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Wheldon steals victory on the line

Dan Wheldon took an unlikely last gasp victory in his first race with Chip Ganassi Racing

The reigning champion did not appear to be a potential winner until the final 20 laps, when he rapidly surged from fourth to first after the final restart.

Helio Castroneves fought back and reclaimed the lead from Wheldon on lap 190 of 200, but Wheldon was not defeated, and pounced at the final corner of the race, drawing ahead by a few inches as they took the chequered flag.

"There was not even a hair between his tyres and my tyres," said Castroneves. "Dan was really smart."

Polesitter Sam Hornish Jr took an unrepresentative third place after dominating most of the race.

His lead stretched to six seconds in the middle stages, but he lost crucial ground by making his last stop just before Tony Kanaan's crash in the pit entrance caused a full course yellow.

Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon completed the top five, with everyone else at least two laps down after an attritional and rather subdued race.

The event was overshadowed by Paul Dana's fatal crash in the morning warm-up.

"It's obviously a very sad day and our thoughts and prayers are with the Dana family and everyone at Rahal-Letterman," said Wheldon in victory lane.

Homestead results:

Pos  Driver             Team               Chassis  Time
 1.  Dan Wheldon        Ganassi            Dallara    200 laps
 2.  Helio Castroneves  Penske             Dallara  +  0.0147s
 3.  Sam Hornish Jr     Penske             Dallara  +  0.4744s
 4.  Dario Franchitti   Andretti-Green     Dallara  +  0.9401s
 5.  Scott Dixon        Ganassi            Dallara  +  1.1989s
 6.  Kosuke Matsuura    Fernandez          Dallara  +   2 laps
 7.  Felipe Giaffone    Foyt               Dallara  +   2 laps
 8.  Scott Sharp        Fernandez          Dallara  +   2 laps
 9.  Tomas Scheckter    Vision             Dallara  +   3 laps
10.  Eddie Cheever Jr.  Cheever            Dallara  +   4 laps
11.  Tony Kanaan        Andretti-Green     Dallara  +  41 laps
12.  P.J. Chesson       Hemelgarn          Dallara  +  48 laps
13.  Bryan Herta        Andretti-Green     Dallara  +  60 laps
14.  Buddy Lazier       Dreyer & Reinbold  Dallara  + 188 laps
15.  Marco Andretti     Andretti-Green     Dallara  + 188 laps
16.  Vitor Meira        Panther            Dallara  + 190 laps
17.  Danica Patrick     Rahal-Letterman    Panoz    DNS
18.  Buddy Rice         Rahal-Letterman    Panoz    DNS
19.  Paul Dana          Rahal-Letterman    Panoz    DNS
20.  Ed Carpenter       Vision             Dallara  DNS

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