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Castroneves climbs fence at Richmond.


Helio Castroneves scored his first victory and his first trademark fence-climb of 2005 with a victory in the SunTrust Indy Challenge at Richmond International Raceway.

Castroneves, who started on the outside of the front row in the #3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone, led the final 100 laps on the 0.75-mile D-shaped oval and defeated Dario Franchitti by 0.5588 of a second for his seventh career IndyCar Series victory.

"Today was a fantastic day," said Castroneves, who became the fifth winner in as many IndyCar Series events at the track. "Our car was very good, both cars, mine and [pole sitter] Sam [Hornish Jr.], obviously were very fast. I just couldn't ask for a better result."

Red Bull Cheever Racing's Patrick Carpentier, who started a season-high fourth, finished a season-best third. Tomas Scheckter, who won the race at Texas Motor Speedway on June 11, continued his impressive run by moving from 19th on the starting grid to a fourth-place finish. Dan Wheldon increased his points lead on Andretti Green Racing team-mate Tony Kanaan to 83 after seven of 17 events with a fifth place.

"That was all we had from the ArcaEx car; Helio just had a little more than we did but we pushed as hard as we could," said Franchitti, who led 56 laps and also recorded a season-high finish. "We're quite happy with second place and we'll keep working at it and we'll win one of these things pretty soon."

Castroneves, who led 112 laps, grabbed the lead for good when he reversed the running order with Franchitti during a caution-period stop for fuel and tyres on Lap 149. He was able to hold off Franchitti's #27 ArcaEx Dallara/Honda/ Firestone on a final-lap shootout after a caution on Lap 242 when the cars of Darren Manning and Roger Yasukawa made contact with each other and the Turn 2 outside retaining wall.

Tony Kanaan and Hornish both lost ground in the points race because of early exits.

Kanaan, the reigning IndyCar Series champion, had his streak of races completed end at 25 when his #11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone made contact with the #17 Menards/Johns Manville Panoz/Honda/Firestone driven by Vitor Meira on Lap 145. The last DNF for Kanaan was in August 2003 at Nazareth Speedway.

"I knew it was going to happen one day," he said. "So today was the day. We didn't start the weekend too good, so let's forget about it and go to Kansas."


Related Pictures

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Helio Castroneves, Marlboro Team Penske Dallara-Toyota, Indianapolis Motor Speedway 2005.
Helio Castroneves, Marlboro Team Penske Dallara-Toyota, Indianapolis Motor Speedway 2005.
Helio Castroneves was delighted to at last get a win in 2004 (Photo: Ron McQueeney/IRL)
Helio Castroneves leads the field down the frontstretch during the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 PPG Automotive Refinish Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, races to a fourth-place finish Saturday, June 27, 2015, in the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Perry Nelson/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves and Marco Andretti go side-by-side during practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Penske Truck Rental Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates capturing the pole position during qualifying Friday, June 26, 2015, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Penske Truck Rental Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates capturing the pole position during qualifying Friday, June 26, 2015, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Penske Truck Rental Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, qualifies fastest Friday, June 26, 2015, capturing the pole position for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, Juan Pablo Montoya, Josef Newgarden, and Sebastien Bourdais mix it up on the frontstretch during practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Luca Filippi, Helio Castroneves and Josef Newgarden celebrate on the podium after the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 PPG Automotive Refinish Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, qualifies third-fastest Saturday, June 13, 2015 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race through the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 PPG Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, qualifies second-fastest Saturday, June 13, 2015 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race through the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, qualifies fastest Saturday, June 13, 2015 capturing the pole position for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race through the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Power will start in the front row with teammate Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates after qualifying fastest Saturday, June 13, 2015 capturing the pole position for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race through the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Power will start in the front row with teammate Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet V-6. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves on course during practice for the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves apexes Turn 5 during practice for the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves on pit lane following Practice 1 for the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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