Castroneves wins as Kiwis stumble at Indy 500

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New Zealand drivers Scott Dixon and Scott McLaughlin have had days to forget at the Indianapolis 500 motor race.

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Scott Dixon at Indianapolis
Photo: Icon Sportswire

Dixon, the 2008 winner, finished 17th and rookie McLaughlin 20th.

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The race was won by Brazilian Helio Castroneves, his fourth victory at The Brickyard.

Both suffered pit-lane incidents that cost them any chance of victory.

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Pole sitter Dixon ran out of fuel before his first pit stop.

The six-time Indycar champion was on track for a scheduled stop, but an accident in pit lane meant he was forced to stay out on the track.

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He eventually coasted into his pit as his fuel ran out and his Chip Ganassi team was unable to get his car restarted and he fell a lap behind.

He did eventually catch up that lap and did well to finished 17th out of the 30 cars that completed the race.

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McLaughlin, who started from 17th on the grid, temporarily lost control of his car in pit lane and was penalised for speeding… he was then forced to do a stop-go penalty, which also pushed him to the rear of the field.

Castroneves scored his fourth win in front of the largest crowd to attend a sporting event in the United States since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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The 46-year-old Brazilian surged to the front with two laps to go and held off a challenge from hard-charging Spanish young gun Alex Palou to claim victory and join AJ Foyt, Rick Mears and Al Unser as the only four-time winners of the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing”.

It was the 21st Indy 500 start for Castroneves but his first with Meyer Shank Racing, his other wins in 2001, 2002 and 2009 all coming with powerhouse outfit Team Penske.

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With the race back in its traditional U.S. Memorial Day holiday weekend slot, after last year’s event was moved to August and held at an empty track due to the pandemic, a sold-out crowd of 135,000 excited fans flocked to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS).

While the crowd was well shy of the close to 400,000 that IMS can accommodate, the roars returned to the Brickyard as fans partied in the sunshine.

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-RNZ/Reuters

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