Hunter-Reay feared Castroneves would steal Indianapolis 500 win
|By Mark Glendenning||Monday, May 26th 2014, 14:22 GMT|
Indianapolis 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay admits that he thought Helio Castroneves was going to pass him on the line as the pair fought out a thrilling finish to yesterday's race.
Sprinting to the finish after a restart with six laps to go, the drivers swapped the lead almost every lap, a battle that included Hunter-Reay making the move of the race when he swooped through a tiny gap to the inside of Castroneves at Turn 3 with two laps to go.
However, Castroneves kept coming back at him, and when they went into the final lap Hunter-Reay said that he was thinking of the finish to the 2006 race, when Marco Andretti was beaten at the last moment by Sam Hornish Jr.
"On the last lap I was worried that [Castroneves] would be able to come out and draft up and pass me, just like Hornish did to Marco in 2006," he said.
"That was playing on my mind. I had to be aggressive, come off of Turn 4 low so that Helio couldn't draft up as well.
"I think that was the difference. Had I come off high, he'd have been right in my slipstream, probably would have gone by."
Asked whether he thought he might have taken the lead too soon, Hunter-Reay replied in the affirmative.
"Absolutely," he said. "When Helio got by me, I thought that might have been it.
"I came back down and cut a little grass for IMS, but we made it happen. I was going with instinct mostly.
"A large part of that ... there's an aspect of just going for it because it's the Indy 500. Second doesn't really count."