Auto Racing / Sports

From left, Will Power, Helio Castroneves and Charlie Kimball celebrate their second, first and third place finishes in the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit during the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix on Sunday, June 1, 2014. Thousands of people came out to enjoy the final day of events which included Cadillac V-Series Challenge, a concert by Shaggy and the Chevrolet Indy Dual race. (Jarrad Henderson/Detroit Free Press/MCT)

After 13-year dry spell, Helio Castroneves climbs once more on Belle Isle

DETROIT -- At last we watched Spider-Man 3 at Belle Isle -- the Helio Castroneves version anyway.

The Brazilian made it a Team Penske sweep on the island Sunday when he won the second Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit race, then revived his fence climb in Turn 1.

Castroneves, who finished second in the Indianapolis 500 last weekend, has waited a long time to scale the catch-wire fence at the island.

He started the tradition in 2000 and followed it with another victory climb in 2001.

On Sunday, he made the climb look as easy as it did 13 years ago, waving wildly to fans from the top of the fence and screaming for his crew to join him.

Castroneves, 38, also gave Chevrolet its second win of the weekend and Penske a 1-2 finish in Sunday's race with Will Power second after getting a drive-through penalty early and chasing his teammate to the checkered flag over the closing stages.

"This is the land of Chevy, and we made it two (for the weekend)," said Castroneves of Penske's sweep. "That was great. I'm so happy for Team Penske."

Power, who won Saturday's Dual 1, tried hard in his No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet to haul in Castroneves, but he fell short as Castroneves scooted away on two restarts in the last seven laps.

"It was a huge day for Roger," said Power, who didn't try to nudge in front of Castroneves. "Because of Roger, I definitely wasn't going to race him hard. Unless Helio made a mistake, I wasn't going to go for a move unless I was close. It was a great day for Chevy, Roger and at his track, in Chevy's backyard, just fantastic."

Charlie Kimball, in the No. 83 Dallara/Chevrolet, started from 20th position to finish third for Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing. Fourth was Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon, who drove from last on the grid in his No. 9 Dallara/Chevrolet.

Pole-sitter Takuma Sato, who finished 18th, led the early part of the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix 70-lap event.

Castroneves' winning margin over Power was 1.6836 seconds. On the cool-down lap he stopped in Turn 1 and climbed the fence.

"That was a very touching moment," said Castroneves when his crew on the No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet joined him to celebrate. "They pushed so hard . . . everyone has been working flat-out. I am so very pleased to win today."

And for Roger Penske, what did Castroneves' win Sunday and the team's sweep over the weekend mean?

"It was special," said Castroneves, who started third in Dual 2. "I have a lot of friends here in Detroit, mutual friends of Roger. To see the crowd, the volunteers -- it was so great."

(c)2014 Detroit Free Press

Visit the Detroit Free Press at www.freep.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services



blog comments powered by Disqus