Castroneves Wins 3rd Indy 500

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 24, 2009 3:58 PM CDT
Helio Castroneves, of Brazil, celebrates after his pit crew in Indianapolis, Friday, May 22, 2009.   (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
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(Newser) – Helio Castroneves won his third Indianapolis 500 today, beating 2005 winner Dan Wheldon by 1.981 seconds and leaving Danica Patrick in third, the best finish by a woman at Indianapolis. With 10 laps to go, Castroneves' lead was 1.38 seconds, and he continued widening the gap the rest of the way. Townsend Bell was fourth and Will Power fifth. Last year's winner, Scott Dixon, finished sixth.

Castroneves, who started from the pole, had a half-second lead over teammate Ryan Briscoe before a hard crash by Vitor Meira and rookie Raphael Matos brought out the yellow caution with 26 laps to go in today's race. But Briscoe had to come in for fuel, moving Wheldon up to second and Patrick third. The green came out after 183 of the 200 laps, and Castroneves began pulling away for good.