Hunter-Reay wins 98th Indianapolis 500

INDIANAPOLIS - Ryan Hunter-Reay is the winner of the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500.

The win is the first at the 500 for Reay, whose best previous finish was third in 2013, and the first time an American has won the race since 2006.

Helio Castroneves claimed second place by .060 seconds -- the second closest finish in race history since Al Unser Jr. beat Scott Goodyear by .043 seconds in 1992. Marco Andretti came in at third place.

READ MORE | 98th Indianapolis 500 Full Results

"I'm a proud American boy, that's for sure," Hunter-Reay said in Victory Lane. "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 was visibly devastated by the defeat, and needed several moments to compose himself, slumped in his car, head down and helmet on, before he was ready to speak.

"It was a great fight," he smiled. "I tell you what, I was having a great time. Unfortunately second. It's good, but second sucks, you know what I mean?"

Unlike the earlier Indianapolis Grand Prix, which began with a crash that took pole-sitter Sebastian Saavedra out of the race, this year's Indianapolis 500 began without incident. Nearly 150 laps had been completed prior to the first flag – a yellow, waved after a spin out by Charlie Kimball.

Graham Rahal's bad luck at the 500 continued this year with what he described as an "electrical gremlin" forcing him to drop out early in the race.

Last year's winner Tony Kanaan also ran into trouble after his car stalled during a pit stop, costing him more than a dozen laps behind the leader.

Kanaan' teammate Scott Dixon fared even worse, spinning out into a wall with just 32 laps to go. Josef Newgarden, who drives for Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing, was caught in the same crash and taken out of the running.

A collision between favorites Ed Carpenter and James Hinchcliffe on lap 176 took both out of contention, leaving Carpenter particularly frustrated.

"If he didn't have a concussion, I'd punch him in the face," Carpenter said after the crash.

Hinchcliffe, for his part, took most of the blame for the crash.

"I feel bad for Ed (Carpenter)," Hinchcliffe said. "It was 100 percent not Ed's fault."

With only 10 laps to go, driver Townsend Bell crashed into a wall and out of fifth place, causing the first red flag of the race to be thrown to allow debris to be cleared from the track.


Associated Press reporter Jenna Fryer contributed to this report.

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