Black day for Helio

Helio Castroneves is restrained by Team Penske president Tim Cindric after Castroneves was...

Helio Castroneves is restrained by Team Penske president Tim Cindric after Castroneves was black-flagged for a blocking penalty, costing him a win. (ROSS PURCELL/QMI Agency)

TERRY JONES, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:41 AM ET

EDMONTON -- It was all set up for a moment to treasure for an estimated 48,000 fans at the Honda Indy Edmonton.

There was Helio Castroneves, three-time winner of the Indianapolis 500, a.k.a. Spiderman, after finishing second in the last two races here, in position to win the race and climb the fence here for the first time.

Instead, he went into the infield in front of the pits absolutely incensed, raging at everybody in sight and ended up climbing the substantial tree-like form of Indy Racing League director of security Charles Burns, a former marine, attempting to get to race control officials who black flagged him for blocking on a restart after a yellow flag on lap 92 of the 95-lap race.

Team Penske president Tim Cindric and Owen Snider, a pit crew member for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, attempted to keep theDancing With The Starswinner from doing more than grabbing Burns by the top of his shirt with both hands.

Not the same freeze frame as climbing the fence.

In one of the most bizarre finishes in all of major-league auto-racing history, Scott Dixon won a race he never led for a lap or for a single, solitary second. Castroneves took the checkered flag but a black flag cost him the Honda Indy Edmonton Sunday.

QUALIFIED SECOND

Castroneves qualified second to series leader and teammate Will Power and raced second to him through 77 laps when he took the lead. But a yellow flag late in the race, with rookie Simona de Silvestro going off course on lap 87, resulted in a restart where it happened.

Most of the fans in the stands, by far the smallest crowd of the six races held here, had no clue what the heck had happened.

But it was a happening. By blocking his own teammate, Castroneves cost them both the race.

Drivers were warned by Brian Barnhart during the pre-race drivers meeting on blocking.

"You have plenty of options on where to put your car and we should not have any defending or blocking. Again, we will be visually dividing the braking point through the entry into the corner in half. You can only be on the inside half if you are attempting to pass someone. If you are on the inside half because you are under attack from someone else, it is blocking. Don't move your car in reaction to a following car and don't impede the progress of a car on you."

His quote was supplied by the Indy Racing League.

"I never moved my line," claimed Castroneves, who declined a trip to the interview room for further interrogation.

"I actually did move him outside. When you go side by side like that with your teammate and they just take it away from you, it's absurd."

Two hours after the race, the IRL distributed a further quote from Castroneves.

"Obviously I disagree with the decisions made by the race officials ... but there is no excuse for my actions after the checkered flag. I apologize to my team, our sponsors, the fans and the entire IZOD IndyCar Series community for my behaviour.

"My actions were totally wrong and I acted inappropriately to some people who are my friends and people I respect very much.

"Obviously, I am a very emotional person and (Sunday) I let my emotions get the better of me and I am very sorry for that."

POWER LED

His teammate Will Power had led the first 77 laps of the race with Castroneves second when the Brazilian managed to finally get by him.

Power was attempting to get the lead back going into turn one on the restart.

"I got a run on him and he blocked me," said Power who, when he hit the brakes, watched Dixon move past him into second.

A black flag penalty cannot be appealed. Castroneves was dropped to 10th behind the other nine drivers who were on the same lap.

That moved Power back up to second.

"I would say a black flag is a pretty harsh penalty but it is what it is. It was just one of those racing things. When you are leading on the restart, you want to keep the lead.

"Helio had the inside line. I tried to go around the south-side, sort of got pushed wide and Scott got through."

When pushed to expand on his pit row comment saying "he blocked me," Power was asked if Castroneves had broken some unwritten code as a teammate. But the series leader and defending Edmonton champion wouldn't go there.

"Had the inside line. I tried to go outside. I got in the marbles. Scott went past. That's basically what happened."

Dario Franchitti laughed in the interview room when he found out that Castroneves went after Charles.

"I put 50 bucks on Charles," he said. "That would be like going after A.J.," Franchitti said of car owner and Indy 500 legend A.J. Foyt.

"You're never going to win."

And that's how Castroneves has to view Edmonton the way it's worked for him.

He's never going to win.


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