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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)
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)
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)
Helio Castroneves sits in his machine on pit lane during the 2014 Open Test at Barber Motorsports Park on Tuesday March 18. (Photo Credit: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves takes to the course during the 2014 Open Test at Barber Motorsports Park on Monday, March 17. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya has the second fastest time of the day in his #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 Monday, March 17, 2014 during Day One of the Verizon IndyCar Series Open Test in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo Credit: LAT/Michael L. Levitt for Chevy Racing)
Will Power has the fastest time of the day in his #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 Monday, March 17, 2014 during Day One of the Verizon IndyCar Series Open Test in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo Credit: LAT/ Scott R. LePage for Chevy Racing)
Former F1 and CART star Juan Pablo Montoya testing with Team Penske at Sebring International Raceway, Florida for his first time since exiting the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Monday, November 25 2013. (Photo Credit: John Hendrick for IndyCar Media)
Former F1 and CART star Juan Pablo Montoya testing with Team Penske at Sebring International Raceway, Florida for his first time since exiting the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Monday, November 25 2013. (Photo Credit: John Hendrick for IndyCar Media)

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