Helio Castroneves won the 2021 Indianapolis 500 on Sunday afternoon with the fastest time ever and joined the prestigious club of drivers who have won the race four times. Álex Palou finished second, while 2019 winner Simon Pagenaud was third.
The 105th edition of the Indianapolis 500 is the largest sporting event to take place since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Indianapolis Motor Speedway welcomed 135,000 fans, although that represented only 40% of a usual crowd at the Indy 500. The 2020 race was postponed to Aug. 23, 2020, and held without any spectators.
Castroneves' previous three wins came in 2001, 2002 and 2009. He is the first to win four Indy 500s since Rick Mears' 1991 victory. Along with Castroneves and Mears, A.J. Foyt and Al Unser have also won in Indianapolis four times.
At 46, Castroneves also becomes one of several older athletes to reach the pinnacle of their sports in 2021. He noted in his postrace comments that "Tom Brady won the Super Bowl, Phil Mickelson won the Masters, and here we go! The old guys are still kicking, teaching the young guys a lesson!"
The 2021 Indy Car Series continues with the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Race 1, which will air on NBC on Saturday, June 12, at 2 p.m. ET.