Helio Castroneves began Sunday’s race from the seventh position, his best starting spot in three career races on the streets of Baltimore.
Castroneves’ No. 3 PPG Chevy made contact with the car driven by Joseph Newgarden on the opening lap, which forced Castroneves to pit for a new nosecone on his car on Lap 2.
On Lap 40, Castroneves returned to pit lane but his car slid coming into the pits and made contact with equipment that was pushed into right front tire changer Doug Snyder. Castroneves was penalized for a pit safety violation as a result of the mishap that left Snyder with only minor injuries.
Castroneves was involved in another incident on track on Lap 48 that resulted in another new nosecone for the PPG machine.
After dropping to 17th in the running order, Castroneves continued to battle in the incident-filed race and made his way back inside the top 10 at the checkered flag to finish in ninth place.
Castroneves extended his top-10 finish streak to 12 consecutive races. He now has 15 top-10 finishes in 16 races this season.
The result marked the best finish in three races at Baltimore for Castroneves.
Castroneves remains the only series driver to complete every lap of competition in 2013. He has now completed all 2,003 laps this season.
Following Sunday’s result, Castroneves now leads the IZOD IndyCar Series standings by 49 points over Scott Dixon with three races remaining in the season.
Will Power earned his third consecutive front-row start at Baltimore when he qualified second on Saturday.
Power made an impressive pass for the lead on the first lap as he raced past polewinner Scott Dixon in Turn 3. Power led the first 31 laps of the race and led more laps than any other driver all day
On his first pit stop, Power overshot his marks as the Verizon crew had to push the car back before servicing the No. 12 Chevy. Power was still able to stay in front of Dixon despite the slow stop and he worked his way back inside the top five by Lap 30.
While Power was attempting a pass for the lead on a Lap 53 race restart, his car made contact with Dixon’s machine, which forced the Ganassi Racing driver into the wall. Power’s car was also damaged as the team made repairs on pit lane. When the Verizon machine returned to the track after several laps, Power was penalized for avoidable contact in the incident that brought an early end to Dixon’s day.
At the checkered flag, Power crossed the line in 18th place, running eight laps down to the leaders. Sunday’s result marked the worst finish in three series starts at Baltimore for Power, the 2011 race winner in the Charm City.
Power has led laps in all three races in Baltimore and has led a total of 123 out of 225 laps on the course. Power has also led laps in a series-high 12 of 16 races this season.
Earning results at temporary street circuits has been an issue for Power this season and the trend continued on Sunday at Baltimore. He owns an average finishing position of 16.9 at temporary tracks this season despite leading laps in six of eight street course races in 2013.
Helio Castroneves: “Wow, what a crazy race. Well, first off I have to say sorry to (right front tire changer) Doug (Snyder). I’m glad he seems to be alright. It was very slippery in the pits and I just slid in – I’m not really sure what happened. I want to thank PPG and Team Penske for never giving up. I am glad we were able to finish in the top 10 and keep our lead in the championship.
Now, we’ll turn our attention to Houston. That will be a big race for us and our sponsors and a lot of points on the line with the doubleheader. We need to keep our consistency and momentum and get the absolute most out of the car at Houston.”
Will Power: “Man, that’s a very tough result today for the Verizon team. I feel really bad. We had a good start to the race in the Verizon car but then I made a mistake on the first pit stop and then the accident on the restart that really ended up ruining two good days.
I thought I had a really good run on (Sebastien) Bourdais and I was going to the inside to get around him and I thought I hit a bump or just lost it on cold tires. I really had no idea that (Scott) Dixon was there. I actually didn’t even know until I got back to the pits and they told me. I feel terrible for him and his team. All I can do is tell them how sorry I am and move on to Houston.”