- Jacques Villeneuve will attempt to make Indianapolis 500 starts 19 years apart, bettering Cy Marshall & Roland Free's 17-year gap set in 1947.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Castroneves Wins In St. Pete

After a winless 2011 season, Helio Castroneves kicked off 2012 standing atop the emotional podium in St. Petersburg.

Marking not only the inaugural event of the season and first competition with the new Lotus/Chevrolet/Honda Dallara DW12 formula, Sunday's 100-lap race was also the first since the loss Dan Wheldon.

"Looking around, it is a beautiful day with everyone remembering Dan (Wheldon).  It reminds you that there are a lot more important things in life than dropping out of a race,” said driver and close friend of Wheldon, Tony Kanaan.

Kanaan wasn't the only driver with mechanical problems. 19th place finisher JR Hildebrand  dropped out on lap 96 with fuel pressure problems, while Honda drivers Mike Conway and Takuma Sato's days ended early with transmission issues on lap 75 and 73 respectively. 3 of the 5 Lotus powered entries - Bourdais, Legge and de Silvestro - also dropped out early with mechanical failures.

Top 10

1-Castroneves
2-Dixon
3-Hunter-REay
4-Hinchcliffe
5-Briscoe
6-Pagenaud
7-Power
8-Viso
9-Kimball
10-Wilson

Race Time: 1:59:50.9863
Avg Speed: 90.113
Margin of Victory: 5.5292
Lead Changes: 9
Leaders: 7 (SD 37, HC 28, TS 11, WP 11, RB 9, JH 3, DF 1)
Cautions: 3 for 15 laps

Sunoco ROY Standings

Pagenaud - 28
Newgarden - 19
Legge - 12

Manufacturers Championship

Chevrolet - 9
Honda - 6
Lotus - 4

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