IRL St Petersburg: Castroneves triumps for Penske

Helio Castroneves, St Petersburg, 2007Helio Castroneves gave his Penske team a much needed shot in the arm with his victory on the streets of St Petersburg, following the Ganassi team’s rout at Homestead last weekend.

Castroneves led most of the race much as Dan Wheldon did last week, winning from pole. It means the two drivers have won the first two rounds of the year exactly as they did in 2006.

The two were involved in a controversial incident following the second safety car period when Castroneves hit Wheldon from behind as the race was about to restart. But no penalty was forthcoming for Castroneves.

Scott Dixon repeated his second place from Homestead ahead of an Andretti-Green 3-4-5 of Tony Kanaan, Marco Andretti and Dario Franchitti.

Darren Manning started fifth – the best ever for an AJ Foyt car on a road course – but fell to a lapped 12th by the flag. Reigning champion Sam Hornish Jnr finished seventh.

Wheldon could only manage ninth having qualified 14th. His team mate Dixon now leads the standings with 80 points while Castroneves and Wheldon are tied on 75.

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