Takuma Sato became the first Japanese driver to win the Indianapolis 500, holding off three-time race winner Helio Castroneves over the final hectic laps at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Sato's previous best in seven starts was 13th place. He started from the inside of Row 2 and beat Castroneves by 0.20011 of a second.

"Fantastic race," exclaimed the 40-year-old Sato.

Said Castroneves, who was tying to become the fourth four-time winner: "I keep trying. It's unbelievable. I couldn't do what he was doing (on the closing laps)."

Castroneves, who improved 17 places from his startikng position, has finished second three times.

Rookie Ed Jones was third, followed by Max Chilton, Tony Kanaan, Juan Pablo Montoya, Alexander Rossi, Marco Andretti, Gabby Chaves (an improvement of 16 positions from his start) and Carlos Munoz in the top 10.

It's the third win for Andretti Autosport in the past four Indy 500s.

There were 35 lead changes among a race-record 15 drivers.