Texas IndyCar: Helio Castroneves takes commanding win

Helio Castroneves moved to the outright IndyCar championship lead following a commanding victory in Saturday night's Texas race

Texas IndyCar: Helio Castroneves takes commanding win

Castroneves, who came into the weekend sitting equal in points with Marco Andretti, dominated most of the evening to eventually cross the line 5.2 seconds ahead of Ryan Hunter-Reay. Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan completed the podium.

The race was all about tyre management. Most drivers experienced extreme performance drop-off over the course of a 50-60 lap stint, but Penske driver Castroneves was almost alone in the field in being able to keep his tyres' performance reasonably consistent.

"At the start of the race the car was already awesome, and we didn't do a change in the first stop," he said.

"But most of the time it was managing the tyres. We were running like a Swiss watch, and everything was great."

The early stages were controlled by Andretti, who passed polesitter Will Power on the first lap, but a slower pitstop, different pit strategy and higher tyre wear gradually dropped him back through the field.

Unusually, the race was interrupted by just three caution periods, two of which were brought about by mechanical problems.

Pippa Mann's outing in the second Dale Coyne Racing car ended after a handful of laps when she suffered an apparent engine failure, while Scott Dixon triggered the yellows when he slowed with what would eventually become a terminal gearbox problem.

The only incident-induced interruption came when Oriol Servia spun and stopped at Turn 2, although he was able to get going again and finished the race.

Results - 228 laps:

Pos  Driver               Team/Engine           Time/Gap
 1.  Helio Castroneves    Penske/Chevy     1h52m17.4594s
 2.  Ryan Hunter-Reay     Andretti/Chevy       + 4.6919s
 3.  Tony Kanaan          KV/Chevy            + 11.6088s
 4.  Ed Carpenter         Carpenter/Chevy     + 17.6930s
 5.  Marco Andretti       Andretti/Chevy      + 19.5078s
 6.  Dario Franchitti     Ganassi/Honda          + 1 lap
 7.  Will Power           Penske/Chevy           + 1 lap
 8.  Josef Newgarden      Fisher/Honda           + 1 lap
 9.  James Hinchcliffe    Andretti/Chevy         + 1 lap
10.  EJ Viso              Andretti/Chevy         + 1 lap
11.  Takuma Sato          Foyt/Honda             + 1 lap
12.  James Jakes          Rahal/Honda            + 1 lap
13.  Simon Pagenaud       Schmidt/Honda         + 2 laps
14.  Sebastian Saavedras  Dragon/Chevy          + 2 laps
15.  Justin Wilson        Coyne/Honda           + 2 laps
16.  Simona de Silvestro  KV/Chevy              + 2 laps
17.  Charlie Kimball      Ganassi/Honda         + 2 laps
18.  Tristan Vautier      Schmidt/Honda         + 3 laps
19.  Oriol Servia         Panther/Chevy         + 3 laps
20.  Sebastien Bourdais   Dragon/Chevy          + 4 laps
21.  Graham Rahal         Rahal/Honda           + 5 laps
22.  Alex Tagliani        Herta/Honda           + 5 laps

Retirements:

     Scott Dixon          Ganassi/Honda          61 laps
     Pippa Mann           Coyne/Honda             2 laps

All drivers use Dallara DW12 chassis
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