Andretti rules Indy _ and other takeaways from the 500

McLaren's Formula One boss Zak Brown said it was "shocking", but not surprising, to see Fernando Alonso's rookie Indy 500 appearance scuppered by a Honda engine failure.

Sato's win was the second consecutive Indy 500 victory for Andretti Autosport, which won last year with then-rookie Alexander Rossi, and its third in the last four years.

A record 15 drivers led the race, another reason we're in the good old days. "I was a lap down, but I just kept going", Chilton said. Sato held off aggressive charges from Castroneves, the driver of the No. 3 Shell Fuel Rewards Team Penske Chevrolet, in the sixth-closest finish in Indy 500 history.

Racing down the front straightaway side-by-side with Sato as Lap 198 ended and Lap 199 began, Castroneves momentarily pulled ahead of Sato - bringing a roar from the crowd. "It was a lousy way to end a race where the team did an awesome job".

"I know, Helio was coming, coming, coming.", Sato said.

All that and more happened in the raucous 101st Indianapolis 500 on Sunday.

In 2004, he collected his only F1 podium at the US Grand Prix for BAR at the Speedway and in 2012 nearly pulled off a shock Indy 500 win for AJ Foyt but crashed trying to pass Dario Franchitti on the final lap. He boldly passed both Jones and Castroneves on the outside of Turn 1 on the 179th lap. But fearing he would wind up in the wall, Castroneves lifted as Sato sped past and waited for a second chance that never materialized.

Sato will get the full celebrity treatment when IndyCar sends the victor out for a media blitz next week.

Pole sitter and former Indy 500 champ Scott Dixon was involved in a horrific crash in which his vehicle flipped and went airborne, crashing into a retaining wall, then flipping and skidding upside-down with most of the back end missing.

After Howard hit the outside wall, his auto drifted down the track. The revolutionary SAFER barrier, whose developed was pioneered under the leadership of Tony George (to me this is George's greatest legacy in racing), very likely saved Scott Dixon from serious injury or worse on Sunday when he had a frightful airborne crash in which he landed on top of the short chute wall, rear-end first. The pole sitter's vehicle flipped end-over-end and completed a 180-degree rotation, before hitting the barrier of the inside wall.

Jones had been sent to the rear of the field because his crew touched his Dallara during the red flag needed for fence fix after Dixon was catapulted into the air by Jay Howard in Turn 1.

Amazingly, Dixon and Howard were able to walk away from the accident. He went to the infield medical center to check on Dixon after his crash, just as Dixon had visited him in the hospital.

Kerber, who replaced Williams atop the WTA rankings this month, was gone from Roland Garros by lunchtime on Day 1, putting up little resistance while being beaten 6-2, 6-2 by 40th-ranked Ekaterina Makarova of Russian Federation. It was definitely a rough ride. "I was extremely happy for the final result". Dixon qualified with a speed of 232.164 miles per hour. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Alonso acquitted himself well in his IndyCar and oval track debut, leading 27 laps and matching up well with his more experienced Andretti Autosport team-mates.

Then it was the dreaded Andretti curse. "They worked really hard to get us here", said Andretti. Alas, the supposed curse remains. Marco Andretti was eighth, having lost a piece of a wing from contact.

With the first race of the day completed, fans turned their attention to Charlotte Motor Speedway.

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