Alonso drives past Castroneves to lead at Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The Fernando Alonso retirement tour got off to a rousing start as he charged to the lead of the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Alonso powered past three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves to put his Cadillac DPi into the early lead in the twice-round-the-clock endurance race at Daytona International Speedway. Once he settled in, Alonso put Wayne Taylor Racing out front by nearly 15 seconds during a lengthy opening stint to his year.
Rossi replaces Rahal for Team Penske endurance races
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Alexander Rossi has replaced fellow IndyCar driver Graham Rahal at Acura Team Penske for the IMSA sports car endurance events.
Rossi will share the No. 7 Acura ARX-05 DPi with fulltime Penske drivers Helio Castroneves and Ricky Taylor in the Rolex 24 at Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Helio Castroneves and Sebastien Bourdais each tried to make the most of a rare passing opportunity during the second half of Sunday's Indianapolis 500.
Tony Kanaan and Danica Patrick, they spun out and crashed, too.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Danica Patrick loves good omens.
She learned of a couple of them Saturday that could bode well for her in the Indianapolis 500.
The popular if polarizing Patrick, who will be racing for the final time Sunday, spent the morning signing autographs alongside Scott Dixon and Helio Castroneves at the racetrack. The trio will make up the third row when the green flag drops, with Patrick starting on the inside.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The screaming yellow firesuit made Helio Castroneves easy to find at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The glowing smile didn't hurt, either.
Castroneves is wrapping up another May at his favorite race track and getting another chance Sunday at a record-tying fourth Indianapolis 500 victory. The Brazilian has a seat as a favor from Roger Penske, because when the boss needed Castroneves to anchor his new sports car team, the company man agreed.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Part-time drivers and one-off rides are usually afterthoughts at the Indianapolis 500, where the sport's brightest stars tend to shine in the hot sun on the final Sunday of May.
This year, the part-time driver is Helio Castroneves.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Takuma Sato learned a tough, painful lesson from his spectacular final lap crash at the 2012 Indianapolis 500.
Eventually, it paid dividends.
The Japanese driver believes he might not be the defending Indy winner heading into Sunday's race had it not been for the ill-fated passing attempt that sent him spinning hard into the first-turn wall and gave Dario Franchitti his third and final race win six years ago.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — IndyCar's marquee names turned a day of qualifying for the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" into a throwback, nail-biting, bumping affair.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Latest on the first of two qualifying days for the Indianapolis 500 (all times local):
Three-time Indianapolis 500 Helio Castroneves withstood a late afternoon charge from two-time Indy pole winner Ed Carpenter to hold onto the top seed in Sunday's nine-car pole shootout.
All 33 starting spots on the grid will be determined Sunday.
Castroneves posted a four-lap average of 228.919 mph on the fourth attempt of the day then waited through two rain delays and 43 runs.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Josef Newgarden brought Team Penske's prestigious No. 1 car to Indianapolis. Since then, the defending series champion has mostly been out of the spotlight.
He watched one teammate, Will Power, dominate opening weekend to give the team its 200th series win. He's seen another, Helio Castroneves, become a focal point this week as he pursues a record-tying fourth Indianapolis 500 victory.
Newgarden, meanwhile, is content to go back to work.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Team Penske topped opening day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as Simon Pagenaud and Helio Castroneves paced the first practice sessions for the Indianapolis 500.
It was a big boost of confidence for Castroneves, who wasted no time getting up to speed at his favorite race track. The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner was fastest in Tuesday afternoon's opening practice session, while Pagenaud led the morning session.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The throwback month is in full swing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Danica Patrick started tuning up for her final race on the historic 2.5-mile oval more than a week ago. Helio Castroneves has been peppered with questions about becoming the fourth four-time winner of the Indianapolis 500.
The seemingly indestructible A.J. Foyt came back less than two months after surviving a second bout with killer bees. Even real, live bumping should be on the qualifying weekend docket.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Latest on the IndyCar Grand Prix at Indianapolis (all times local):
Will Power led the final 34 laps Saturday and pulled away for his second straight IndyCar Grand Prix win, giving Team Penske its 200th series win.
Power defeated Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing by 2.2443 seconds.
Robert Wickens finished third, 8.1621 seconds back. He drives for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
Penske returns to Rolex with its own version of star cars
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — At first glance, it appeared the days of the "star car" at the Rolex 24 at Daytona were over.
Then Roger Penske showed up.
Penske has brought his organization back to sports car racing and he'll field two stacked lineups in the Rolex 24 at Daytona later this month. Juan Pablo Montoya, Dane Cameron and Simon Pagenaud are in one car, with Helio Castroneves, Ricky Taylor and Graham Rahal in the other.
Gragson wins 1st Truck Series race with Martinsville victory
MARTINSVILLE, Va. (AP) — Noah Gragson celebrated his first Truck Series victory by impersonating Helio Castroneves and climbing the fence at Martinsville Speedway.
Then he took it a step further and did pullups while dangling from the fence.
It was a bit too much for the 19-year-old.
He vomited over the side of the racetrack wall after his climb.
Ricky Taylor caps season with new job driving for Penske
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Ricky Taylor's amazing sports car season landed him another perk Wednesday when he was picked as the final driver for Roger Penske's new Acura program.
Taylor teamed with younger brother Jordan to win the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the first five races of the season as the duo claimed the championship for their father's Wayne Taylor Racing. The family wrapped up the title on Saturday, and less than four days later, the eldest son was a Team Penske driver.
Castroneves to move to Team Penske sports car program
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves is done racing full-time in the IndyCar Series.
The youth movement officially hit IndyCar on Wednesday when Team Penske said it was moving Castroneves to its new sports car program next season.
Team Penske to enter IMSA finale at Road Atlanta
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Team Penske will field an entry for IndyCar stars Juan Pablo Montoya, Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar season finale at Road Atlanta.
Preparing to launch its Acura ARX-05 Daytona Prototype International program in January in the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona, Team Penske said Friday that it has entered the ORECA 07-Gibson in the 10-hour Petit Le Mans endurance race Oct. 7.
Simon Pagenaud focused on defending IndyCar title
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (AP) — Simon Pagenaud has two races to atone for a costly mistake.
Winning a second straight IndyCar championship remained on his radar prior to qualifying on Saturday at Watkins Glen International. He sits fourth in the standings, 43 points behind Penske Racing teammate Josef Newgarden.
Penske’s Newgarden guarded about his IndyCar points lead
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (AP) — Less than a week after his series-leading fourth win of the IndyCar season created a more comfortable lead in the points standings, Penske Racing's Josef Newgarden remains guarded about his title chances with two races remaining in the season.
Will Power leads Penske qualifying sweep at Gateway
MADISON, Ill. (AP) — Will Power took the 50th pole of his career Friday night, leading Team Penske to a four-team, two-row sweep in qualifying for the IndyCar race Saturday night at Gateway Motorsports Park.
The 36-year-old Australian set a track record with a two-lap run of 47.4579 seconds at 189.642 mph on the newly paved 1.25-mile oval. Power has six poles this season.
Castroneves, IndyCar back at Gateway with a hot points race
MADISON, Ill. (AP) — Helio Castroneves is a three-time Indianapolis 500 winner and has 30 victories overall and 50 poles in his 19-year career.
The popular 42-year-old driver is still looking for a season championship.
He hopes to change that this season. With three races left, including Saturday night at Gateway Motorsports Park, Castroneves sits third in the points with 472 — 22 behind leader Josef Newgarden and four back of second-place Scott Dixon.
LEXINGTON, Ohio (AP) — Josef Newgarden knew he had a good car and didn't waste time showing it.
Newgarden dominated at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course to win the Honda Indy 200 on Sunday for his second straight IndyCar victory. He moved from fourth to first in the series points standings, seven points ahead of Helio Castroneves.
LEXINGTON, Ohio (AP) — A year ago, Scott Dixon came to one of his favorite courses and had one of the most trying weekends of his racing career.
A five-time winner at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Dixon faced reporters two days before the race and, along with his team owner, discussed having Target pull its sponsorship of Chip Ganassi Racing at the end of the season after 27 years.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Roger Penske will return to sports car racing next year with two Prototype DPi entries in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Team Penske will partner with Acura Motorsports for the two-car effort. Penske will field Acura ARX-05 Daytona Prototype international entries.
Helio Castroneves wins in Iowa to end 3-year drought
NEWTON, Iowa (AP) — As he crossed the finish line for his first victory in three years, Helio Castroneves screamed "Finally! Finally!" over the radio to his joyous crew.
For both Castroneves and Team Penske, the win Sunday at Iowa Speedway was long overdue.
Castroneves dominated the IndyCar race on the short oval, leading 217 of 300 laps for his first victory since 2014 and Team Penske's first win in 11 tries in Iowa.
Josef Newgarden gives Team Penske hope in Iowa
NEWTON, Iowa (AP) — IndyCar powerhouse Team Penske has never won at Iowa Speedway, even though the open-wheel series has been running at the track for more than decade.
This offseason, Penske brought in the driver who last year executed perhaps the most impressive run that Iowa had ever seen.
Josef Newgarden broke an IndyCar record in Iowa for Ed Carpenter Racing, leading 282 out of 300 laps to win despite a broken right clavicle and a fractured right hand.
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (AP) — As usual, Helio Castroneves took charge.
Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud came in early for their news conference after a good practice at Road America for the Team Penske drivers. Castroneves, still in his firesuit, picked up the microphone and started moderating the discussion as if he was a veteran announcer.
"You're such a natural," Pagenaud said to laughter. "The guy is great."
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (AP) — Team Penske will have a stranglehold on the first two rows in the IndyCar race at Road America.
Helio Castroneves won the pole Saturday, turning a lap in 1 minute, 41.30 seconds at 142.649 mph. It was his 50th career pole, and third of the season.
Castroneves edged teammate Will Power by 0.06 seconds. Power won the race last year at the rural Wisconsin road course.
DETROIT (AP) — Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato set a track record to claim the pole for Sunday's second race of the IndyCar doubleheader at the Detroit Grand Prix.
Sato covered the 2.36-mile road course on Belle Isle in 1 minute, 13.6732 seconds at 115.434 mph in his Andretti Autosport Honda. Ryan Hunter-Reay, who was the fastest driver in the slower first qualifying session with a time of 1:15.2833, will start on the outside of the front row.
DETROIT (AP) — Graham Rahal of Rahal/Letterman Lanigan Racing set a track record and earned the pole for Saturday's Detroit Grand Prix IndyCar race.
Rahal covered the 2.36-mile, 13-turn temporary road course in 1 minute, 13.9681 seconds at 114.966 mph. His time from the first round of qualifying stood up after IndyCar officials wiped out the fastest lap turned by Team Penske's Helio Castroneves when he was penalized for not slowing down during a caution.
Takuma Sato took the checkered flag at Sunday's Indy 500. Then he took a victory lap, the traditional gulp of milk and a $2.5 million payout.
But Sato didn't take all the glory.
Some of that reflected onto Ruoff Home Mortgage, the Fort Wayne-based lender that sponsored Sato's car.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Make no mistake, this Indianapolis 500 was very much about Fernando Alonso .
Until his engine blew with 20 laps remaining, the two-time Formula One champion had a shot to win "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing." But when his Honda power-plant went out with a white puff of smoke, the Alonso show was effectively over .
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Keeping up with Ed Jones was a pretty tough task at the Indianapolis 500.
With a little more experience, it could become a mighty challenge.
Even before the Dubai-born driver started discussing his third-place finish, the best ever for Dale Coyne Racing, Jones had convinced three-time race winner Helio Castroneves he was ready for the big-time world of IndyCar racing.
"You did great, especially for your first time," Castroneves said.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The motorsports critics kept saying Andretti Autosport was stretching itself too thin by fielding an audacious six entries for the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500.
Good thing Michael Andretti doesn't listen to the critics.
Four of those entries combined to lead 95 of the 200 laps Sunday, and Takuma Sato held off Helio Castroneves to give the team owner his third win in fourth years.
"I think we're a happy team," Sato said with a smile.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Takuma Sato had victory in sight once before at the Indianapolis 500. When he attempted a last-lap pass, Sato lost control of his car, crashed and Dario Franchitti went on to his third victory in "The Greatest Spectacle In Racing."
In nearly the same position five years later, Sato leaned on lessons learned in that 2012 defeat and became the first Japanese driver to win the Indianapolis 500.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — At the end of 500 miles around Indianapolis Motor Speedway, it was a former Formula One driver who took the checkered flag.
He even drove for Andretti Autosport.
It just wasn't Fernando Alonso.
Takuma Sato became the first Japanese winner of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday when he denied Helio Castroneves a record-tying fourth victory as the two traded the lead in the closing laps.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Helio Castroneves insisted all week he had a car that could win the Indianapolis 500.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — All the negative publicity Honda received in the lead-up to the Indianapolis 500 washed away when Takuma Sato dumped a bottle of 2 percent milk over his head in victory lane.
So what if three Honda engines blew up Sunday while they were running with the leaders?
It only took one to win "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing."
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — No one needs a spotter to see this coming.
With former Indianapolis 500 champions Helio Castroneves and Tony Kanaan in the twilight of their racing careers and possibly driving their final IndyCar season, the open-wheel series is on the verge of a fairly significant shift.
Even IndyCar officials are braced for the change, having created a "What's Next" advertising campaign that puts several younger drivers in the spotlight.