Helio Castroneves Second, Ryan Briscoe Ninth in Japan

April 20, 2008

MOTEGI, Japan (April 20, 2008) - Helio Castroneves maintained his IndyCar Series points lead Sunday by finishing second in the Indy Japan 300 at Twin Ring Motegi.

Castroneves was leading with two laps remaining when the No. 3 Team Penske Honda/Dallara began to run low on fuel. He held on to finish second behind winner Danica Patrick, maintaining his lead in the championship standings after three races this season.
“She passed me fair and square,” Castroneves said. “I didn't have enough fuel even if I wanted to fight with her, and today I guess it's part of history again."
Teammate Ryan Briscoe finished ninth in the No. 6 Team Penske Honda/Dallara.
Castroneves now has 112 points, 12-more than third-place finisher Scott Dixon and 14 more than Patrick. Castroneves credited his team’s fuel strategy with keeping him in contention.
“I was saving fuel as soon as we started the race,” he said. “Even after I fought back to about fifth or sixth position, I was still saving more than usual because I was getting into best condition towards the end of the race.”
Castroneves led 93 of the 200 laps and worked his way into the lead with five laps to go. But he slowed dramatically heading into the third turn on the 198th lap, and Patrick took the lead. She became the first woman to win a major closed-course auto race.
“She was very competitive,” Castroneves said. “Any driver that comes with a good package and a good organization, they can do a good job and they'll be competitive.”
The season resumes next weekend at Kansas Speedway, the last race before the 2008 Indianapolis 500.