Indy Emotion: Helio Enraged
Helio Castroneves was not happy with the black flag penalty assessed to him that cost him the race. Castroneves apologized for the outburst later, but still did not agree with the call (Courtesy Russ Purcell, LAT)
South Florida-resident Helio Castroneves left Edmonton enraged, while Scott Dixon was elated. Will Power, meanwhile, held on to his points lead but saw his Championship margin shrink. And with just 115 points separating Power from sixth-place Castroneves, the 2010 Championship—to be crowned Oct. 2 at Homestead-Miami Speedway—is anyone’s race. Lock in your tickets now to see Championship racing at Championship value, as tickets start at just $30: Call (866) 409-RACE or log onto THEChampionshipTrack.com for the best seats.
At Edmonton for Race 11 of 17 en route to Miami, Castroneves and Power were running side-by-side coming out of Turn 1 on Lap 92 of 95. But when Castroneves slipped by for the lead, race officials ruled that he blocked Power on the low side and penalized the Brazilian-turned-South Florida resident with a black flag.
"I got a run on him, and he blocked me,” Power said immediately post-race. “I would say a black flag is a pretty harsh penalty, but it is what it is. It was just one of those racing things. When you're leading on the last restart, you want to keep the lead."
After being radioed about the flag, Castroneves failed to drive through pit row as penalty for the blocking, which resulted in a 20-second post-race penalty that moved Castroneves all the way back to a 10th-place finish.
"I never moved my line,” Castroneves said of IndyCar’s crippling ruling. “I actually did move him outside. When you go side-by-side like that with your teammate and they just take it away from you, it's just absurd.”
Dixon made the most of the blocking incident—slipping by Power amongst the tangling to take the second-place position—and after the penalty assessed to Castroneves was named the race winner, his second of the year.
The win elevated Dixon to just 71 points off of Power’s Championship standings lead with just five races left before open-wheel’s best race for the 2010 trophy at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Reigning IndyCar Champion and 2009 Miami winner Champion Dario Franchitti is in second place.
Power has been all-but dominant on the road/street courses this year but has struggled in the oval races. With four of the final six races on the circular courses—including the series-crowning race at Homestead-Miami Speedway Oct. 2—it’s looking like open season on the open-wheel Championship to be crowned this fall in Miami. Lock in your tickets now to see Castroneves, Franchitti, Danica Patrick, Tony Kanaan, and all of IndyCar’s best as the race for Championship glory Oct.1-2 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. For more information on the NextEra Indy Championships, call 866-409-RACE or visit THEChampionshipTrack.com.The last four years, the IndyCar Championship has come down to the last lap of the last race, and the Championship pursuit continues at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Aug. 8 (2:30 p.m. ET, VERSUS TV)—Race 12 of 17 en route to the NextEra Energy Indy Championships at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Oct. 1-2). Tickets are on sale NOW; for the best seats, call (866) 409-RACE or log on to THEChampionshipTrack.com.
Open it Up: South Florida's IndyCar Drivers
“I've raced a long time and I understand bad days, but this one was right up there with the longest of them for us. We have a lot of work to do to try and get better.”
--South Florida’s Tony Kanaan, who finished 11th in Race 11 of 17 en route to the Oct. 2 IndyCar Championship in Miami
Many of South Florida-based IndyCar drivers left Race 11 of 17 en route to Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway disappointed in their performance.
Even Boca Raton-native Ryan Hunter-Reay—who tallied a Top 5 finish—seemed more surprised than pleased after the race.
“Coming out of here with a Top 5 almost feels like a victory,” he said. “The guys did a great job, and it was another good points day for us. We just didn't really have it this weekend. But sometimes a team is measured by how well they do at a time when they're missing a little something, and I think Team IZOD showed what it is made of.”
Lock in your tickets now to see Championship racing at Championship value, as tickets start at just $30: Call (866) 409-RACE or log onto THEChampionshipTrack.com for the best seats.
While Hunter-Reay was the only South Florida driver to manage a Top 5, fellow-South Florida-resident Helio Castroneves actually crossed the finish line first but was assessed a late-race penalty that not only cost him the win but relegated him to a 10th-place finish.
Afterwards, Castroneves was noticeably angry—confronting several IndyCar officials and even grabbing one by the shirt collar—but apologized for his actions soon thereafter.
“Obviously, I disagree with the decisions made by the race officials on the last restart in today's race, but there is no excuse for my actions after the checkered flag,” said the “Dancing” driver. “I apologize to my team, our sponsors, the fans and the entire IZOD IndyCar Series community for my behavior. Obviously, I am a very emotional person, and today I let my emotions get the better of me and I'm very sorry for that.”
The pursuit for Miami glory continues on Aug. 8 at Mid-Ohio Sport Car Course (2:30 p.m. ET, VERSUS TV)—Race 12 of 17 en route to the NextEra Energy Indy Championships at Homestead-Miami Speedway. For tickets, visit THEChampionshipTrack.com or call (866) 409-RACE.
How South Florida drivers fared in Race 11 of 17 en route to Miami:
5. Ryan-Hunter Reay
7. Mario Moraes
8. E.J. Viso
10. Helio Castroneves
11. Marco Andretti
12. Tony Kanaan
13. Raphael Matos
16. Vitor Meira
24. Mario Romancini
25. Milka Duno