The two battled each other on the race track. Ryan Hunter-Reay and Helio Castroneves covered five laps in the quest to best each other. And Ryan came out the champ.
But the difference between the two was only that of the length of a single car. And that time period was six hundredths of a second. Phew! Now that is pretty close.
Ryan Hunter-Reay emerged as the top talent and is the super racer now. He is in his mid 30s and a fighter to be reckoned with. He hails from Florida and was the Verizon champion about two years ago.
"I'm a proud American boy, that's for sure," Hunter-Reay proclaimed to the world in the Victory Lane post-race interview.
"This is an international sport, open-wheel," Hunter-Reay explained. "We do battle on every different type of discipline -- short ovals, street courses. The only series in the world like that. The Verizon IndyCar Series is a true drivers' championship. That's what I love the most about it. Winning this one here is definitely a game changer.
"The championship is right next to this win. This one is probably on top of that. It's amazing. It hasn't yet sunk in."
While Castroneves did all that lay in his capacity as a racer of the highest order, he just could not settle things with Ryan. It was in the fourth lap that Ryan overtook Castroneves to claim the cup.
Castroneves when asked about his defeat later on swore that he tried. In fact, according to him, he tried really damned hard. But as he spoke with some trepidation, you cannot fight with chance and destiny.
"I tried man, trust me," Castroneves said. "I really tried. You can't question destiny. Today I did everything; my team did everything we possibly could have done to win this race. So close to win four. It's frustrating to be so close to something that only a few guys did."
Fate had other plans and he felt helpless in the end despite all the effort he put into the race to the finish line. He also pointed out how close he was to the end.
"Great race. Second place is good, but second sucks. Congrats to Andretti Autosports. [Ryan Hunter-Reay] did everything he could. Unfortunately, it wasn't our day. It was great to see an American driver winning," said Castroneves.
But his sense of dismal depression was obvious since all those machinations proved to be nil in front of Ryan who snatched the prize. Castroneves is a Brazilian but he too like Ryan has lived all his life in Florida.
He said tongue in cheek that it was great to have American talent win the race for a change since in the past foreigners had been the winners. The last time an American won was eight odd years ago. But now the Yanks have reclaimed the top position once again.
Ryan Hunter-Reay and baby in matching fire suits. pic.twitter.com/fLdkbcT0sW— Cork Gaines (@CorkGaines) May 25, 2014