Castroneves on Dixon shunt: “They were flying. I duck, close my eyes”

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Castroneves on Dixon shunt: “They were flying. I duck, close my eyes”
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May 28, 2017, 9:46 PM

Helio Castroneves has described the moment where he passed under Scott Dixon’s car in the middle of a monstrous shunt on Lap 53 of the 101st Indianapolis 500.

Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, Jay Howard, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda, involved in a huge crash, Helio Castroneves, Team Penske Chevrolet avoids carnage
Helio Castroneves, Team Penske Chevrolet
Helio Castroneves, Team Penske Chevrolet, Ed Jones, Dale Coyne Racing Honda, Takuma Sato, Andretti Autosport Honda
Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, Jay Howard, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda involved in a huge crash
Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, Jay Howard, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda involved in a huge crash
Helio Castroneves, Team Penske Chevrolet

Dixon launched off the crippled Schmidt Peterson Motorsports car of Jay Howard at Turn 2, into a horrifyingly violent shunt that saw the #9 Ganassi car tearing up the fence and tumbling along the SAFER barrier.

Castroneves swerved in avoidance but found himself driving underneath the Ganassi car, mid-flight.

The three-time Indy 500 winner, who went on to lose the race by 0.2011sec to Takuma Sato, told the assembled media: “I saw they were flying. I duck, I close my eyes. When I open, I was in the grass.”

“I saw the 77 [Howard] on the gray [high line],” he continued. “I knew he would bounce back, that’s for sure, because it happened long time ago… I don't know – 2011, I think, almost caught me.

“I knew that would be the thing. When I saw Dixon, I say, ‘Okay, he might be in trouble.’

“So I was already moving to the left. But the car, when they connect, they came in so fast towards me in the air. “Wow, I really throw the car into the inside.

“All of a sudden I just saw the grass. I mean, I was in the grass. There was a hump. I don't know what happened, the car just jumped.

“I'm kind of like, ‘Hold on,’ you know? Okay, look around. Everything is fine.

“When we stopped because of the red flag, we noticed that there was the winglet broken and the front wing was broken, too.”

Castroneves admitted that he didn’t know how the winglet on his car’s rear bumper pod went missing but assumed it was debris.

“I don't know how it broke the winglet,” he commented. “Some parts touch my car. It was really close. I saw really the car in the air. I'm not sure if his nose touched the winglet.

“I was pretty lucky to avoid that. I'm glad he's OK, because it was a pretty nasty accident.”

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