The 42-year-old led just nine laps but it really felt like he had the right combination of veteran experience and a fast vehicle needed to hold off the field and tie AJ Foty, Al Unser and Rick Mears as four-time Indy 500 champions.
It was the third time in four years that Honda had reached victory lane.
Sato screamed into the team radio after he crossed the yard of bricks and punched the air with his fist over and over.
For the second time in four years, Helio Castroneves is the runner-up finisher at Indianapolis. But Castroneves qualified 19th as part of a mediocre performance by powerhouse Team Penske. What a race, man. Going to the back, getting a penalty.
Dixon's day ended in much more frightening fashion when, after 53 laps, his vehicle was hit by that of Jay Howard after the Briton went into the wall. I know how big this news is going to be tomorrow when they wake up in Japan.
All eyes, though, will be one row behind Scott Dixon as Fernando Alonso makes his debut in "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing".
It was just the start of trouble for a handful of drivers with Honda engines. There has been talk all month about the unreliability of the Honda program, which has seen several failures here. "It's a shame. Who knows what it could be?"
"This is mega-big. I can't imagine how it's going to be", Sato, victor of just one prior IndyCar race, said of the likely reaction in his homeland.
"I feel competitive and if I come back I come back knowing how it would feel..." After the 100-miler Gohde got the winner's autograph in the pits, something he couldn't do when he saw Hank Aaron hit a home run at County Stadium, and, again, he was hooked.Paul began attending the Indianapolis 500 in 1961, and saw A. J. Foyt's first Indy win. But the focus became more intense in the lead-up to the biggest race of the season.
Engine failure also took 2014 Indy 500 victor Ryan Hunter-Reay out of the race with 64 laps to go, and he finished 27th. Marco Andretti, always a fan favorite, continued to have bad luck in the series' crown jewel, finishing eighth. After that restart with 17 laps to go, a crash involving multiple cars ended the day for Will Power, James Hinchcliffe, James Davison and Oriol Servia, bringing out another caution.
Alonso's race finished in much the same way as many of his F1 efforts this year, in frustration and a blown engine with 21 laps remaining of the 200.
Both drivers walked away unscathed, although the incident prompted a red flag and a delay while the wreckage was cleared from the track.
Dixon's auto then catapulted toward the inside barrier, where it landed and split in half.
In attempting to let 2014 victor Ryan Hunter-Reay pass, Englishman Howard was forced wide and hit the perimeter wall and then careered into the path of Dixon.