Emotional first win for Castroneves
|Sunday, June 18th 2000, 21:14 GMT|
Penske's Helio Castroneves was in tears as he climbed from his car after scoring his first ever CART victory.
The Brazilian was in the hunt all day, and took over the lead shortly after half distance when Juan Montoya retired from the lead.
Once in the lead, Castroneves was in control, fending off a couple of attacks from Max Papis in the closing stages to score his first CART win, and the Penske team's 101st.
"I don't believe this has happened," said an emotional Castroneves. "I have to thank Roger (Penske), my sponsors, family, friends… I did it! I did it!… I was taking care of the fuel from the start, but the car was great all day. I would liked to have challenged Juan, but hey – it's a win. I'll take it!"
Papis, in second, had a fairly quiet afternoon, staying out of trouble to score more points for Team Rahal. "I had a few problems with the front end. It was close, and I'm very happy with second place. The guys did a good job. But it's behind us now and we must get ready for Portland next week." Spain's Oriel Servia scored his best result to date with third to fill the podium having driven a tidy and competitive race.
None of the championship front-runners had a day to remember. Paul Tracy was excluded after a pit incident that saw him injure one of his crewmen; Jimmy Vasser struggled to seventh place; Roberto Moreno crashed out of third; Montoya retired from the lead with a driveshaft failure; Gil de Ferran and Christian Fittipaldi came together, and Adrian Fernandez lost time with a spin before retiring when a tear off visor strip was sucked into the turbo wastegate.
Dario Franchitti finished fourth despite struggling with a poor handling car for most of the race. This was caused by a flapping brake duct which caused inconsistent braking as he ran in second place. He dropped down to seventh before pitting, and thereafter drove cautiously to the finish.
The teams head to Portland for round eight of the championship which takes place on June 25.
For the results from Detroit, click HERE.
For lap by lap race report, click HERE.