BROOKLYN, Mich. — Helio Castroneves took advantage of a superior car and an aggressive strategy to win the Firestone Indy 400 on Sunday, ending team owner Roger Penske's open-wheel drought at Michigan International Speedway.

Castroneves beat Vitor Meira by 1.62 seconds, picking up his series-high fourth victory of the season and moving past teammate Sam Hornish Jr. for the points lead in the Indy Racing League.

The average speed of the race was 193.972 mph, the third-fastest event in the IRL's 11-year history. The race took 2 hours, 10 minutes — 20 minutes less than the rain delay.

"Our car was very fast," said Castroneves, who won the pole with a lap 2 mph faster than Tony Kanaan, who started third.

Castroneves took the lead for the last time on lap 177 after his final pit stop. He navigated through a pack of drivers a lap behind to build a 3-plus second lead over Meira, who cut his deficit in half, but couldn't get closer.

He won the 11th IndyCar series race of his career, and first at MIS.

Meira, who led more than a third of the race, was followed by defending champion Dan Wheldon, Kanaan and Tomas Scheckter in the top five.

Penske won his 10th open-wheel race at MIS, a track he owned for more than 25 years, and his first since 1991 when Rick Mears earned his last career win.

Danica Patrick finished 17th in the 19-car field. She was coming off consecutive fourth-place finishes.

CHAMP CAR: Sebastien Bourdais avoided mistakes in a race filled with them and pulled away Sunday for his fifth win of the season, easily defending his 2005 victory in the inaugural San Jose Grand Prix and adding to his series points lead.

The Frenchman, well on the way to what would be his third straight title in the Champ Car World Series, had not won since starting the season with four consecutive victories. But Bourdais' Newman/Haas Racing Lola was a dominating car this weekend, winning the pole and leading the most laps in the 97-lap race.

"It wasn't that easy," Bourdais said. "I'm really, really happy for the team that we finally got another (win)."

The winner led until he made his second and final pit stop on lap 54, falling to third behind Charles Zwolsman and Oriol Servia, both on a different pit strategy.

Bourdais remained patient for a while, knowing that both the drivers ahead of him would have to pit again. But, after Servia moved on lap with a pass on a restart on lap 60, Bourdais got past Zwolsman for second on lap 73.

He regained the lead for good when Servia pitted on lap 80, then pulled away for the easy victory — leaving runner-up Cristiano da Matta 6.686-seconds behind at the end.