Helio Castroneves picked up his first Verizon IndyCar Series victory of the 2014 season in Sunday's Race 2 of the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit at the 13-turn Belle Isle circuit. On Saturday his Team Penske teammate Will Power won Race 1 of the weekend doubleheader. Castroneves held off Power to win Sunday after a restart on lap 68 of 70 where he pulled away to win by 1.68 seconds over the final three laps.
After finishing a disappointing 0.06 seconds behind Ryan Hunter-Reay in last Sunday's Indianapolis 500 Castroneves finished fifth in Race 1 on Saturday at Belle Isle and followed that with his 29th career win. Detroit was also the site of his first career win back in 2000.
“Indy 500. It just clicked something. It just made us hungry and here I am in Victory Circle where I won my first race. It's great energy again. I wanted it so bad," Castroneves said. "More than anything, I want this championship."
Following his victory Sunday, Castroneves who has never won a series championship, moved into second place in the point standings and is only 19 points behind his teammate Will Power. The points leader coming into Race 2 at Detroit and race seven of the season was Ryan Hunter-Reay but he suffered electrical issues which only allowed him to complete 61 laps Sunday and he finished 19th.
Castroneves had a 9.4 second lead but that was whipped away on lap 59 when the second caution flew. A third and final caution then came out on lap 65 setting up the three lap dash to the finish.
Landing on the podium after gaining 17 positions was Charlie Kimball. Finishing fourth was Scott Dixon and James Hinchcliffe rounded out the top five. Simon Pagenaud finished sixth and the highest finishing rookie was Mikhail Aleshin in seventh. Rookie Carlos Munoz finished eighth, Tony Kanaan ninth, and Ryan Briscoe tenth. Mike Conway finished 11th, Justin Wilson 12th, Juan Pablo Montoya 13th, rookie Jack Hawksworth 14th, and rookie Carlos Huertas 15th. The last lead lap car was Marco Andretti in 16th. Josef Newgarden and Takuma Sato finished one lap down in 17th and 18th. Sato was the pole sitter for Race 2 after setting a new track record in qualifying Sunday morning.
Electrical issues forced Ryan Hunter-Reay to a 19th place finish. Sebastian Bourdais was running at the finish but only completed 58 laps to finish in 20th. Saturday's second place finisher Graham Rahal retired after 43 laps due to contact and finished 21st. Contact after only nine laps forced Sebastian Saavedra to finish 22nd.
After seven races Will Power leads the points with 326. Helio Castroneves has 307, Ryan Hunter-Reay is now third with 299 points. Simon Pageaud is fourth with 247 and Marco Andretti is fifth with 227. Carlos Munoz is sixth, Juan Pablo Montoya seventh, Scott Dixon eighth, Justin Wilson ninth, and Sebastien Bourdais tenth.
The Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway is next Saturday, June 7th and can be seen on NBCSN.Tags: Belle Isle, Charlie Kimball, Helio Castroneves, IndyCar Series, Mikhail Aleshin, Motorsports, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Scott Dixon, Takuma Sato, Team Penske, Will Power