IRL: Castroneves wins third of season at Texas

Helio Castroneves extended his points lead after winning the Bombardier Learjet 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Castroneves' second win at the high banked speedway was his third this season. "It's too early to be thinking about the championship,"...

Helio Castroneves extended his points lead after winning the Bombardier Learjet 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Castroneves' second win at the high banked speedway was his third this season.

"It's too early to be thinking about the championship," said Castroneves. Sam (Hornish), Dan Wheldon and (Scott) Dixon will catch up so I just have to keep finishing ahead of those guys."

Castroneves averaged 185.710 mph in the race, making it the third fastest in Indy Racing League history. He leads the series point standings 232-210 over second place finisher Scott Dixon

After topping the speed charts and taking the top four spots in qualifying, the usual suspects were back on top in the race. Scott Dixon and Dan Wheldon, who were second and third, respectively, finished less than six tenths of a second behind Castroneves. Sam Hornish was fourth, 14 seconds back.

Dan Wheldon dominated the race, leading 171 of the 200 laps, while Castroneves led only eight laps. He took the lead during a series of pit stops that started 15 laps from the finish. Castroneves inherited the lead from Sam Hornish, who had it handed to him by Dan Wheldon seven laps earlier.

Wheldon's pit stop for four tires and fuel went awry when a crew member dropped a wheel nut, delaying his return to the track. When pit stops sorted the field, Wheldon found himself third.

"I'm just disappointed," Wheldon said. "We gave another win to Penske. We dropped the wheel nut on the last stop. It's just one of those things that happens."

Sam Hornish stalled during his pit stop, dropping him to sixth. Hornish was able to pass Scott Sharp and Vitor Meira to finish fourth.

"We saved fuel all day long and tried to beat them at the end of the day, and it didn't work out for us," said Hornish.

Sharp and Meira were fifth and sixth, respectively.

After the race, Castroneves was quick to point out that his crew won the pit stop competition, held on Carb Day in conjunction with the Indianapolis 500. "These guys are unbelievable," he said with a smile.

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Scott Sharp , Helio Castroneves , Scott Dixon , Dan Wheldon , Sam Hornis , Vitor Meira