Sato ready for late celebration of last year’s Indy 500 victory


Takuma Sato of Japan signs an autograph for a fan during qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Saturday, May 22, 2021, in Indianapolis.  (AP Photo / Darron Cummings)

Takuma Sato of Japan signs an autograph for a fan during qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Saturday, May 22, 2021, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo / Darron Cummings)

AP

Takuma Sato will receive a late celebration this weekend for winning last year’s Indianapolis 500 in front of empty stands.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway was empty of essential personnel last August when Sato won his second Indianapolis 500. The pandemic had shut down a crowd and robbed Sato of the traditional loot that comes with victory.

To help Sato pay back his due, the speedway will break with tradition on Sunday and distinguish Sato during the pilot presentations. The hope is that the 135,000 fans in attendance will give the Japanese rider the cheers he missed last year. Sato will also participate in a special race day interview in front of the fans.

Sato, also a 2017 winner, will win the Borg-Warner Trophy on Saturday in a parade where the 33 pilots on the field will visit homes around Indianapolis decorated for the 500.

He starts Sunday 15th for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and tries to become the sixth driver to win a consecutive 500 Indianapolis.


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