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Castroneves Wins His Third Indy 500

Last updated on Monday, May 25, 2009

(INDIANAPOLIS) - Helio Castroneves took the lead with 59 laps remaining and won his third Indianapolis 500.

Castroneves went under defending race winner Scott Dixon in turn one on lap 142 to take the lead for good, finishing almost two seconds ahead of second-place finisher Dan Wheldon.

Danica Patrick was third, her best finish in five Indianapolis 500's and the best ever finish for a woman in the 500.

Townsend Bell was fourth and Castroneves' Penske teammate Will Power finished fifth. Castroneves becomes the ninth driver with three or more Indy wins while team owner Roger Penske extends his record with his 15th Indianapolis 500 victory.

Driver Vitor Meira had a rough day during the Indianapolis 500.

Meira's car caught fire when he pitted under caution on lap 134.

His AJ Foyt racing crew extinguished the flames and managed to get Meira back on the track in time to keep the popular Brazilian on the lead lap.

Forty laps later, Meira was involved in a spectacular crash with rookie Raphael Matos.

Meira was transported to Methodist Hospital where he will spend the next couple of days after fracturing two vertebra in his lower back.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway medical officials said that Meira will be fitted with a back brace but that he is not expected to need surgery.

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