Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves in the No.3 Hitachi Chevrolet took his first victory since Detroit 2014 in the Iowa Corn 300 at the Iowa Speedway on Sunday evening. The Brazilian’s 30th Verizon IndyCar Series win came as speculation began about his future in the sport with reports that he could move to Roger Penske’s IMSA WhetherTech Sports Car Championship programme next year.
However when asked about that possibility following his win, Castroneves said he knows that he will be at Team Penske in 2018 but has not said whether it will be in the Verizon IndyCar Series or elsewhere.
Castroneves, a three time Indianapolis 500 winner has now, following his and The Captain’s first win in Iowa has closed the gap in the championship to just eight points from leader Scott Dixon.
Speaking following the race, Castroneves commented by saying:
We’ve been close (to winning) so many times, and finally luck was on our side. “We’ve been working so hard together, but the Hitachi Chevy was on rails. We had a little bit of an issue in the beginning, but after we set up the car it was great. What a great finish. It’s just like the first time.
Castroneves heading to Victory Lane in Iowa means that all four of Team Penske’s full-time drivers have taken wins so far in the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series.
- Helio Castroneves – Iowa Corn 300
- Will Power – Rain Guard Water Sealers 600 at Texas Motor Speedway / Indy Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway
- Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix – Simon Pagenaud
- Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama – Josef Newgarden
Castroneves led a total of 217 of 300 laps in the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway. The Brazilian went on to say:
Finally, everything came together. “And 30 wins, we just passed Rick Mears, which is my hero. … I’m honored to be part of this organization, and I can only thank Roger (Penske, team owner), (team president Tim) Cindric and the entire team for supporting me. It’s easy to be behind you in good times, but they’ve always been there no matter the time, so for me that’s priceless. I’m going to continue focusing on this season, and there’s more to come.
Team owner Roger Penske who acts as Helio Castroneves’ race engineer commented on the Brazilian’s victory in Iowa by saying:
To see that run that Helio made all day long, I think he controlled the race. “We had very good pit stops, you could see that, but you’ve got to have reliability and you’ve got to have a guy behind the wheel who knows how to climb the fence.