Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Helio Castroneves wins IndyCar Iowa Corn 300

Helio Castroneves celebrates after winning the Iowa Corn 300, quieting talk that his time at Penske could be coming to an end.

Associated Press

Helio Castroneves celebrates after winning the Iowa Corn 300, quieting talk that his time at Penske could be coming to an end.

NEWTON, Iowa — Helio Castroneves dominated the IndyCar Iowa Corn 300 on Sunday at Iowa Speedway — where fans were invited to sample a free ear of corn before the race — for his first victory since 2014.

The 42-year-old Castroneves led 217 of 300 laps, giving powerhouse Team Penske its first victory on Iowa's short oval in 11 tries.

It was the 30th career win for Castroneves, the Brazilian who was winless since the first race of the Belle Isle doubleheader in Detroit in June 2014.

Castroneves passed Al Unser Sr. for fourth in career laps led. "It's just like the first time, man," Castroneves said. "We've been close so many times, and finally luck was a little bit on our side."

J.R. Hildebrand was a career-best second, followed by Ryan Hunter-Reay, Will Power and Graham Rahal.

Scott Dixon finished eighth but still leads the standings by eight points over Castroneves.

Castroneves has won the Indianapolis 500 three times and remains among the most popular drivers in the series. But his star had faded in recent years as teammates Simon Pagenaud and Power secured championships.

Castroneves had finished second eight times since his last victory, and there was recent speculation that his time at Penske could be coming to an end.

"I never doubt. That wasn't even in my thoughts," he said. "I've had great support — and especially Team Penske. They never gave up on me. We were always there. We were always good."

Hildebrand took control early in the No. 21 car that Josef Newgarden won with in Iowa in 2016.

But he lost his lead when Castroneves beat him off pit lane after Carlos Munoz's crash brought on a caution halfway through the race.

Hildebrand then got ahead of Castroneves after the field went in for their final pit stops. But Castroneves was back in front with just over 30 laps left and used the fresh air — and the good fortune of a long green-flag run — to cruise to victory.

FORMULA ONE: Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas won the Austrian Grand Prix in Spielberg, and Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel finished just behind in second to extend his championship lead over main rival Lewis Hamilton to 20 points. Bottas, starting from the pole, had a bad tire at the end but did just enough to hold off Vettel's late charge, with the German driver finishing 0.6 seconds behind. Hamilton was fourth. Bottas is 15 points behind Hamilton and is close to getting into contention for the title.

NHRA: Steve Torrence won the Route 66 Nationals for his fifth Top Fuel victory of the season, beating Antron Brown in the final in Joliet, Ill. The points leader edged Brown with a 3.779-second pass at 326.08 mph. Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Drew Skillman in Pro Stock and LE Tonglet in Pro Stock Motorcycle. Capps raced to his sixth victory of the season. The points leader beat Tommy Johnson Jr. with a 4.026 at 319.67.

Helio Castroneves wins IndyCar Iowa Corn 300 07/09/17 [Last modified: Sunday, July 9, 2017 8:58pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Jordan Spieth wins British Open (w/ video)

    Golf

    SOUTHPORT, England — Someday, perhaps soon, there will be a plaque at Royal Birkdale for Jordan Spieth, much like the one off the 16th hole that celebrates Arnold Palmer and the 6-iron he slashed out of the rough in 1961 to win the British Open and usher in a new era of golf.

    Matt Kuchar plays out of the bunker on the 18th hole and finishes with bogey for 1-under 69. He had a one-shot lead after 13 holes.
  2. Fennelly: Brutal weekend could be start of something worse for Rays

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Well, that was lovely.

    Brad Boxberger suffers his second loss in the three-game series, this time by allowing back-to-back homers in the eighth inning when called on to protect a 5-3 lead. “Just bad pitches,” he says.
  3. Wesley Chapel hockey camp impresses youth players, parents

    Lightning Strikes

    WESLEY CHAPEL — As a 17-year-old Triple-A hockey player, MacCallum Brown regularly plays against elite talent. As a Palm Harbor resident, he often has to travel to face that talent.

  4. Rays journal: Rays gamble on Sergio Romo's track record, heart

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Some of RHP Sergio Romo's numbers this season with the Dodgers were the worst of his career, yet the Rays feel he can be a good fit for their bullpen.

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 26:  Sergio Romo #54 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws a pitch in the 9th inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Dodger Stadium on June 26, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)
  5. Rays claim not to be panicking after third straight brutal loss to Rangers (w/ video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — There was no "here we go again" moment in the dugout as Rougned Odor's two-run homer in the eighth inning arced across Tropicana Field and toward the rightfield seats, even though when it landed, the score was tied and another late-inning Rays lead was blown.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria heads back to the dugout after fouling out in the ninth inning with the potential tying run on first.