MOTEGI, Japan – Pole-sitter Helio Castroneves of Brazil won the Indy Japan 300 on Sunday, ensuring the IndyCar series championship will come down to the final race of the year.
Castroneves, a Penske driver, took the lead for good on the 118th lap and held on for the final 82 laps to earn his third win this season.
Defending series champion Dario Franchitti of Scotland was second, followed by series points leader Will Power of Australia. The result means Franchitti trails Power by just 12 points heading into the final race of the season on Oct. 2 Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Ryan Briscoe, who started on the front row with Penske teammate Castroneves, was fourth. Danica Patrick, who won here in 2008 to became the first female winner in IndyCar history, was fifth.