Spider-Man is back in cinemas and also back on the fence in Iowa; as Helio Castroneves gets his first win since 2014. Castroneves’ win at Iowa Speedway is his first since the Detroit Grand Prix Race 2 in 2014, it ends a 53-race drought for the Brazilian. The IndyCar Series veteran started third behind JR Hildebrand and Team Penske team-mate Will Power on pole.
Twitter: Happy Homecoming @h3lio! #IowaCorn300 #INDYCAR https://t.co/FkZJF2U6hZ (@IndyCar)
The race itself was typical oval affair; with 12 lead changes, cautions, retirements, and even a red flag due to rain. Will Power lead the grid of 21 cars away clean, while Hildebrand struggled from the off and relinquished his P2 slot to Castroneves and had to settle in P4 behind Ed Carpenter Racing team-mate Ed Carpenter. The rest of the grid settled in shortly there after. Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ Mikhail Aleshin set the first fastest lap in a hurry on Lap 4, he would also be responsible for the first caution of the day.
Castroneves overtook his Penske team-mate after Lap 19 and would cycle the lead through eight drivers. Leading on and off, three more times until taking the lead permanently on Lap 268 of 300.
When Aleshin brought out the first caution on Lap 57 he made contact at Turn 2 hard and had to be evaluated, he would eventually be released. A.J. Foyt Enterprises’ Carlos Munoz brought out the second caution on Lap 132 when he made contact at Turn 4. Munoz’s Foyt team-mate met a similar fate as he brought out the third and final caution with contact on the straightaway on Lap 171. It was a forgettable day for the A.J. Foyt outfit.
Per IndyCar Series regulations the race was red flagged on Lap 196 after officials deemed the track too wet to continue. After a short red flag period, the race resumed under safety caution as drivers and officials gauged the drive worthiness of the 0.875-mile short oval. After a 13-lap caution, the race resumed with Castroneves leading.
Following the last scattered round of pit stops, Castroneves would cycle past Hildebrand and Marco Andretti to the front on Lap 268 and stay there. The 42-year-old thanked his team and IndyCar legends that paved the way for the Brazilian’s sustainable and highly-acclaimed career.
Twitter: @H3lio wins the #IowaCorn300! #INDYCAR https://t.co/1I2Xejdij6 https://t.co/TX9lz6FtAp (@IndyCar)
“Finally, everything came together,” said Castroneves.
“And 30 wins, we just passed Rick Mears, which is my hero. I’m honored to be part of this organization (Team Penske), and I can only thank Roger (Penske, team owner), (team president Tim) Cindric and the entire team for supporting me. It’s easy to be behind you in good times, but they’ve always been there no matter the time, so for me that’s priceless. I’m going to continue focusing on this season, and there’s more to come.”
Iowa Corn 300 Race Notes:
– Castroneves led the most laps, 217 of 300. He also recorded the fastest overall and leader fast lap on Lap 144 with a 0m18.1486s effort at 177.336 mph.
– The margin of victory was 3.9647 seconds.
– There were 44 laps under caution.
– Dale Coyne Racing’s Esteban Gutierrez, in his first oval race started P18 and finished P13.