Wheldon wins Homestead

Dan Wheldon, last year's series runner-up, got his title challenge off to a storming start with a dominating win at the Miami Homestead Speedway today.

The Briton led commandingly for most of the 200 laps, controlling the race from the front and pulling away easily after the restart as a result of a crash on lap 158 which eliminated eight drivers, including polesitter Tomas Scheckter.

Behind Wheldon the fight for second was intense - Sam Hornish, Tony Kanaan and Vitor Meira ran three wide on the final lap, finishing in that order albeit split by an astonishing one one-thousandth of a second, just ahead of Helio Castroneves.

"That was incredible!" Castroneves laughed after the race. "It wasn't for the lead, but it was for second through fifth. It was a hell of a race. Everybody seems to respect each other well, and that's what we need."

Wheldon ran at or near the lead throughout, with poleman Scheckter running him close before being unfortunately caught out when Kosuke Matsuura caught him on lap 158, causing a multiple car pile up.

Rookie Danica Patrick was one of the drivers caught in the melee, being taken to the medical centre after hitting the wall at speed. She suffered a slight concussion, but was released shortly after the race.

Toyota Indy 300 Results, Miami Homestead Speedway, March 6, 2005

1. Dan Wheldon, 200 laps
2. Sam Hornish Jr, 200 laps
3. Tony Kanaan, 200 laps
4. Vitor Meira, 200 laps
5. Helio Castroneves, 200 laps
6. Darren Manning, 200 laps
7. Patrick Carpentier, 200 laps
8. Alex Barron, 199 laps
9. A.J. Foyt IV, 196 laps
10. Paul Dana, 192 laps
11. Tomas Scheckter, 158 laps
12. Kosuke Matsuura, 158 laps
13. Scott Sharp, 158 laps
14. Bryan Herta, 158 laps
15. Danica Patrick, 158 laps
16. Scott Dixon, 158 laps
17. Roger Yasukawa, 158 laps
18. Ed Carpenter, 154 laps
19. Buddy Rice, 92 laps
20. Ryan Briscoe, 61 laps
21. Tomas Enge, 41 laps
22. Dario Franchitti, 12 laps
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