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2014 Indy 500 was 2nd-closest finish ever

Posted at 4:59 PM, May 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-26 16:59:02-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- In 2014, Indianapolis was thawing out from the Polar Vortex, and its residents were at odds over the same sex marriage ban.

It was the year that legendary Pacers coach Bobby 'Slick' Leonard finally joined the Hall of Fame.

At the Indianapolis Motor Speedway that year, race fans tried out "glamping", or glamour camping, for the first time.

It was a big hit, and remains a sold out part of the festivities.

As fans arrived for the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500, they knew they were in for a bittersweet day: A tradition that began in 1972 was ending. 

Jim Nabors, then 83, went out on a high note, singing "Back Home Again in Indiana" for the last time in front of hundreds of thousands of fans.

For the race itself, Hoosier Ed Carpenter was on the pole for the second year in a row, but it was Ryan Hunter-Reay who raced into the history books.

In a nail biter of a finish, Hunter-Reay beat out Helio Castroneves by 0.600 seconds, the second-closest finish in race history for his first Indy 500 win. He was the first American-born winner since 2006.

Hunter-Reay quickly took a backseat to his son, Ryden, who stole the spotlight in Victory Circle.

Also notable was Kurt Busch, who made headlines in his bid to run the Indy 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day. Busch finished sixth in the Indy 500 but could not finish the NASCAR race because of a blown engine that night in Charlotte.

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