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Castroneves wins Grand Prix of Alabama

Helio Castroneves took his first road course win for nearly 18 months with a fuel strategy victory at Barber Motorsport Park.
A record crowd witnessed the end of one 2010 IndyCar Series streak, but saw another continue as Helio Castroneves took the chequered flag in the inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Alabama presented by Legacy Credit Union at Barber Motorsports Park.

The Brazilian's victory, his first on a road/street course race since August 2008, stopped team-mate Will Power's run of wins at two, but ensured that Team Penske continued to enjoy the spoils and a 100 per cent record after three rounds of the new season.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner inherited the lead when long-time leader Marco Andretti had to pit for fuel eight laps from the end of the 90-lap race. Castroneves then held off Scott Dixon by 0.5703secs, then thanked the spectators for attending the inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Alabama with his trademark celebratory fence climb at turn nine.

As well as being Castroneves' first IndyCar Series win of the season, it was the 17th of his IRL career, and gives the Brazilian a record-setting 10th season with at least one win, an IndyCar Series record. The win was Penske's 38th in the IRL, and adds to Power's successes in Sao Paulo and St Petersburg.

"I felt like the Team Penske car was better than Marco's but, unfortunately, I just couldn't pass him," the veteran admitted, suggesting he was fortunate that the American needed a splash-and-dash to make the flag, "I was just patient and waiting for an opportunity and, well, I guess we were able to be smart enough to save a lot of fuel.

"Towards the end, we had a yellow flag, but I didn't ask for that - especially when you have Scott Dixon and those guys behind you. I just decided to make sure I did not give any opportunities for those guys, and that's what I did. I knew what the car was capable of doing. Sometimes you've got to count with a little luck, so today was a great day for Team Penske, and especially the #3 guys."

Dixon was happy to bounce back from his St Petersburg disappointment, but was left fuming by a stewards decision to penalise him two places in the early going after he jumped the start.

"It was a good day for Team Target all in all, with both cars in the top three,, but we could have been better off if we would have got around Helio," the Kiwi noted, "It was hard to have the team telling me to save fuel and try to manage the fuel gauge, but still push.

"I feel that the officials made a poor call when they said that I passed Helio at the start/finish line. I got back behind him and he went around the outside at turn one. This track is all about track position and we didn't have the fastest cars, but we made use of what we had."




Related Pictures

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9-11 April, 2010, Birmingham, Alabama, USA. #3 Team Penske`s Helio Castroneves, race winner.
9-11 April, 2010, Birmingham, Alabama, USA. #3 Team Penske`s Helio Castroneves.
9-11 April, 2010, Birmingham, Alabama, USA. #3 Team Penske`s Helio Castroneves, race winner with young daughter.
Mike Conway (centre), driver of the #20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory with champagne Sunday, April 13, 2014 after winning the IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach in Long Beach, California. Will Power (right), driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, finished second. (Photo Credit: Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves apexes the hairpin during practice at Long Beach -- Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, March 30, 2014 during the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 finished third. (Photo by LAT/ Russell LaBounty for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, March 30, 2014 during the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 finished third. (Photo by LAT/ Russell LaBounty for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, March 30, 2014 during the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 finished third. (Photo by LAT/ Russell LaBounty for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, March 30, 2014 during the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 finished third. (Photo by LAT/ Michael L. Levitt for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Hunter-Reay, Will Power and Helio astroneves celebrate on the podium. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay, Will Power and Helio astroneves celebrate on the podium. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates with the Penske team. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves celebrates (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Charlie Kimball, Tony Kanaan, Helio Castroneves, Takuma Sato, Mike Conway, Will Power, Scott Dixon, James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchcliffe on course during the 2014 Open Test at Barber Motorsports Park. (Photo Credit: Chris Owens)
James Hinchcliffe on course during the 2014 Open Test at Barber Motorsports Park. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones)
Dario Franchitti reviews data in the Target Chip Ganassi pit stand at the 2014 Open Test at Barber Motorsports Park on Tuesday March 18. (Photo Credit: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Oriol Servia sits in his car on pit lane during the 2014 Open Test at Barber Motorsports Park on Tuesday March 18. (Photo Credit: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)

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