling the Brazilian for victory. It was Hunter-Reay's first triumph at the IndyCar Series' showpiece event. His team-mate Marco Andretti completed the podium.

"It's a dream come true," said Hunter-Reay, the race's first American winner since 2006. "This (race) is American history. It's where drivers are made; where history is made. I hope the fans loved it because I was on the edge of my seat."

Meanwhile 39-year-old Castroneves proved that he's lost none of his skill at the Speedway. The Brazilian was within metres of securing a fourth 500 win, which would have tied him as the race's all-time most successful driver.

“It’s interesting when second place kind of sucks,” reflected Castroneves afterwards.

“What a fight. But I'm certainly taking the positive out of this, it was a great race. I did everything I could obviously to try to stop (Hunter-Reay).

"I'm extremely happy with the result," he concluded.

Former 500 winner and F1 star Juan-Pablo Montoya (Penske) made a solid return to the event by taking fifth at the flag, while fellow returnee Jacques Villeneuve (Schmidt) was 15th. NASCAR star Kurt Busch (Andretti Autosport) was the top rookie in sixth, while 19-year-old Sage Karam (D&R/Ganassi) - who was starting his first ever IndyCar race - was an impressive ninth.