Ryan Hunter-Reay admitted that he still watches highlights of his 2014 Indy 500 win, which came after one of the greatest battles in race history.
Few Indy 500 finishes can match what Ryan Hunter-Reay and Helio Castroneves produced in the closing stages of the race’s 98th running back on Sunday, May 25, 2014, which was nine years ago Thursday.
Hunter-Reay made a daring pass of the three-time Indy 500 champion on the back straightaway that nearly saw his No. 28 Andretti Autosport Honda clip the grass. While that is the highlight that everyone talks about, that wasn’t even the winning pass.
Castroneves made his way back around Hunter-Reay, only for Hunter-Reay to pass him again on the front straightaway, just before crossing the yard of bricks to take the white flag.
ABC announcer Allen Bestwick called it: “With that kind of drafting, warm up the photo finish cameras!”
The American hung on to win the race by 0.06 seconds, the second closest winning margin in Indy 500 history.
He denied Castroneves what would have been a record-tying fourth win in the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing”.
On the nine-year anniversary of what many consider the greatest Indy 500 finish of the modern era, we had the chance to speak with Hunter-Reay, who is attempting to win the race for a second time after sitting out last year.
“I sometimes watch it, some of the highlights,” Hunter-Reay told Beyond the Flag. “My kids will ask to watch it, you know, and yeah, it never gets boring! I’m just so proud of that finish.
“I think it will always be one of the best finishes in Indy 500 history, the way it had a red flag, kind of like a sudden death overtime, and then Helio and I just going absolutely berserk on each other, passing each other on the inside, outside, lanes, lines that we didn’t know were possible.”
Hunter-Reay is set to drive the No. 23 Chevrolet for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing for the first time in this year’s Indy 500, and he is set to start in 18th place, one position higher than the 19th place starting position from which he won nine years ago. A full starting lineup is available here.
“So yeah, just really, really proud to be a part of that [in 2014], and I’ve always, since the moment I raised the bottle of milk, I wanted to do it again. So it’s been eating at me, and I’ll put absolutely everything I have on the table on Sunday.”
Hunter-Reay’s odds at DraftKings Sportsbook to win the race are +5000.
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The 107th running of the Indy 500 is set to be broadcast live on NBC from Indianapolis Motor Speedway beginning at 11:00 a.m. ET on Sunday, May 28. If you have yet to begin a free trial of FuboTV, do so now!