INDYCAR SERIES Detroit Belle Isle Grand PrixFinal
Wilson wins at Detroit, title still up for grabsAug 31, 2008 - 11:48 PM DETROIT (Ticker) -- Justin Wilson won Sunday's Detroit IndyCar Grand Prix, but Helio Castroneves was a big winner as well.
Wilson earned his first career series win at the 2.125-mile track, the same day Castroneves kept his title hopes alive by running second and finishing ahead of series leader Scott Dixon who crossed the finish line fifth.
"Helio was racing hard. The first yellow, I was right behind him and that's how it goes. It was just hard racing," Wilson said. "The second time I got a good run out of (Turn 12) and started to overlap, and I had the inside for the next corner.
"Before we got halfway down the straight, he started to come across and I had to lift or we both were going to crash. I was a little upset at the time, but I was relieved w hen the officials put it right."
If Dixon had finished just one spot ahead of Castroneves, the New Zealander would have captured his second career IndyCar title.
Dixon now has a 30-point lead atop the standings and just needs to finish eighth or better at next week's series finale in Chicago to claim his second career championship and first since 2003.
"It was a tough race and I feel bad because I thought we had the best car," said Dixon, who started from the pole. "I guess it will come down to next week."
Castroneves took the lead after 18 laps when Dixon unexpectedly entered pit lane.
Dixon re-entered the race in 18th position and quickly improved to fifth while Castroneves built a lead of 16 seconds over the New Zealander after 55 laps.
Castroneves led for the majority of the road race on the Belle Isle course, but was penalized for blocking Wilson on lap 73 and was forced by rule to relinquish the lead with fewer than 20 laps to go.
Castroneves did not regain the lead after the controversial call, and lost a chance to gain another 10 points on Dixon by finishing second.
"I'm happy ... to Chicago we go," said Castroneves after the race, deflecting questions about the penalty. "Please ... I don't have anything smart to say right now (about the penalty).
"We had and awesome car and it was an awesome race."
Tony Kanaan and Oriol Servia finished third and fourth, respectively.