Helio Castroneves passed Marco Andretti with nine laps to go to win the Indy Grand Prix of Alabama Sunday afternoon at Barber (Leeds, AL) Motorsports Park.
Castroneves collected a $5,000 bonus from Raybestos brand brakes, a member of the Affinia Group family of brands, as part of the Raybestos Road and Street Challenge for winning the race while using Raybestos brake pads. Additionally, an award of $25,000 will be presented to the IZOD IndyCar Series driver from Raybestos who has the best average finishing position in all road and street course races in 2010.
“We’re thrilled for Helio, Tim Cindric, and the entire Penske Racing team," said Josh Russell, Director of Sales & Marketing for Raybestos Racing Brakes. "Helio’s hard-fought Alabama Grand Prix win on our Raybestos brake pads is yet another milestone in Team Penske’s red hot start to the season.”
Castroneves, who led 20 laps in the 90-lap event, held off Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti in the closing laps to win for the first time in 2010. His official margin of victory over Dixon was listed at .5703 seconds.
“When we pitted after Scott [Dixon] and Dario [Franchitti], Marco [Andretti] was able to do an incredible job and back again in the lead,” Castroneves said. “So felt like I had a better car than Marco, but unfortunately, I just couldn’t pass him. And I was just patient and waiting for an opportunity, and well, I guess we were able to be smart enough to save a lot of fuel.”
Castroneves had high praise for the younger Andretti.
“He was driving like his father, Michael Andretti,” Castroneves said. “Hell of a job.”
The official time of the race was one hour, 56 minutes and 41 seconds. There were seven lead changes among three drivers in a race that was slowed by two cautions for five laps. The average speed of the event was 106.436 mph.