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Castroneves nearly perfect… Emotional in 3rd Indy 500 Victory
By Dan Peters & Mark Rotor
May 24th, 2009
Spiderman III for Castroneves - Helio Wins 3rd Indy 500
Helio once again performed his signature “Spiderman” fence climb along the front straightaway directly across from his pit box. The emotional win came in his third race since returning to the Indy Car Series following an acquittal in federal court on charges of tax evasion.
"This is incredible," Castroneves said. "I think my tears speak for everything. What a great team. I just have to thank, first of all, the Lord for giving me this opportunity, to be strong, to have a family that I have. I have to thank Roger (Penske), Tim (Cindric), my guys, Phillip Morris, all the associates (sponsors), Verizon, everybody because they gave my life back. I'm here today because of those guys. And obviously the fans. You guys don't understand. You guys kept me strong. You guys are the best. I'm honored to have fans like you. Thank you so much. Let's celebrate now."
"We were having all sorts of problems with the radio since the beginning of the race. And then, we had a little issue with the gearbox on the pit stops. I was getting neutral. I had to change for a mechanical. Finally, toward the end, we were just feeling the car. I didn't touch anything on the car at all. Basically, it was a long race. We were just taking it easy. It was good, actually, because behind I knew what I needed to do. But once I got in the front, it was never look back. What a day. This place is magical. It was beginning of the season, but things are starting to fall into place. This is the best month of May ever. Wow, three I can't believe it."
Castroneves 3-Wide with Team Mate #6 Briscoe & #10 Franchitti”
Castroneves Gets His Image On Borg Warner Trophy for the 3rd Time Castroneves passed the 2008 race winner Scott Dixon on Lap 142 ducking inside of the Target Ganassi #9 car on a restart and never looked back. Castroneves beat the 2005 winner Dan Wheldon to the finish line by 1.9819 seconds. Danica Patrick had her best Indy 500 performance of her career finishing in third place surpasses her previous best of 4th established in her rookie year 2005.
Helio Castroneves earned a record $3,048,005 from an overall purse of $14,315,315 for his emotional Indy 500 Victory. "You realize that not a lot of people ever get an opportunity to run here let alone win it," said Mears, a consultant to Team Penske. "The odds of winning it more than once are very slim. Then you learn more about it, more about what it takes and how difficult it really is to do. It makes each one special but you always want another."
Mears along with Al Unser and A.J. Foyt so far are the only four-time winners of the Borg Warner Trophy. Louis Meyer, Wilbur Shaw, Mauri Rose, Johnny Rutherford and Bobby Unser each have three victories.
"I feel honored to be in this category of drivers," Castroneves said. "But without a team, without good people surrounding you, you cannot make that. Like I said many times, Team Penske has (15 times) so they are prepared for this race."
At age 34, Castroneves will have numerous opportunities. Unser was five days shy of his 48th birthday when he won his fourth Indy 500 in 1987. A.J. Foyt was 42 (1977) and Mears was 39 (1991).
Dan Wheldon Make A Good Day Better By Grabbing 2nd Place”
Wheldon Rocked The House with a Surprising 2nd Place Finish
After qualification difficulties, Dan Wheldon and the Panther Racing team persevered to finish a strong 2nd to Castroneves. Early on, Wheldon crashing during qualification practice never quite getting Panther Racing National Guard Team Indy Car balanced for both speed and handling until the final practice on "Carb Day". Wheldon, the 2005 Indianapolis 500 winner and driver of the #4 National Guard car, earned $1,258,805 for his efforts.
Wheldon Complements Danica & National Guard/Panther Team
Wheldon gave "Props" to Patrick & Panther Racing: “She's (Danica) certainly a tough competitor said Wheldon. “I think she's like a lot of those troops, she never gives up. So all credit to Danica. But I have to say I'm incredibly proud of the Panther Racing National Guard Team and my Indy Car career there's not many races where I've honestly left the track feeling that we've executed everything perfectly. And I have to say, I thought they did an absolute phenomenal job."
"The pit stops were just first class. I didn't have to do too much work on track because they kept making me spots up. It was one of those things at the end where I just didn't have enough for Helio. I was towards the end having to hold off Danica. But they should be incredibly proud of the job they did. Honda and Firestone yet again gave everybody very consistent engines and tires, and it was a good day.
Danica #7 on the move passing Lloyd #99 & Matos #2
Danica's Legions of Fans Cheer as She Charges to 3rd Place
Danica Patrick finished an Indianapolis 500-career best third in the #7 Boost Mobile /Motorola Dallara/Honda/Firestone and earned $763,305. On lap # 183 Wheldon & Patrick challenged for 2nd position behind the race leader Castroneves (.2661 sec) racing side-by-side down the front stretch as the Indy crowd applauded driver of the black & orange #7 Andretti Green Racing Boost Mobile/Motorola car. Wheldon eventually pulled ahead with Patrick eventually ending the race with a 3rd place finish.
“I was happy with my car the last run and the run before that, once I cleared a couple cars in the second to last run, and I think I got up to 6th or something at that point. I was just running flat-out all the way around, which I'm happy with because it didn't happen that much in practice.” Patrick said.
"Had a great restart on the last restart and awesome run out of (Turns) 3 and 4 and went instantly went to the outside of (Turn) 4. It was that good of a run. I just kind of stalled out, I just didn't have enough. I think that was the difference. That was kind of us being ready for the whole run, the whole race and not just the last run. So it seemed Dan was a little more trimmed out maybe because it just kind of run side by side all the way down into (Turn) 1. I thought I was going to pass him completely on the outside, but that did not happen. But it was a good job. Dan did a good job."
"Dan looked like he had a handful in front of me, and obviously with Helio winning, that's great for him and everything that's been going on with him for the last sort of, well, I don't know, year or years. So I'm happy to see him happy. And he's great for the sport.
So congrats to Helio, he had this standout month, really. If you'd ask me who was going to win, I would have said Helio."
“Spectacular Crash: Kanaan into Back-Stretch Wall Stopping in Turn #3
More Heartbreak for Kanaan - Ends His Day in a Ball of Flames
While charging toward the front near the half-point of the race, Kanaan’s #11 7-11 machine seemed to suddenly turn right as he approached the end of the 5/8 mile back stretch. His car crashed hard & then was just a passenger as his car skidded along the wall in flames, finally coming to a stop on the apron in the short chute.
"The race didn't end the way we hoped it would for Team 7-Eleven. Something on the car broke in the middle of the straightaway and I hit head on going into turn three. It's always sad to be out of a race but I'm happy that I walked away; it was a nasty, nasty crash. I have to thank the Delphi Safety Crew and the IRL; that was a 180 mile per hour, head-on hit and I'm still standing."
Kanaan’s streak of leading every Indy 500 also ended Sunday. He had previously led the past 7 races here at the Brickyard.
Milk & A Trophy: Helio Castroneves 3-Time Indy 500”
In His Dream - Helio Castroneves Dreams About 4th Indy Victory
"You can't be thinking about five without making three," Castroneves said. "We just made three and now thinking about the fourth. But I will think about it, dream about it, but we've got to work for it. Certainly we have the team to do that, but we have a long way. Right now for me, I'm just going to enjoy this moment because it's very special.
The win also creates tremendous momentum for Castroneves for the remainder of the 2009 season. Since returning to the series at Long Beach , Castroneves has recorded three top-10 finishes, climbing from 19th to 10th to second in points, reminiscent of another Team Penske driver, Gil de Ferran, who battled for a championship in 2003 despite missing a race. Castroneves has recorded three top-10 finishes, climbing from 19th to 10th to second in points, reminiscent of another Team Penske driver, Gil de Ferran, who battled for a championship in 2003 despite missing a race.
“Helio's Victory Lap - Winner 2009 Indy 500”
The Final Standing for 2009 Indianapolis 500
1st (1) Helio Castroneves, 200, Running
2. (18) Dan Wheldon, 200, Running
3. (10) Danica Patrick, 200, Running
4. (24) Townsend Bell, 200, Running
5. (9) Will Power, 200, Running
6. (5) Scott Dixon, 200, Running
7. (3) Dario Franchitti, 200, Running
8. (17) Ed Carpenter, 200, Running
9. (13) Paul Tracy, 200, Running
10. (16) Hideki Mutoh, 200, Running
11. (33) Alex Tagliani, 200, Running
12. (26) Tomas Scheckter, 200, Running
13. (11) Alex Lloyd, 200, Running
14. (20) Scott Sharp, 200, Running
15. (2) Ryan Briscoe, 200, Running
16. (19) A.J. Foyt IV, 200, Running
17. (21) Sarah Fisher, 200, Running
18. (27) Mike Conway, 200, Running
19. (28) John Andretti, 200, Running
20. (30) Milka Duno, 199, Running
21. (14) Vitor Meira, 173, Contact
22. (12) Raphael Matos, 173, Contact
23. (15) Justin Wilson, 160, Contact
24. (29) E.J. Viso, 139, Mechanical
25. (31) Nelson Philippe, 130, Contact
26. (25) Oriol Servia, 98, Mechanical
27. (6) Tony Kanaan, 97, Contact
28. (23) Robert Doornbos, 85, Contact
29. (22) Davey Hamilton, 79, Contact
30. (8) Marco Andretti, 56, Handling
31. (4) Graham Rahal, 55, Contact
32. (32) Ryan Hunter-Reay, 19, Contact
33. (7) Mario Moraes, 0, Contact
Winner's average speed: 150.318 mph
Time of race: 3:19:34.6427
Margin of victory: 1.9819 seconds
Cautions: 8 caution flags for 61 laps
Lead changes: 6 among 4 drivers
Lap leaders: Castroneves 1-7, Franchitti 8-52, Briscoe 53-63, Dixon 64-85, Franchitti 86-90, Dixon 91-141, Castroneves 142-200. Point standings: Franchitti 122, Castroneves 117, Briscoe 114, Dixon 111, Kanaan 110, Patrick 109, Wheldon 106, Power 99, Hunter-Reay 84, Andretti 83.
“Helio Celebrates With His Adoring Fans”Next IndyCar Race: Sunday May 31st - The Milwaukee
Mile,- 3:00PM CT on ABC Network
Replacement driver Tagliani has a great day, starting shotgun on the field after being bumped from the field on “Bump Day.”
“Well, you know, in all honesty, you know, we definitely missed first weekend qualifying from the crash on Sunday morning. So that really put us back a little bit. And like the last weekend of qualifying, we qualified Saturday and we probably showed exactly what not to do, just went out there, you know, feeling safe and doing race trim all day long, and at 4:00 pulled the car in the garage and go to qualifying sim and basically run the clock down until we had no time to go put our lap in. Obviously the car was quick. As a driver you know the car is fast enough to compete in the field but, you know, from an exceptional situation we just got bumped and never seen before. It was not actually a Bump Day, it was a replica of Saturday because everybody pulled their time off. But in the race, you know, like obviously with the car we had, we just -- it was unfortunate that we started so far back and we had to put like quite a bit of downforce on the car because like in the last stint I felt like, you know, maybe a degree less on the rear wing and we would have been able to compete inside the top ten. The car was really, really good.
Photo Gallery from the first weekend at the Brickyard...
Alex Lloyd is in the show and not at all shy about his pink driving suit
Graham Rahal has a great run in the wind
“We had our ups and downs this week, but this is a pretty good run for the McDonald’s car. With the wind the way it is, for us to have the McDonald’s car sitting where we are looks pretty good. On a windy day like this, getting the car in the show is the main goal. Last year this wind would have made me pretty nervous, but this year you just kind of go through the motions and get used to it. I’m just excited to be here. It’s great to have a run like we just did. It gives the whole team a lot of confidence.”
#34 Alex Tagliani heads out for practice
A.J. FOYT IV
Dan Wheldon, No. 4 National Guard Dallara Honda
2009 Indianapolis 500 Festival Parade Photos
Photos by Yolanda & Mark Rotor
Dancing With The Stars... at the Parade.. Mark Ballas and Derrick Huff
Pole Sitter Helio Castroneves
2008 Winner Scott Dixon
Cunningham Sets Track Record on Pole For Freedom 100
Wade Cunningham and Sebastian Saavedra both qualified faster than the previous track record of 189.870 mph set by Jaime Camara in 2005. Cunningham is the new record holder with a two-lap average of 190.177 mph.
Wade Cunningham wins the pole for the Firestone Freedom 100 for the second time in his career. Cunningham won the race from the pole in 2006.
Cunningham will make his fifth Firestone Freedom 100 start, the most of any driver. He has finished first (2006), second (2005), third (2008) and 23rd (2007).
This is Cunningham's ninth career pole in Firestone Indy Lights and his second this season. He also won the pole at Kansas.
This is the third pole for Sam Schmidt Motorsports in the Firestone Freedom 100. Jaime Camara won it for the team in 2005, and Thiago Medeiros won the pole for the team in 2004. Both drivers went on to win the race.
Sebastian Saavedra qualified second, his third front-row start of the season. He won the pole at St. Petersburg 2 and qualified second at Kansas.
J.R. Hildebrand qualified third, his fifth top-four start of the season. He is the only driver to qualify in the top five of every race this season.
Ana Beatriz qualified fourth, her third top-five start of the season. Beatriz also started fourth in last year's Firestone Freedom 100 and went on to finish fifth.
Martin Plowman qualified fifth, his best qualifying effort of the season. His previous best was sixth at Long Beach.
Jay Howard qualified a season-best sixth. His previous best was eighth at St. Petersburg 1.
Charlie Kimball tied his season-best qualifying effort of seventh, which he also did at Kansas._______________________________________________
Photos from Second week of qualifying...2009
Viso practiced...was ready...then came the rains
Then later he made the show...on Bump Day
#17 Oriol Servia Qualified 25th at 220.984
#23 Milka Duno
CASTRONEVES WINS THIRD POLE AT INDIANAPOLIS 500
Happy Birthday Helio
JOSH DUHAMEL TO DRIVE CHEVROLET CAMARO PACE CAR AT INDY 500
2010 Camaro Model Appears in His Latest Film ‘Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen’
INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, April 30, 2009 – Emmy Award-winning actor Josh Duhamel will drive the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro Pace Car at the 2009 Indianapolis 500, leading the field of 33 drivers to the green flag Sunday, May 24 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Duhamel has starred in motion pictures and television since his breakthrough role as Leo du Pres on the ABC daytime drama “All My Children” from 1999-2002. He is set to reprise his role as U.S. Army Major Lennox in Michael Bay’s upcoming action spectacular “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.” Steven Spielberg is an executive producer on the film, which is set for nationwide release June 24. The film also stars Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Tyrese Gibson and John Turturro.
“The Indy 500 is a legendary race, and it’s a great honor to be driving the Camaro Pace Car in it,” said Duhamel.
Duhamel began acting in 1998 after an award-winning career as a model. He was nominated three times for a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his role on “All My Children,” winning in 2002.
In 2003, Duhamel began his role as Danny McCoy in the NBC prime-time drama, “Las Vegas.” He continued in that role until the series ended in 2008.
Duhamel made his movie lead debut in 2004 in “Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!” and also starred in the 2006 thriller, “Turistas.” Bay and Spielberg selected Duhamel to play Lennox in the 2007 summer blockbuster “Transformers.”
North Dakota native Duhamel, 36, is married to Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter and actress Fergie.
“We’re happy to welcome Josh Duhamel as Pace Car driver for the Indianapolis 500,” said Joie Chitwood, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president and chief operating officer. “As a star in one of Hollywood’s expected blockbusters this summer, it’s only fitting that he will lead the field to the start of ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing’ on Memorial Day weekend.”
Duhamel is familiar with the power and styling of the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro, as the car appears in “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.”
Powered by the 6.2-liter LS3 all-aluminum Chevy V-8, the all-new 2010 Camaro produces 426 horsepower at 5,900 rpm and 420 lb-ft of torque at 4,600 rpm. It features a Tremec six-speed manual transmission and 3.45 axle ratio.
No drivetrain or suspension modifications are required to prepare the Camaro for its Pace Car duties. The only modifications to the vehicle include a fully integrated strobe system, including a GM-designed custom light bar utilizing Whelen 500 series linear strobes.
2009 marks the fifth time the Chevrolet Camaro has been selected to pace the Indianapolis 500 (1967, 1969, 1982, 1993, 2009). It will be the 44th time a General Motors vehicle has paced “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” with 20 by a Chevrolet.
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