Castroneves Wins Indy 500
The 2021 Indianapolis 500 field was filled with big names and plenty of young talent, but it was a veteran that came away with the win.
Helio Castroneves won his fourth Indy 500 title this weekend, tying the record for the most all-time.
The 46-year-old driver was not viewed as a real threat to win the race this weekend as he has not even been racing full-time in recent seasons. Castroneves proved that he still has what it takes to win the big races, and his experience played a factor in winning the Indy 500.
With the win, Castroneves became the fourth-oldest driver to ever win the Indianapolis 500. Al Unser, Bobby Unser, and Emerson Fittipaldi are the only drivers older than Castroneves at the time of winning the iconic race.
Castroneves has had an interesting 12 months in racing, including being cut from Team Penske as a full-time driver. He was recruited by the team to drive in one of its cars for this race, and he was mobbed by his longtime teammates at the finish line.
The last Indy 500 win for Castroneves came all the way back in 2009, but there have been a number of close calls in between titles. Castroneves has insisted that he still has more to prove in an IndyCar, and he made that loud and clear at one of the most iconic venues in all of sports.
Alex Palou was in a tight race with Castroneves throughout the final stages of the race, but the veteran pulled ahead with just two laps remaining and then held on for the victory.
Attendance at IMS Makes History
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced a reduced capacity for the 2021 Indy 500 due to ongoing concerns with the COVID-19 pandemic. The capacity limitations did continue to lessen in the weeks leading up to the race, allowing the attendance to set records this weekend.
The IMS announced that 135,000 tickets had been sold for the 2021 Indianapolis 500, marking the largest gathering at a sporting event since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. This was just 40% of the normal capacity as this race has been known to bring in more than 400,000 patrons on race day.
The IMS is the largest sporting venue in the world when it is fully operational, as more than 250,000 fans are able to attend. There were still safety protocols in place for this event, but it marked a return to normalcy for the IMS and for the entire sports and entertainment industry.
Previously, a cricket match in Melbourne, Australia, had held the record for the highest attended sporting event since the pandemic began. Earlier in May, a boxing match between Canelo Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders attracted 73,000 fans in Arlington, Texas.
Now that the Indy 500 went off without a hitch, other sporting events are expected to push attendance limits in the future. Major League Baseball is close to seeing nearly 100 percent capacity limits at most stadiums across the United States.
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