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Castroneves wins Indy 500.

Helio Castroneves produced the perfect ending to a remarkable Month of May by capturing victory in the Indianapolis 500, his third in the event and Team Penske's record 15th success.

Just five weeks on from facing possible incarceration on tax evasion charges, the Brazilian added to pole position, fastest time on Carb Day and success in the annual pre-race pit-stop challenge by leading the last 58 laps to add to both his, and Penske's, Brickyard legacy.

Despite a mid-race blip, when a gearbox glitch gave rival Target Chip Ganassi Racing a shot at repeating in Victory Lane, Castroneves and Penske were in touch for most of the 500 miles, eventually sweeping back past 2008 winner Scott Dixon in turn one to reclaim the lead, and pulling away from the race's final caution to lead Dan Wheldon and Danica Patrick across the famed row of bricks.

Although Castroneves got the jump on the field at the second time of asking - his initial attempt at taking the green having been waved off due to the margin he had built up - his lead lasted only for seven laps, all of which were run under yellow after Mario Moraes and Marco Andretti got together in turn three, ending the Brazilian's race on the spot and Andretti's after a brief return that only served to confirm that his handling was too awry to be safe.

On the restart, Castroneves' advantage was erased immediately as Dario Franchitti swept under the Penske entry into turn one, and the Scot underlined Ganassi's challenge by leading through to the first round of pit-stops, taken two laps after Ryan Hunter-Reay had compounded a miserable month by scrapping one of the Vision Racing Dallaras against, first, the turn four wall and then several acres of concrete as he careered down pit-lane.

Franchitti led off pit-lane too, with Ryan Briscoe getting the jump on team-mate Castroneves as the familiar white-and-red cars followed the Scot back on track, and the Australian was the next to taste the lead as he passed Franchitti into turn one on lap 54. He retained the advantage through the second spree of stops, facilitated by Graham Rahal replicating his 2008 exit against the turn four wall while trying to pass the slower Milka Duno, while Dixon came into the reckoning by beating his team-mate off pit-road to make it two Ganassi cars behind the leading Penske.

It wasn't long before the reigning IndyCar champion hit the front either, but Dixon's move was created by a bizarre loss of form for Briscoe, who reported that his car suddenly had no grip, the #6 causing the pack to go four-wide in places as it plummeted down the order and the train swept past. By the time he was able to stop for a new set of tyres, the Australian was in danger of dropping out of the top 20, and returned to the fray a little further back.

He was running 23rd when veteran Davey Hamilton brought out the race's fourth caution after collecting the wall in turn four, the ensuing pit-stops seeing Franchitti getting back out in front, ahead of Dixon, Tony Kanaan, while Castroneves lurked back in fourth, albeit seemingly unable to do anything about the trio ahead of him. The Brazilian was followed by impressive rookie Raphael Matos, who was holding Patrick and Will Power at bay.

The restart, on lap 90, confirmed that Dixon was not prepared to play second fiddle to his team-mate, Franchitti despatched at turn one, but the Ganassi battle was interrupted by a big hit for the luckless Kanaan. The Brazilian arrived at Indianapolis at the head of the point standings, but his Brickyard misfortune saw the #11 entry turn sharp right on the back straight thanks to a suspected driveshaft failure, before careering into the following bend at unabated speed. Kanaan was a passenger, but still managed to escape unhurt, if a little battered, bruised and dazed.



Related Pictures

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Helio Castroneves celebrates winning the Indy 500 in familiar fashion   [pic credit: Indianapolis Motor Speedway]
Helio Castroneves pits during the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma on Sunday August 24 2014. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates capturing the pole Saturday, August 23, 2014, with the fastest qualifying time for Sunday`s IndyCar race at at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates capturing the pole Saturday, August 23, 2014, with the fastest qualifying time for Sunday`s IndyCar race at at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power (right), driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, is congratulated by teammate Helio Castroneves after capturing the pole Saturday, August 23, 2014 with the fastest qualifying time for Sunday`s IndyCar race at at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 captures the pole Saturday, August 23, 2014, with the fastest qualifying time for Sunday`s IndyCar race at at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves playfully congratulates team mate Will Power on winning pole position for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma on Saturday August 23 2014 (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves navigates the Turn 9 Esses during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power (center), driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 17, 2014 with second-place finisher Juan Pablo Montoya (left), driver of the #2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet, and Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 Huggies Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet at The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wisconsin. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 17, 2014 at The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wisconsin. Power has the driver championship points lead heading into the final two races of the season.  (Photo by Lesley Ann Miller/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 17, 2014 at The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wisconsin. Power has the driver championship points lead heading into the final two races of the season.  (Photo by Lesley Ann Miller/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, August 17, 2014 at The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wisconsin. Power has the driver championship points lead heading into the final two races of the season.  (Photo by Lesley Ann Miller/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to a sixth-place finish Sunday, August 3, 2014 during the IndyCar Series race at Mid Ohio Raceway in Lexington, Ohio. The finish was good enough for Power to retake the drivers points championship lead from teammate Helio Castroneves. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Chevrolet sweeps the podium with winner Mike Conway (center), driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrating his victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. Tony Kanaan (left), driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet celebrates his second-place finish. Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet celebrates his third-place finish. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Chevy Racing sweeps the podium with race winner Sebastien Bourdais (center), driver of the #11 Hydroxycut KVC Racing Technology Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrating his victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the first of two IndyCar Series races in Toronto, Canada. Second-place finisher Helio Castroneves (left), driver of the #3 PPV Automotive Refinish Team Penske Chevrolet, and third-place finisher Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, join the celebration. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to a fourteenth-place finish Saturday, July 13, 2014 at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. Power lost the championship points lead to teammate Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, who finished eighth. (Photo by Dan Streck/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 TNT Energy Drink Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6, races to a third-place finish Saturday, July 12, 2014 at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V6, takes over the championship points lead with an eighth-place finish. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V6, took over the championship points lead with an eighth-place finish Saturday, July 12, 2014 at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. (Photo by Brett Moist/LAT for Chevy Racing)

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