Helio Castroneves pulled off a couple of strong restarts Sunday afternoon to hold off teammate Will Power, thus giving team owner Roger Penske the clean sweep of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix.
The Brazilian has 29 IndyCar victories, tying Rick Mears for 11th on the career. Castroneves finished 0.060 seconds behind Ryan Hunter-Reay last week in the Indianapolis 500 in his bid to join Mears as a four-time winner in open-wheel racing’s signature event.
Power won Saturday and played a big part in a sloppy start Sunday.
Castroneves, driving the No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet, had a 9-second lead on Power, before Sebastian Bourdais brought out for caution after hitting tire barrier in Turn 5 with 11 laps to go. Castroneves was strong on the restart, but Takuma Sato brought out another caution with six laps to go.
Castroneves again pulled away on the restart and won by 1.6836 seconds over Power.
Castroneves stopped his car and climbed the fence as he first did there in 2000.
Power was a winner, too. In finishing second, he took a 19-point lead over Castroneves, the Indianapolis 500 runner-up, in the season standings.
Indianapolis 500 champion Ryan Hunter-Reay entered the event as the series leader, but he had a disastrous weekend. He crashed in qualifying both days, starting 21st of 22 drivers in both races. He crashed on the last lap of Saturday’s race to finish 16th (instead of 10th) and was knocked out of the second race by electrical issues. Hunter-Reay finished 19th, dropping to third in the standings, 27 points behind Power.
Team owner and unofficial race promoter Roger Penske was not a part of that celebration, but he had to be one of the happiest guys in the Motor City because Castroneves and Power finished first and second and Charlie Kimball, who was also driving a Chevrolet-powered car, was third.
Honda had dominated the Detroit Grand Prix the previous two years — in the shadow of Chevy’s world headquarters — and had the fastest car last week at the Indy 500.