Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Helio Castroneves Wins Edmonton Indy, Takuma Sato Second, Will Power Third

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Helio Castroneves Wins Edmonton Indy, Takuma Sato Second, Will Power Third

Article excerpt

Helio Castroneves wins Edmonton Indy


EDMONTON - After four years of frustration, Helio Castroneves finally broke through Sunday and won the Edmonton Indy.

The Brazilian racer beat frontrunner Alex Tagliani out of the final pit stop, took the lead, and held off Japan's Takuma Sato by less than a second for the checkered flag at the City Centre Airport.

Will Power, Castroneves' Penske teammate, was third, 5.4 seconds off the pace.

For Castroneves, it was a big weight off his shoulders in the Alberta capital.

He had finished second three times in the last four races in Edmonton. In 2010 he took the checkered flag only to be stripped of the win for blocking Power.

"It's my second win here -- but today it counts," said the 37-year-old from Sao Paulo.

"Today was a great day, realizing finally we can say we've won here."

For two-thirds of the event, under sunny skies and hot temperatures, it was Tagliani's race to lose.

The driver from Lachenaie, Que., started fourth and drove past pole-sitter Dario Franchitti on the first lap to take the lead.

He held off Franchitti and Castroneves until the final stint, when he changed tires, got passed by Castroneves, and slid down the grid.

Tagliani, with Team Barracuda, said the tires weren't right.

"As soon as we started pushing, (the car) started sliding and that maybe was the difference," he said.

"We just have to keep doing what we're doing and it (the win) is coming."

Tagliani was fifth at the flag for his best finish of the season. He was seventh at Milwaukee.

The win was the second of 2012 for Castroneves and moved him past Power into second in the driver standings, behind Ryan Hunter-Reay.

Hunter-Reay won the pole for the race on Edmonton's 2.2-mile, 13-turn course, but started 11th for an unapproved engine change. He finished 7th.

The loss snapped his string of three consecutive wins.

The race was accident free, with no yellow or red flags or restarts, which bunch the cars together and give the backmarkers a chance to move up.

Hunter-Reay said that was the difference.

"The guys had a solid day today, but we just needed a yellow," he said.

"To take an engine penalty on a day like today -- at a track with long straights -- we expected yellows. …

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