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Brazilian Castroneves Wins Indianapolis 500 - 2002-05-27

Defending champion Helio Castroneves of Brazil has successfully defended his title in a controversial finish to win the 86th running of the Indianapolis 500 auto race in the midwestern U.S. state of Indiana.

Castroneves was in third place Sunday when rookie race leader Tomas Scheckter of South Africa crashed in the fourth turn of lap 174. Schecter had led for 85 laps in the 200-lap race. Castroneves took the lead in the 176th lap.

Castroneves was running low on fuel in the final laps of the race and had slowed down as a conservation measure. Canadian Paul Tracy made his move to pass Castroneves, but at the same moment Frenchman Laurent Redon and 1996 winner Buddy Lazier became entangled and crashed into the wall, bringing out the yellow caution flag.

Officials ruled Tracy had passed Castroneves under the caution and gave the Brazilian the win, making him the first back-to-back winner at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway since Al Unser Senior did it in 1970 and 1971. Tracy's team has filed a protest.