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Ryan Hunter-Reay wins Indianapolis 500 with last-lap pass; Kurt Busch finishes 6th

Second place was the most advantageous place to be in the final laps of Sunday's Indianapolis 500.

After starting first on the race's final restart with six laps to go, Ryan Hunter-Reay traded the lead with Helio Castroneves four times and drove past Castroneves for the final time on the last lap to take the checkered flag in the second-closest finish in Indianapolis 500 history.

Hunter-Reay, the 2012 IndyCar Series champion, is the first American-born driver to win the 500 since Sam Hornish Jr. made a last-minute pass of Marco Andretti for the win. Kurt Busch, the first driver to attempt both the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 in the same day since Robby Gordon in 2004, finished sixth. (Coincidentally, Robby Gordon's sister, Beccy, is Hunter-Reay's wife.)

Leading wasn't all it's normally cracked up to be late in the race because of the style of the cars. The draft, where a car behind another car can go faster because of a lack of air resistance, was an integral factor. Over the final six laps, the car in second could consistently close up on the lead car and make a move as Castroneves did right as the green flag waved for the final time.

Castroneves assumed the lead for a second time following the restart with two laps to go after Hunter-Reay had made a daring pass for the lead on the backstretch, nearly going into the grass to complete the move. However, it left himself open for Hunter-Reay's winning move, which happened on the outside lane on the frontstretch as the drivers too the white flag.

A three-time Indianapolis 500 champion, Castroneves simply ran out of time to get back to Hunter-Reay, only closing to his bumper as the two got to the finish line.

It's Hunter-Reay's first win at Indianapolis.

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Nick Bromberg is the editor of From The Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @NickBromberg


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