Castroneves wins Motegi battle

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Castroneves wins Motegi battle

Helio Castroneves won the battle but the war continues as Dario Franchitti cut another five points from Will Power's championship point lead. Castroneves earned his third victory of the season after dominating the Indy Japan 300 by leading 153...

Helio Castroneves won the battle but the war continues as Dario Franchitti cut another five points from Will Power's championship point lead.

Castroneves earned his third victory of the season after dominating the Indy Japan 300 by leading 153 of the 200 laps. This is Castroneves' second victory at the 1.52-mile super speedway.

Helio Castroneves, Team Penske.
Photo by Indy Racing League.

"Team Penske is about execution and they gave me a fantastic car," said Castroneves. "Every time I wanted to go for it, the car was responding."

Dario Franchitti finished second and Will Power was third.

The IndyCar Series now moves to the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway in two weeks.

Power tapped his microphone nervously as he answered questions during the post race press conference. He wrapped up his portion of the conference as Dario approached. As they traded places behind the microphone, Power looked up and exchanged a glance. He didn't say anything until he was a few feet away.

"I'll kick your ass," he said as his face turned to a grin.

Franchitti responded with two words. "Bring it."

Once again the IndyCar Series championship could come down to the last lap of the last race.

"We look forward to tough fight at Homestead," said Power. "I'll be working very hard to have a very good race car. Hopefully, it won't rain because the advantage will go to Dario."

Power now leads Franchitti by 12 points. "It's better than 17," said Franchitti after finishing second behind Castroneves. "It's a hurdle to cross. It's a challenge. It's there in front of us and we'll go to Homestead and do our best."

After sweeping the top three qualifying spots, the team put three cars in the top four as Ryan Briscoe finished fourth.

Danica Patrick finished fifth followed by Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan in seventh.

Graham Rahal was eighth and Ryan Hunter-Reay was ninth. Hunter-Reay was running eighth with a handful of laps remaining when he lost control of his car and nearly hit the Turn 4 wall. He recovered to pass Dan Wheldon in traffic on the last lap. Wheldon was tenth.

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Series INDYCAR