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INDYCAR NEWS 

Hunter-Reay feared Castroneves would steal Indianapolis 500 win

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."

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