O’Ward heartbroken after losing out on Indianapolis 500 win

Pato O'Ward heartbroken after losing out on Indianapolis 500 win

Pato O’Ward came within just a single lap from being crowned the newest Indianapolis 500 winner, but fate had other plans.

McLaren’s Pato O’Ward is sure that there was nothing he could have done differently after a heartbreaking duel with Josef Newgarden in the final laps of Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 which saw him finish second.

Newgarden launched a daring overtake on the Mexican driver at turn 3 of the final lap, securing himself a second straight victory. O’Ward was once again compelled to watch as another driver celebrated winning the biggest race of the year after finishing in second place for the second time in the last three years.

After stopping his car, he remained in his helmet for a considerable amount of time and later told the reporters that he had done this to gather himself and hold back his tears before beginning the interview.

“It was just very wet in there,” O’Ward said. “I didn’t want to take it off just yet. Just wanted to calm down a little bit. I’m fine. It’s been a tough month.

“So much goes into this race. I think I’m somebody that wears my heart on my sleeve. I don’t really hide anything. It’s just when you’ve come so close and you just can’t seem to get it right, it’s just a lot of emotion, I would say.

“I think in a few hours [the pain will subside]. I feel very proud of what I did today. I really do. It’s just after all that work and all those very risky kind of choices that I had to make in order to put myself in that position, it just stings to not be able to just finish it. But it is what it is.

“First of all, very proud of what Arrow McLaren did for not just me, but for everybody within the team. I think I can speak on behalf of Kyle [Larson], Alex [Rossi], Callum [Ilott].

“They gave us the tools to fight. They gave us the tools to be there. As for my race, it was just such a stressful race. We were up and down, up and down. The car definitely wasn’t the easiest to drive at certain moments.

“I’m glad that we finished the race. Congratulations to Josef, two in a row. But yeah, I put that car in certain points where I didn’t know if I was going to come out the other end and in one piece because I just want to win this race so freaking bad.

“It owes me nothing, so every time we come back, there’s always a smile on my face to have another opportunity.”

O’Ward finished the race ,which was delayed due to rain, after leading 12 of the 200 laps and battling in the front for the better part of the afternoon. He additionally appeared to be struggling with a horrific oversteer, requiring many opposite lock maneuvers at 220 mph to get himself clear of the wall.

His highlight reel moment was an extraordinary save on Turn 2, where the in-car cameras caught a whirl of corrections as he fought to keep the No. 5 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet off the wall.

“It wasn’t the only [save],” he said. “I don’t know if they televised the other ones. Man, if there was one time where I had to put so much trust in my skill, it was today.

“There were so many times where I was like, ‘I don’t know if this is going to work out.’ I was so loose, so, so, so loose. It was just wiggling so much, moving around a lot.

“There were so many moments like that where I knew what to expect, but sometimes you just never know when it’s going to want to bite.

“That’s just what makes it so much more like… oh. Right? I risked so much today to put myself in contention to win this race, but that’s what you have to do whenever you’re stuck in line like that.

“I did it when it counted, and yeah… probably the most crazy 500 that I’ve had for sure, just in terms of issues that I was having within my car. So many moments.

“Really prepared to open the doors to ultimately have a chance to win at the end of this, and yeah, it’s just heartbreaking. Two corners short.

“At the end of the day, I hope I put smiles on kids’ faces and people that were here out to support us. I hope that they go home tonight happy with the show that we gave them because I feel like it was definitely not a boring race.”

O’Ward is currently fourth in the overall standings and has his eyes set on his second win this year on the streets of Detroit next weekend.

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