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Indy 500 2021: Results, Top Finishers and Analysis from 105th Edition of Race

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMay 30, 2021

Helio Castroneves, of Brazil, gestures as he talks with fans on his way to his car before the Indianapolis 500 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Sunday, May 30, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

Helio Castroneves joined one of the most elite groups in all of motorsports Sunday.

The 46-year-old became the fourth driver to win four times at the Indianapolis 500.

IndyCar on NBC @IndyCaronNBC

RETWEET TO CONGRATULATE @H3LIO CASTRONEVES ON HIS FOURTH #INDY500 WIN! Relive the final two laps at @IMS. https://t.co/0aYT4grWPe

Castroneves took over the lead late in the race after Felix Rosenqvist and Takuma Sato opted to pit after their respective strategies did not work.

In the final five laps, Castroneves held off a push from Alex Palou and avoided some lapped traffic to cross the finish line in first place. Palou was one of two young drivers aiming to win their first Indy 500. Pato O'Ward was also in the mix toward the end, but neither got a great run on Castroneves in the final few laps.

After he secured the victory, the crowd at Indianapolis Motor Speedway erupted with chants of "Helio!" to celebrate the accomplishment. The Athletic's Jeff Gluck gave us a look at what the environment looked like:

Jeff Gluck @jeff_gluck

LISTEN TO THE FANS!!! #INDY500 https://t.co/7yw2d2AeI3

With the win, Castroneves joined A.J. Foyt, Al Unser Sr. and Rick Mears as the only four-time winners of the most historic open-wheel race in North America.

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The importance of the moment was appreciated by everyone in the field, as Castroneves went through a long line of congratulatory wishes.

Will Power was one of the many competitors who went up to Castroneves, and even Mario Andretti came up to him and gave up him a kiss on the head, as Jenna Fryer of the Associated Press noted:

Jenna Fryer @JennaFryer

@h3lio "You're a legend of the sport," Will Power tells Helio. All of Team Penske is out on the frontstretch for Helio. This is nice. Mario is out there and gives him a kiss.

Even some of the competitors and analysts from the NASCAR Cup Series chimed in with well-wishes for Castroneves, including Brad Keselowski and Jeff Gordon:

Brad Keselowski @keselowski

HELIO!!!!

Jeff Gordon @JeffGordonWeb

Congrats @h3lio on Indy 500 win #4! Well done my friend!

Castroneves' victory was his first with Meyer Shank Racing, who he's driven for since departing from Penske Racing. Meyer Shank Racing had two drivers in the race, with the other one being Jack Harvey.

Roger Penske, who is the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, shared a moment with Castroneves as the champion made his way from the finish line to Victory Lane. Castroneves won the Indy 500 in 2001, 2002 and 2009 with Team Penske.

Jeff Gluck @jeff_gluck

Cool moment with Roger Penske and Helio. #Indy500 https://t.co/tLNrJTIVZX

Castroneves followed the trend of older legendary athletes capturing titles over the last 12 months. Tom Brady won the Super Bowl at 43, and Phil Mickelson captured the PGA Championship at 50.

Castroneves had three drivers finish within one second of him. Palou took second, Simon Pagenaud ended up in third and O'Ward landed fourth.

Ed Carpenter, Santino Ferrucci, Sage Karam, Rinus VeeKay, Juan Pablo Montoya and Tony Kanaan completed the top 10. Pole-sitter and pre-race favorite Scott Dixon ended up in 17th.

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