By - David C. Schilke - Motorsport.com Belle Isle - Detroit, Michigan - Helio "Spiderman" Castroneves has dominated the Tenneco Automotive Grand Prix of Detroit. Helio's first win in the CART FedEx Series was at Detroit last year and he is the...
By - David C. Schilke - Motorsport.com
Belle Isle - Detroit, Michigan - Helio "Spiderman" Castroneves has dominated the Tenneco Automotive Grand Prix of Detroit. Helio's first win in the CART FedEx Series was at Detroit last year and he is the first driver to win back-to-back races in the thirteen-year history. What does the winner have to say about his luck in Detroit? "We started here and we will continue here," exclaims Helio. "This is my town! I want to stay here!"
Helio seems to have uncanny luck in Detroit. He was the fastest in Friday practice, won the pole position and led all 72 laps. Jokingly in an interview Helio asked, "Did I lead the most laps?" This is the second time this year he has led all laps in a race, the fist was at Long Beach. He is the first driver to win all the laps in two races during the season since Michael Andretti in 1992. With his full 22 point sweep the weekend he is now only 5 points behind the FedEx Driver's Championship points leader Kenny Brack.
To mark his victory Helio once again celebrated in the tradition that he started at Detroit a year ago; he climbed the fence next to the biggest grand stand and cheered for the fans. His nickname has become "Spiderman" for his unique way of celebrating his victories. Last year he was absolutely ecstatic on his first ever win. This year at Detroit, Helio still showed the same exuberance but was a lot cooler about his win. "I never felt under pressure. I was just trying to keep cool to save the tires, save me, and save the car." With only a few more laps to go Helio was told he had a small leak in one of his tires. "Don't tell me this when there are only five more laps to go!" he thought. But the Firestones held up and took him to his second win of the season and his 5th in his career. Helio now has a very good chance of taking over the points lead from Kenny Brack in Portland.
Dario Franchitti came in second place. The podium position is his first of the season and comes as a relief to him. "Everybody says we've been struggling this year, but we really haven't. Team KOOL Green has consistently given me a car good enough to win the race. We've had a chance to win every race this year except for Long Beach, but things just haven't gone out way on race day. Today everything went perfect for us. I thought we had the speed to catch Helio but he was a little faster than us in the right places." Dario is now ninth in the Driver's Championship points with 37.
Winning third place was a very happy Roberto Moreno. After a very disappointing start to this season Moreno felt third place was just as good as a win. "I have not had this much fun since I was racing go karts. That was the last time I had four wheels in the air." Moreno followed Dario past Patrick Carpentier in turn three. Dario got through clean but Moreno and Carpentier touched wheels. "I had fours wheels off the ground and I landed I said, "WOW I damaged something here," and then I did two corners, it felt good and I said, "No way I am finishing in third here!"" But the car proved to be just fine and took him to his first podium finish this year. Moreno did a few donuts to celebrate his podium finish while Helio climbed the fence. Brazilians just know how to party.