Skip to content

After narrow loss, Sato looks ahead to Indy 500

May 5, 2013, 4:28 PM EST

Sao Paulo Indy 300 - Day 3 Getty Images

Despite losing a heart-pounding battle with James Hinchcliffe in the Sao Paulo Indy 300, runner-up Takuma Sato still had a great day on multiple fronts and proved that his victory two weeks ago at Long Beach was no fluke.

Sato vigorously defended his lead during the final laps and his moves against both Hinchcliffe and eventual fifth-place finisher Josef Newgarden raised some eyebrows. Nonetheless, he stayed ahead on a set of tires that were almost 40 laps old until the very last corner, where Hinchcliffe got by him on the inside and went on to take the win.

“I had the same tire [for the] last 35, 37 laps — really much longer than we predicted,” Sato said. “I was really struggling on the grip the last laps.  I really had to deal with a lot of things.

“The last few laps was great fun from a driver’s point of view.  It’s a real pity that I lost it on the final lap of the race on the final corner. But that shows how we are competitive…A win would be great, but otherwise, I really fought hard on the track today and I’m really proud of the whole team. The guys did a great job.”

With Helio Castroneves’ down day on the track this afternoon, Sato’s runner-up finish has put him on top of the IZOD IndyCar Series championship by 13 points over Marco Andretti going into the Indianapolis 500. He also earned his second consecutive podium in Brazil, having finished third for Rahal Letterman Lanigan there last year.

Sato crashed on the final lap of last year’s “500” while attempting a pass at Turn 1 for the lead on Dario Franchitti. Even so, his recent success has him believing that he can be a threat once again at the Brickyard.

“The team [has spent] a long time [preparing] from the wintertime to get to Indianapolis,” he said. “So does everyone else, so we will see. We [will] see how we build up for the month of May. I have great confidence of the team doing a great job at the ‘500’.”

Latest Posts
  1. Dale Jr.’s 21 races with Nationwide primary sponsorship revealed

    Feb 1, 2015, 2:30 PM EST

    Federated Auto Parts 400 - Practice Getty Images

    Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s 21-race lineup with Nationwide Insurance as primary sponsor has been announced.

  2. Remembering new NFL Hall of Famer Junior Seau’s time on an IndyCar pit crew (VIDEO)

    Feb 1, 2015, 2:15 PM EST

    Credit: NBC Sports/Mandt Bros. Productions Credit: NBC Sports/Mandt Bros. Productions

    The late NFL legend helped Target Chip Ganassi Racing during the 2009 IndyCar weekend at Sonoma as part of his “Sports Jobs with Junior Seau” TV show.

  3. Rosberg delighted by trouble-free day for Mercedes

    Feb 1, 2015, 2:00 PM EST

    Nico Rosberg AP

    German driver completes a mammoth 157 laps on day one in Jerez, suggesting Mercedes’ bid to improve its reliability for 2015 has been a successful one.

  4. Ryan Dungey gets first Supercross win of season at Anaheim III

    Feb 1, 2015, 1:45 PM EST

    ryan_dungey_supercross_2015_anaheim3 Getty Images

    Ryan Dungey and Cooper Webb both won in Anaheim to retain the points lead in their respective classes.

  5. IndyCar: Ganassi set for engineering shuffle

    Feb 1, 2015, 1:30 PM EST

    Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach - Day 1 Getty Images

    Engineering changes set for CGR’s IndyCar program in 2015.

  6. NASCAR: Kevin “Bono” Manion named crew chief for Alex Bowman, No. 7 team

    Feb 1, 2015, 1:15 PM EST

    Credit: Pilot/Flying J Racing (@PFJRacing) Credit: Pilot/Flying J Racing (@PFJRacing)

    Manion has won the Daytona 500, Brickyard 400, and two Xfinity Series championships as a crew chief during his career.

  7. Ricciardo feels a step forward with new Red Bull car

    Feb 1, 2015, 1:00 PM EST

    F1 Testing In Jerez - Day One Getty Images

    Australian driver enjoys a solid first day of testing in Jerez, completing more laps than the team managed in four days at last year’s opening test.

  8. First significant running of Lotus E23 delayed until Tuesday

    Feb 1, 2015, 12:30 PM EST

    © Lotus F1 Team © Lotus F1 Team

    New car only arrived in Spain on Sunday evening after being fired up in the factory on Saturday.

  9. Dennis: McLaren set for livery change during 2015

    Feb 1, 2015, 12:00 PM EST

    Fernando Alonso AP

    McLaren CEO confirms that there will be a change in design at some point this year, but refuses to say when.

  10. Vettel fastest for Ferrari on day one of Jerez test

    Feb 1, 2015, 11:05 AM EST

    F1 Testing In Jerez - Day One Getty Images

    German driver makes a good start to life with Ferrari, but it is Mercedes who puts in the performance of the day with an incredible 157 laps completed.

  11. Heartache of 2014 defeat motivates Rosberg for new season

    Feb 1, 2015, 10:45 AM EST

    F1 Testing In Jerez - Day One Getty Images

    German driver wants to avoid a repeat of his last race defeat to Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in 2014.

  12. Momentum and expectations high at Williams for 2015

    Feb 1, 2015, 10:00 AM EST

    Bottas Massa 12 Getty Images

    After storming to third place in the constructors’ championship in 2014, Williams must now consolidate its rise and push for race wins.

  13. Horner praises “exciting and dynamic” Red Bull line-up

    Feb 1, 2015, 9:00 AM EST

    Red Bull - Meet The 2015 Drivers Getty Images

    As the post-Vettel era begins at Red Bull, Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat prepare to step up to the plate.

  14. Mercedes leaving no stone unturned in bid for a second world title

    Feb 1, 2015, 8:00 AM EST

    Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg AP

    Technical chief Paddy Lowe working on improved reliability in 2015 after some issues last season.

  15. Mercedes and Williams unveil 2015 cars as F1 testing begins

    Feb 1, 2015, 5:00 AM EST

    F1 Testing In Jerez - Day One Getty Images

    F1 pre-season gets underway in Jerez with the first public test.

  16. Red Bull RB11 launched in camouflage testing livery

    Feb 1, 2015, 4:35 AM EST

    F1 Testing In Jerez - Day One Getty Images

    Something out of the ordinary from Red Bull as pre-season testing begins in Jerez, Spain.

  17. Jimmie Johnson likes new Chase format, but misses the one that brought him six championships

    Jan 31, 2015, 11:09 PM EST

    jimmie johnson 2015 media tour AP AP

    Given the way the 2014 season turned out for him, Jimmie Johnson would have preferred to see the old Chase for the Sprint Cup format rather than the new elimination format.

  18. NHRA: Alan Johnson Racing moves forward without Al-Anabi

    Jan 31, 2015, 5:13 PM EST

    Alan Johnson (Photo courtesy AlanJohnsonRacing.com) Alan Johnson (Photo courtesy AlanJohnsonRacing.com)

    With Al-Anabi Racing now defunct, team owner Alan Johnson has picked up the remnants and intends on racing one Top Fuel dragster, with 2013 champ Shawn Langdon behind the wheel, in at least the first two races of the 2015 season.

  19. Jeff Gordon: Chase Elliott is ‘right guy’ to keep driving No. 24

    Jan 31, 2015, 4:01 PM EST

    jeff gordon no. 24 Getty Getty Images

    Jeff Gordon wanted to see his successor continue on the legacy of the No. 24 car. Chase Elliott is happy to continue that tradition.

  20. Gutierrez enjoying life with Ferrari in third driver role

    Jan 31, 2015, 4:00 PM EST

    Ferrari Car Launch Getty Images

    Mexican driver is excited for the return of his home grand prix in November, even if he won’t be racing.

More from NASCAR America

Elliott: 'Common bond' unites inductees
Top 10 NASCAR Driver Searches
  1. C. Elliott (1845)
  2. R. Blaney (1316)
  3. J. Gordon (1308)
  4. C. Custer (1295)
  5. C. Eggleston (1284)
  1. R. Chastain (1247)
  2. N. Drake (1221)
  3. B. McReynolds (1211)
  4. A. Almirola (1086)
  5. K. Larson (1037)