Helio Castroneves was forced to wait 54 races between victories but the veteran Brazilian finally returned to the top step of the podium after a dominant display at Iowa Speedway on Sunday.
The Team Penske driver led 217 of the 300 laps to clinch his thirtieth career win but his first since Detroit back in 2014, and Castroneves was quick to credit the work done behind the scenes by the team, feeling the car was running really well, especially after some early set-up changes.
“That was great. I can’t thank enough Team Penske, Hitachi, Chevy car group and all our partners, and especially the people in the shop,” said Castroneves. “They don’t get much credit, but without their work and effort, we wouldn’t be able to do what we did.
“And again, it’s a great team effort because we came here, we tried a lot of different set-ups between all four cars, and man, I picked the winning one, so it was really good. The car felt really good, and it was just great.
“In the beginning we missed a little bit on the set-up, then we made some adjustments after the first stop or second stop, and the car was fantastic. It was really good.”
Castroneves knew he still had it in him to win races, with his Penske team supporting him every step of the way, with the race at Iowa Speedway going perfected for them to ensure the long run between triumphs was finally ended.
“It was a long time (between wins), but you can never stop believing, and my team never stopped supporting me on that and today was great,” said Castroneves, who beat JR Hildebrand by 3.9647 seconds.
“Everything went great. We didn’t have a yellow at the wrong time, we didn’t have issues with the tyre or anything else or mechanical. Everything was really, really good, and when you have a day like this, you’ve got to execute.”