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Castroneves makes it seven from seven.

It took Penske three years to get from win number 99 to win number 100, but it took them just three races to take win number 101. Helio Castroneves stormed home at the tricky Belle Isle circuit, beating Max Papis home by four seconds.

The notorious Belle Isle parkland circuit once again proved to be a car breaker as long-time leader Juan Montoya was forced out of the lead with a broken driveshaft with just twenty laps to go.

Montoya had led the field away from pole position although fellow front row man Dario Franchitti challenged the Colombian hard into the first series of corners. Unlike last year Montoya didn't pull away and leave the field for dead and Franchitti was able to stay within three seconds until the first round of pit-stops.

Behind the lead two, Castroneves held his third place away from the grid and settled down with team-mate Gil De Ferran tucked in behind him. Behind these two there was a good deal of shuffling going on with Cristiano Da Matta nipping past Papis on the opening lap to take up fifth place with Christian Fittipaldi replicating his move on the Italian to take up sixth. Kenny Brack, in the second Team Rahal car, followed his team-mate in eighth place while Roberto Moreno and Michael Andretti rounded out the top ten.

Paul Tracy made a superb getaway from his 20th starting position overtaking five cars on the opening lap and settling in behind the second Ganassi car of Jimmy Vasser, the top two in the championship circulating just outside the points in 14th and 15th places.

Gradually Castroneves was able to ease away from his team-mate and turned his attention to Franchitti. However as is always the case in Detroit, the track quickly became very slippery off-line which made passing difficult and Castroneves had to be content with sitting in behind the Scot and hoping he made a mistake.

The gap between the lead pair stabilised at about 1.5 seconds after ten laps with the Lola-Toyota combination working very well on both the tight and twisty sections of the Belle Isle track aswell as the comparatively fast, sweeping sections. Franchitti appeared to be working much harder behind the wheel than Montoya while Castroneves just appeared to be biding his time and waiting for Dario to make a mistake.

The first re-shuffle in the pack came on lap ten when Kenny Brack nudges the wall also causing the closely following Michael Andretti to take evasive action. Andretti was able to continue back in twelfth place, just ahead of the scrapping Vasser and Tracy while Brack could only cruise back to the pits with a bent suspension.

Brack was not the first driver to touch the wall however. Two laps earlier Da Matta, still holding down his superb fifth position made light contact with the concrete on the exit of the penultimate turn although he was able to continue, albeit a little further behind De Ferran who was now left to plough a lonely furrow in fourth.



Related Pictures

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Castroneves celebrates
Montoya leads Castroneves on Belle Isle
Max Papis - Team Rahal
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Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet IndyCar V6, makes a quick pit stop while racing to victory Saturday, August 30, 2014 during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. This is the third consecutive win for Chevrolet at Auto Club Speedway. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Brian Cleary/LAT for Chevy Racing)
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Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship by hoisting the Astor Challenge Cup Saturday, August 30, 2014 after the last race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Chevrolet clinches its third straight Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship by kissing the Astor Challenge Cup Saturday, August 30, 2014 after the last race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Chevrolet clinches its third straight Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship with his wife Liz Saturday, August 30, 2014 after the last race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Chevrolet clinches its third straight Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
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Helio Castroneves, Driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the pole with the fastest qualifying time Friday, August 29, 2014, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Castroneves will start in the front row with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, who qualified second fastest.  (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, Driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates with his daughter Mikaella after winning the pole with the fastest qualifying time Friday, August 29, 2014, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Castroneves will start in the front row with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, who qualified second fastest.  (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, Driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the pole with the fastest qualifying time Friday, August 29, 2014, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Castroneves will start in the front row with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, who qualified second fastest. (Photo by Gregg Ellman/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, Driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the pole with the fastest qualifying time Friday, August 29, 2014, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Castroneves will start in the front row with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, who qualified second fastest. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 24, 2014, winning the IndyCar race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Russell LaBounty/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 24, 2014, winning the IndyCar race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)

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