Castroneves Battles Through Controversy To Edge Closer to 2008 DETROIT, Mich. (August 31, 2008) -- In Sunday's Detroit Indy Grand Prix presented by Firestone IndyCar Series event, Helio Castroneves, driver of the No. 3 Team Penske...
Castroneves Battles Through Controversy To Edge Closer to 2008
DETROIT, Mich. (August 31, 2008) -- In Sunday's Detroit Indy Grand Prix presented by Firestone IndyCar Series event, Helio Castroneves, driver of the No. 3 Team Penske Dallara/Honda, finished in second place for the record eighth time this season, further closing the gap between himself and his first 2008 IndyCar Series driver championship. Ryan Briscoe, driver of the No. 6 Team Penske Dallara/Honda, scored a ninth place finish at the challenging 2.07-mile Raceway at Belle Isle Park, clinching the fifth place in the championship standings in his first season with Team Penske.
A controversial call by IndyCar Series officials might have cost Helio Castroneves a win on Sunday afternoon in Detroit, but the Team Penske driver still managed to move closer to the series championship. Castroneves was leading the race when, on lap 72, he was ordered to surrender the position to Justin Wilson as penalty for impeding. Wilson went on to win, while Castroneves came home solidly in second. The finish, coupled with current points leader Scott Dixon's fifth-place finish, brought Castroneves within 30 points of the lead for the championship with just one race remaining in the 2008 IndyCar Series season.
"We finished second for the eighth time, but the point is we're still in the hunt for the championship, and Team Penske is going to try everything we can to win it," said Castroneves, who made his 111th consecutive start on Sunday, passing former teammate Sam Hornish Jr. for the second-longest streak all time.
While Castroneves was visibly upset after Sunday's race, he congratulated his crew on its effort. "Our Team Penske guys did a great job in the pits, and it's too bad we couldn't win for them," he said.
Team Penske teammate Ryan Briscoe had a challenging day, but brought home his sixth consecutive top-10 finish. "Team Penske did a good job getting us back into the top 10," said Briscoe. "It would've been nice to be able to have run up front with the faster traffic, but at least we were able to bring it home in ninth. The best news from today is that we were able to clinch fifth place in the championship. I'm proud of my guys, and I think that's the mark of a successful season."