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Castroneves eyes win in 100th start

Helio Castroneves hoping to mark his 100th race in the IRL IndyCar Series with victory at Motegi this weekend

The 32-year-old Brazilian has qualified on pole position for the last two years at the Japanese oval and won the race in 2006.

He will become only the third driver to make 100 IRL IndyCar starts on Saturday, behind Scott Sharp (146) and Sam Hornish (116) after switching from Champ Car for the 2002 season.

"I can't believe it's my hundredth start already," said the two-time Indy 500 winner. "It's been a great ride so far - I have good memories from my two Indy wins to my seven poles last season, but hopefully I can add a championship to my legacy.

"It's an honour to have been in this competition so long because it means whatever I'm doing must be right. Hopefully I'll do a hundred more. My first Indy 500 win was probably the most remarkable because it was my first oval win in the series."

Castroneves is pleased that the reunification has brought more road courses to the IndyCar calendar, as a former Champ Car race winner.

"I accepted the challenge to succeed in IndyCars when the series was all oval tracks. Now it has changed to road courses as well it's great.

"Motegi is an oval but it's one of the most unique tracks we run because each turn is different. Downshifting on an oval is normally bad but it's the only way to find success on this circuit.

"I started from pole the last two years and was lucky enough to win in 2006. That fence was one of my favourites to climb because it's very sturdy! I hope I can give it another try this weekend."

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