IndyCar at Texas: Helio Castroneves looks for wins to boost his championship lead

Robert Laberge

Helio Castroneves is tied for the IndyCar Series championship lead with Marco Andretti but hasn't won a race this season. He's looking to change that over the next few races.

Helio Castroneves is currently tied with Marco Andretti for the IZOD IndyCar Series championship lead but both drivers have yet to score a win this season.

While Castroneves believes his consistency will pay off at the end of the year, he also says it's important to pick up a few wins during the summer months. Castroneves and Andretti lead Ryan Hunter-Reay by 15 points but the top nine drivers are all separated by 52 points -- the maximum a driver can receive in one race weekend.

That's fairly uncommon after seven races and a win, Castroneves argues, would help any of the contenders establish a gap.

"It's good to come out with a win, but everyone is thinking the same way," Castroneves said on Friday, prior to qualifying at Texas Motor Speedway. "Last year we had a very consistent season and won two races so we know how important it is to win races.

"We're in attack mode to get to the front. If it's meant to be, it will be and my mind is on the championship."

Castroneves, despite 27 career wins in 16 years of Indy car competition, has yet to win a championship. It's an achievement the 38-year-old wants very badly and will accept even without winning a race this season, should it come to that.

"Yeah, that's not our goal, but the goal is the win the championship," Castroneves said. "If it takes more second places than first to win the championship, then sign me in and I'm ready to do that. A win certainly is a great feeling, but I haven't won a championship yet and I would love to have that feeling at the end of the season."

The closest the three-time Indianapolis 500 winner has come to winning the championship was 2008, when he finished second to Chip Ganassi driver Scott Dixon. So winning a few races en route to maintaining the top spot in the standings could lead to a potentially huge story in Castroneves contending for his first championship.

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