Helio Castroneves clinched his first victory since last year's Indianapolis 500 at Emerson Indy 250 on Sunday, after Tomas Scheckter's team-mate, Scott Dixon, suffered a gearbox failure.

Helio Castroneves clinched his first victory since last year's Indianapolis 500 at Emerson Indy 250 on Sunday, after Tomas Scheckter's team-mate, Scott Dixon, suffered a gearbox failure.


After going 20 races without a victory, Castroneves was back climbing the track fence in St Louis - a post-race celebration that earned the Brazilian the nickname "Spiderman" before.


Castroneves ran the race without dashboard readouts or telemetry in his Team Penske Dallara/Toyota, "It is like flying an airplane without the instruments, just by radios. The team did a phenomenal job.


"I never lost the faith in my crew. My crew never lost the faith in me," Castroneves said after the race. "They always believed. I guess that's the way it should be. It's tough, you know.


"You have to keep knocking on the door. One day you're going to get your breaks. Unfortunately, it took a little more than we expected. But that's racing. We're very optimistic. We had a lot of troubles, but turned out to be in a good way."


He inherited the lead from Dixon on Lap 158 when the New Zealander stopped with gearbox problems.


Dixon had dominated the race up to that point, leading 78 laps before being sidelined. Having led every practice session during the event, he was able to pull away from the field with ease.


The "Thunder from Down Under" had been leading by nearly six seconds and looked as if he was on his way to scoring his fourth victory of the season. Instead, the Kiwi was credited with 15th place.


Dixon led the championship coming into the Gateway event but now sits fourth, 24 points behind Kanaan.


"It's so hard to have a race like this end the way it did," said Dixon. "We had a dominant race car out there. After the last pit stop, I was just saving fuel and waiting until the end to really push it. We had a comfortable lead and then the gearbox went. The guys tried to change it in the pits, but it was damaged too badly."


Tony Kanaan finished second moving back into the points lead after relinquishing the lead when he suffered mechanical problems the Michigan Indy 400 two weeks ago. Kanaan led twice for a total of 21 laps.


Castroneves' Penske team-mate, Gil de Ferran finished third, scoring 35 points, enough to move into second place in the championship standings. Only ten points now separate the top three drivers, Kanaan, De Ferran and Castroneves, in the race for championship.


Scheckter was fourth, 2,819 seconds behind Castroneves, giving Toyota three of the top four spots. "It was an up and down race. I made a mistake coming into the pits. I couldn't get in my box, and they had to pull me back. I went to the back. I had to fight through it but we made some good restarts," he said.


Kanaan's Andretti Green Racing team-mate Dan Wheldon drove his Honda-powered Dallara to a strong fifth place finish. The young rookie from Emberton, England battled from a 12th place on the grid and nearly equalled his previous best of fourth place scored at Nashville.


Toyota-powered cars have now won 9 of the eleven Indy Racing League events this season. Castroneves become the sixth different driver to win using the Japanese manufacturer's engine. Toyota extends its lead in the IndyCar series manufacturer's championship by 25 points over Honda.

Original article from Car