IRL: Motegi: Firestone race report

Castroneves Dominates for 2nd Consecutive Win and 15th with Firestone As his Firestone tires got better and better throughout the run, so did Helio Castroneves. The Marlboro Team Penske driver drove away from the competition today to notch his...

Castroneves Dominates for 2nd Consecutive Win and 15th with Firestone

As his Firestone tires got better and better throughout the run, so did Helio Castroneves. The Marlboro Team Penske driver drove away from the competition today to notch his second victory in as many IndyCar Series races. Castroneves finished 6.4 seconds ahead of Dan Wheldon to collect the ninth win of his IndyCar career. Coupled with the six triumphs he totaled in CART competition, Castroneves now has 15 major open-wheel series wins -- all of them coming on Firestone Firehawk racing radials.

* From Helio Castroneves, Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "My car was unbelievable, especially at the end of the run. The car was getting better and better; I think the track was getting better as well. The Firestone tires were so good, I could have gone two or three stints without changing tires."

* From Tim Cindric, President, Penske Racing: "The car was really, really good all day. Everything was very consistent -- the Firestone tires were very, very consistent all day long. To do it in Japan, with Bridgestone and Honda here, means a lot. This race has eluded us for a while and I think this is the first time Helio has won two in a row. We'll take it and try to make it three in a row at Indy."

* Firestone Tire Performance Summary: Firestone brought a new tire specification to Motegi, relying on a sidewall construction proven here last year and combined with an improved compound formula. As expected, the new compound delivered greater durability throughout the stints and superior grip on the load-bearing right-side tires. The identical specification will be in use at Indianapolis in May.

* From Joe Barbieri, Manager, Firestone Racing: "Helio put on quite a show today, leading all but 16 laps. He clearly had the car to beat and seemed to get stronger as the runs went on, thanks to the new Firehawk tire we brought to Motegi that gave the drivers greater durability throughout the stints. This was another fine Motegi event with Bridgestone enjoying its role as title sponsor. Many of our Japanese executives and associates were on hand today to enjoy the festivities, and they saw a great show with a most deserving winner."

Race temperatures ranged from 93 to 101 degrees track and from 63 to 65 degrees ambient (F).

Race temperatures ranged from 34 to 38 degrees track and from 17 to 18 degrees ambient (C).

-firestone-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Dan Wheldon
Teams Team Penske , Team Penske