By Joe Contreras, Latin Life America Media
Latinos finished first, second, fourth and ninth in the 105th unbelievably exciting edition of the Indianapolis 500, considered the greatest auto racing spectacle in the world.
Helio Castroneves from Brazil captured his fourth career Indy victory, only the fourth person to ever accomplish the feat and first in more than 40 years to do so.
The 46 year old Castroneves battled Spain’s 24 year old Alex Palou for the lead in a back and forth battle for the last 50 laps finally passing him for good on the 199th lap of the 200 lap race. “We taught those youngsters a lesson today” said Castroneves in his victory speech.
Much of the race results were determined in the pits. Mistakes in the pit areas were the only mishaps in an otherwise clean race free of crashes on the track itself.
The only major incident came on Lap 119 when GrahamRahal was leading the race pitted. His pit crew left the left-rear tire loose. The wheel popped off as Rahal exited the pits, sending his Dallara-Honda into a hard impact with the Turn 2 wall.
The wheel then ricocheted back into traffic and dramatically struck the front of Conor Daly’s Chevrolet.
Mexico’s 22 year old Pato Oward held on to third place for 49 of the last 50 laps before being passed on the final lap by France’s Simon Pagenaud.
Juan Pablo Montoya from Colombia finished 9th.
More than 135,000 fans viewed the spectacle in person at the famed brickyard following last years Covid-19 affected race in front of zero fans. It was the largest crowd for a sporting event in more than 14 months.