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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]
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his pole position Sunday, May 31, 2015 for today`s Verizon IndyCar Series Chevrolet Belle Isle Dual In Detroit, the second of two IndyCar races this weekend in Detroit, Michigan. Qualifying was not completed due to rain and standing water on the track. Montoya captures the pole position based on being the leader in the driver point standings. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his pole position Sunday, May 31, 2015 for today`s Verizon IndyCar Series Chevrolet Belle Isle Dual In Detroit, the second of two IndyCar races this weekend in Detroit, Michigan. Qualifying was not completed due to rain and standing water on the track. Montoya captures the pole position based on being the leader in the driver point standings. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, runs in the rain during qualifying Sunday, May 31, 2015 for today`s Verizon IndyCar Series Chevrolet Belle Isle Dual In Detroit, the second of two IndyCar races this weekend in Detroit, Michigan. Qualifying was not completed due to rain and standing water on the track. Montoya captures the pole position based on being the leader in the driver point standings. (Photo by Scott R. LePage/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Hello Castroneves, driver of the #3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet V6 IndyCar, races to a sixth-place finish Saturday, May 30, 2015, during the the first of two Verizon IndyCar Series Chevrolet Belle Isle Dual In Detroit races this weekend in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Scott R. LePage/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V6 IndyCar, races to a fourth-place finish Saturday, May 30, 2015, during the the first of two Verizon IndyCar Series Chevrolet Belle Isle Dual In Detroit races this weekend in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 PPG Automotive Refinish Team Penske Chevrolet V6 IndyCar, celebrates his third-place finish Saturday, May 30, 2015, during the the first of two Verizon IndyCar Series Chevrolet Belle Isle Dual In Detroit races this weekend in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 PPG Automotive Refinish Team Penske Chevrolet V6 IndyCar, races to a third-place finish Saturday, May 30, 2015, during the the first of two Verizon IndyCar Series Chevrolet Belle Isle Dual In Detroit races this weekend in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Scott R. LePage/LAT for Chevy Racing)
The helmet and gloves of Helio Castroneves following qualifications for Race 1 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit at Belle Isle Park (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Hello Castroneves, driver of the #3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet V6 IndyCar, qualifies fastest Friday, May 29, 2015, capturing the pole position for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Chevrolet Belle Isle Dual In Detroit, the first of two IndyCar races this weekend in Detroit, Michigan. Castroneves` teammate, Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, captured the pole. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V6 IndyCar, qualifies fastest Friday, May 29, 2015, capturing the pole position for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Chevrolet Belle Isle Dual In Detroit, the first of two IndyCar races this weekend in Detroit, Michigan. Power`s teammate, Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet, was second-fastest and will start in the front row with Power. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V6 IndyCar, qualifies fastest Friday, May 29, 2015, capturing the pole position for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Chevrolet Belle Isle Dual In Detroit, the first of two IndyCar races this weekend in Detroit, Michigan. Power`s teammate, Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet, was second-fastest and will start in the front row with Power. (Photo by Ernie Masche/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V6 IndyCar, qualifies fastest Friday, May 29, 2015, capturing the pole position for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Chevrolet Belle Isle Dual In Detroit, the first of two IndyCar races this weekend in Detroit, Michigan. Power`s teammate, Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet, was second-fastest and will start in the front row with Power. (Photo by Steve Fecht for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya celebrates with team owner Roger Penske after winning the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, and his team perform the traditional kissing of the bricks after racing to victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, drinks the traditional bottle of milk while celebrating his victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates his victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Scott R. LePage/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, crosses the finish line as he races to victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Will Power (left), driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, finishes second. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Andy Frame/LAT for Chevy Racing)

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