Castroneves Wins Indy 500
May. 27, 2001
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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ Helio Castroneves proved the Indianapolis 500 still belongs to Roger Penske.
The Indy rookie led teammate and fellow Brazilian Gil de Ferran in a 1-2 Penske finish, giving The Captain a triumphant return Sunday to the 500-mile race.
``It's the best of my life, redeeming myself like this,'' said Penske, following a record 11th victory at Indy after failing to put any drivers in the race in 1995 and a five-year boycott by Championship Auto Racing Teams.
The 26-year-old Castroneves celebrated by demonstrating for fans why he is known as ``Spiderman'' on the CART circuit. He stopped his red and white car near the finish line after a cool-down lap, jumped up the steel-mesh fence, pumped his fist and signaled for his team to join him.
They did. Marlboro Team Penske raced across the track, climbed the short concrete wall and scaled the fence, to the delight of the Indy crowd.
De Ferran, Michael Andretti, Jimmy Vasser and rookie Bruno Junqueira took the top five positions, making it a tough day for the rival Indy Racing League, which considers Indy its centerpiece.