Does this victory in the Edmonton Indy make up for 2010, Helio?
"It's fantastic," he said. "I think this place owed us a little bit."
Any victory at the same venue massages past results, and Helio Castroneves' win on the 2.224-mile, 13-turn City Centre Airport circuit was celebrated with his usual exuberant fence climb much to the delight of the throng of spectators in the Turn 1 grandstand.
Castroneves held off Takuma Sato by .8367 of a second to win the caution-free, 75-lap race. Teammate Will Power, who started 17th because of a 10-grid spot penalty for an unapproved engine change, charged to third and Graham Rahal tied his road/street course best finish of the season in fourth. Alex Tagliani, who led a field-high 49 laps after starting fourth, finished fifth.
Team Penske has won three of the five races at the airport track under INDYCAR sanction.
"It’s a credit to the team, obviously, when you see the competitive edge that’s out there with Takuma and all of the other drivers," team owner Roger Penske said. "You can’t make a mistake. The fuel economy was important. Today the Chevy engines ran great. I take my hat off to Helio. When they run that close for that many laps, I’ve got to take my hat off."
Castroneves gained one position in the championship standings with his 27th Indy car victory (second of the season) -- 23 points behind Ryan Hunter-Reay, who finished seventh. Power is third in the standings (26 points back) heading to the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio on Aug. 5.
"We never relaxed, to be honest, especially with Takuma right behind me," Castroneves said. "But it was a great battle for me, it was comfortable. And I was on it, I definitely was on it. Starting the race on the black Firestone tires was a great strategy for us. Then we kept on with the reds (alternates) for the last two stints, and from there on the reds were just getting better and better. For me, the car setup was good for the blacks and the reds basically helped me out to carry this win."
Listen to the INDYCAR Radio Broadcast of the Edmonton Indy