EDMONTON - He almost forgot to climb the fence!
Helio Castroneves, a.k.a. Spiderman, finally won the Edmonton Indy. And he almost didn't do his signature celebration.
“I realized, when I was going to the victory circle lap that I hadn't climbed the fence out there,” he said.
“ 'Snap out of it! I've got to climb the fence.'
“When I saw the crowd, it was just for the moment and I'm glad I did it right there.”
It was the 27th career IndyCar win for Castroneves.
He was asked to compare the fence here to the other fences he's climbed.
“The fence was a little soft, I have to say it was a little soft,” he laughed.
“I was going all the way to the top but I was hanging on when I saw that thing bending.
“I would not let it go until the crowd stopped screaming. Everybody was really excited.”
It may have been win No. 27 for Castroneves, but he scores it as win No. 28.
In 2010 the Brazilian who three times has won the Indianapolis 500, took the checkered flag in Edmonton but was black flagged and dropped to 10th, judged as having blocked his own team-mate Will Power on the last lap.
“This is my second win here. Maybe some people would disagree with me, that it's not my second win.
“We have to turn the page. I'm never going to forget what happened, but certainly you have to move on.
“Today was a great day, so we can finally say we won here.”
In 2008, 2009 and 2011 the Dancing With Stars winner finished second.
In 2010, instead of climbing the fence, Castroneves climbed the tree-like form of Indy director of security Charles Burns, a former marine, attempting to get to race control officials. This day Castroneves delighted in being welcomed to victory lane by Burns.
“That was great, a different moment I have to say. Charles is a good friend of all of us. Joking around I told him 'It's my second win here but today it counts.
“Certainly for me it was very good to have Charles there. People don't understand that we never, ever fought each other. Look at the size of the guy. There isn't even a chance.”
Power found Castroneves winning almost amusing considering what happened in 2010.
“In a way, it's funny. In this sport, or life in general, what goes around comes around. You generally get what you deserve. When something unjust happens to you usually something comes back to replace that or make up for it. That's what I understand. It's the same as as if you do something bad at the track, you know something bad is coming back for you.”
Castroneves credited the entire Penske team for the win.
“It was great strategy. And I think I knew where I was strong and where I was weak and that allowed me to manage the win.”
And then there were the pit stops.
Castroneves went in for the second one in second place behind Canada's Alex Tagliani and came out first.
He was not expecting to be signaled into the pits at the time he was.
“I thought it was a little risky, a little ballsy for my team. Normally you wait a little longer to do your pit stop. That's what I was doing. Once I didn't have the opportunity to pass Tags, I started saving fuel. I was surprised when my team called me in.
“It was close, but certainly paid off. It was a strategic part of the race to win the race and it was great.
“And saving fuel was also another key part to the race. Once Takuma started catching me in second place, I also started saving a little bit so that we had enough to use the 'Push To Pass' and finish without any issues.”
If anybody ever wanted to win a race in Edmonton without any issues it's Helio Castroneves.
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