Sato’s attempts at passing Chilton allowed him to fall into the clutches of Helio. Helio snapped up second and set his own sights on Chilton. Helio desperately wants his 4th Indy 500 win. He desperately wants a win of any sort since it has been nearly 3 years since he went to victory lane and climbed a fence. Helio began to set up Chilton for a late race move for the lead, meanwhile fending off the incredibly quick Sato. Castroneves was stuck in an ex-F1 sandwich!
On the back straight, Helio finally caught the draft he needed and slingshot around Chilton’s outside. Helio had the lead! The crowd cheered as they hoped to see history made for the popular Brazilian. But with 6 to go, and drafting so key to passing, did Helio make his move too early? Or would he be able to fend off the three faster Hondas behind him for 15 scant miles?
No! A lap later, Sato caught his own draft and overtook Helio. Helio was smart and didn’t attempt to block Sato too much. With 5 to go, he had another chance to return the favor and take the win.
With the miles winding down, Helio kept stalking Sato, looking for an advantage around the Japanese driver. Behind them, Ed Jones had wrestled his way past Chilton, the two of them losing the immediate draft. With two to go, it was a two horse race. Helio tried an outside pass into Turn 1: a headwind slowed him down and he had to drop back in line.
And that was it! With the failed pass, Castroneves lost a few car lengths and did not have enough time to reel Sato back in. As the checkered flags flew, Takuma Sato won the race that got away: He was an Indy 500 champion at last!