Sato wins second Borg-Warner Trophy after winning 2020 Indy 500

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher 

The Indianapolis 500 was delayed from its normal Memorial Day weekend spot due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, it lived up to its expectations once again. 

Takuma Sato won the prestigious Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana. This is his second Indianapolis 500 in his career. 

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver Takuma Sato pours milk on his head after winning the 2020 Indianapolis 500
Takuma Sato pours milk on his head after winning the 2020 Indianapolis 500 (Photo by Joe Skibinski/IndyCar)

In fact, he has won both Indianapolis 500 events in the past four years. He also won the 2017 Indianapolis 500.

“Obviously, we pitted (a lap) short from Dixie (Scott Dixon),” Sato said. “The fuel strategy was a bit tight. I saw Scott was coming right through out of Turn 4, and he was screaming coming at me. And I just held him off. Thank you so much.” (About winning at age 43): “This was the entire Rahal Letterman Lanigan team. HPD and Honda gave us a lot of power, a lot fuel mileage. And my boys … they sacrifice a lot. I can’t thank all of the people (enough).”

There was a late crash that involved Spencer Pigot that did not result in a red flag. IndyCar officials elected to let the race roll on with Sato as the leader and officially caused the win with three laps to go as the AMR Safety Team still tended to Pigot. 

He crashed into the safer barrier and it took Pigot several minutes to get out of the race car. At this time, we do not have an update on his condition if he was transported to a local hospital. 

Scott Dixon was not pleased with the stewards decision to ensure a green flag finish. 

“IndyCar makes every effort to end races under green, but in this case, following the assessment of the incident, there were too few laps remaining to gather the field behind the pace car, issue a red flag, and then restart,” IndyCar said in a statement about the finish of the race.

Dixon finished second in the race for the third-time in his career. He had a dominating car, but got passed late that hurt his chances of picking up another Borg-Warner Trophy. 

He previously won the event during the 2008 season. 

“This is a hard one to swallow. On fuel mileage, I really can’t see how (Takuma) Sato was going to make it,” Dixon said. “We pitted a lap later, and the numbers they had to get, it was going to be very difficult. I thought they were going to throw a red flag, which would have been interesting for the last four or five laps. Huge congrats to Sato. He drove his pants off today. Rahal Letterman Lanigan, they were super fast, obviously P1 and P3. It was good day for Honda. I want to give a massive thank you to them. We’re very proud to be powered by HPD and Honda, and it’s nice to get some points. But it’s hard when it slips away like that.”

Sato’s teammate Graham Rahal finished third. This third-place finish is his best in his career, as he also finished third during the 2011 Indianapolis 500.

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