Dan Wheldon became the first British winner of the Indianapolis 500 since 1966 when he stormed into the lead with only six of the 200 laps remaining.
Dan Wheldon follows in the footsteps of F1 great Graham Hill
The Englishman passed Danica Patrick - who was out to become the first-ever female winner of US motosport's biggest race at The Brickyard oval.
And he crossed the line first under a caution to emulate Formula One legend Graham Hill, who won 39 years ago.
Brazilian Vitor Meira finished second and American Bryan Herta was third.
Northamptonshire-born Wheldon, who leads the Indy Racing League after five races, outsmarted Patrick, who ended up fourth - a record for a woman.
Scotsman Dario Franchitti, one of Wheldon's Andretti Green team-mates, was a contender throughout and finished sixth.
It was a special day for owner Michael Andretti as the win ended a fabled run of bad Indy 500 luck for one of the most famous families in US sport.
But Yorkshire's Darren Manning suffered technical problems early on and was forced to retire.
Patrick hit the front for the first time when long-time leader Sam Hornish pitted for fuel and fresh tyres, but she too needed a stop and pulled in on lap 57.
After starting 16th, Wheldon was in the top five by lap 70.
And he found himself ahead of Patrick after she had suffered a spin and also stalled trying to leave the pits.
Wheldon was locked in a fight with Patrick when Roger Yasukawa hit the wall.
And although the American stole the lead when racing re-started, Wheldon hit back to win by 0.13 seconds under a final yellow flag caused by Sebastien Bourdais' late crash.