Helio Castroneves started on pole Sunday after qualifying was cancelled due to rain and the starting field was set by series entrant points
HELIO CASTRONEVES ON A FRUSTRATING FINISH SUNDAY IN HOUSTON
WILL POWER ON HIS VICTORY SUNDAY
THE RACE REVIEW · In the second of two IZOD IndyCar Series races on Houston’s Reliant Park street circuit, Helio Castroneves started on pole Sunday after qualifying was cancelled due to rain and the starting field was set by series entrant points. · Driving the No. 3 Shell V-Power Pennzoil Ultra Chevrolet, Castroneves led the first 10 laps of the race. · On Lap 11, however, Castroneves started to feel the shifting of the car go away before it completely let go and he coasted to a stop on track, causing a caution. · After being towed back to pit lane, the Shell Pennzoil crew discovered that the gearbox housing was completely broken in the No. 3 machine. · The team took the car back to the garage and worked feverishly to make repairs. After replacing the gearbox, rear suspension and virtually everything in the back end of the car, Castroneves returned to the track in 24th place, running 38 laps down to the race leaders. · Castroneves was able to pick up one more position on track and finished in 23rd place at the checkered flag. · It was a tough result for the team that entered the Houston doubleheader race weekend leading the championship standings by 49 points. With Saturday’s 18th-place result and Sunday’s finish, Castroneves now trails Scott Dixon by 25 points heading into the season finale at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. on Saturday, October 19. · This marks the first time in 10 races that Castroneves has not led the series standings. This weekend’s two races also represent the first time this season that Castroneves and the No. 3 car team have not completed every race lap. · Will Power began Sunday’s race from the ninth position as the starting grid was determined by entrant points. · With the series implementing a standing start for the second consecutive race, Power took advantage with a tremendous start. He passed three cars and moved into the sixth spot on the opening lap. · Power continued to gain ground in the opening laps as he moved into the top five by Lap 3 and he passed his way up to the second spot by Lap 11. · As he pressured leader Scott Dixon, Power ran second over the next 28 laps and through the first round of pit stops. · On a Lap 40 race restart, Power passed Dixon for the lead and he never looked back. The Verizon Team Penske driver led 51 laps and held off several spirited charges by Dixon to capture the victory. · Power actually took the checkered flag under caution following a last-lap multi-car crash that resulted in injuries to driver Dario Franchitti. · The victory marked Power’s second win of the season and his second victory in the last three races following his triumph at Sonoma Raceway on August 25. · Sunday’s win represented Power’s 20th IndyCar victory. He now is tied for 21st on the all-time IndyCar win list. · Continuing a tough season for the three-time series road course champion, Saturday’s result marked Power’s eighth finish outside the top 10 in nine street course races in 2013. · With the win, Power improved to seventh in the series standings as he is now just one point behind sixth place and 12 points away from the top five.