Helio: We have to keep our heads down
23 June 2009 – Helio Castroneves was disappointed to come away from Iowa with only seventh place at the weekend. With qualifying cancelled on Saturday, owners' points rankings had placed the Penske driver at the front of the grid although the Indy and Texas winner was unable to maintain position at the head of the field on Sunday.
Despite missing out on the season's first race at St. Petersburg due to a court hearing for tax evasion, points scored by Will Power in the No. 3 Penske were enough when, adding to Helio's sum, to place the popular Brazilian on pole. "We just couldn't get the Team Penske car quite right," he said after a hard race in Iowa. "It's difficult to get the car exactly how you want it on a short oval when you don't have the opportunity to practice very much. It was a long day out there."
Although the car wasn't working to his liking, team-mate Ryan Briscoe's strong drive to second proved that more pace was available. "Toward the end of the race, I think I was a bit too conservative," Castroneves admitted. "I had a lot of understeer and we just didn't tweak the car enough on the last stop."
Did his mid-race collision with Scott Dixon hamper his performance? "I don't think that the front wing was the problem because we were back in the game for a while," 34-year-old Helio explained, "but we didn't have enough there in the end. The good news is that it's not even half way through the season and we still have plenty of races ahead of us to improve and work towards the championship. Now we just have to keep our heads down and focus on Richmond."