Helio Castroneves will make his 148th start in the IZOD IndyCar Series in the season-opening race Sunday at St. Petersburg, breaking a tie with Scott Sharp for most in the history of the series. The three-time winner of the Indianapolis 500 is also the longest tenured full-time driver in IndyCar, entering his 10th season -- all with Team Penske -- and, including his four entire seasons in CART's Champ Car Series, 15th at the top level of American open-wheel racing.
EDMONTON, Alberta -- One of the enduring images of the 2010 IndyCar season is bound to be the fit of rage displayed by Helio Castroneves, who created a YouTube-worthy video when he confronted several officials, including chief of security Charles Burns, at the conclusion of Sunday's race.
Dressed in a black collared shirt, black pants, black shoes, and dark sunglasses, the man to beat at this year's Indy 500 strolled through the paddock at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Thursday afternoon, full of swagger. Helio Castroneves waved to fans, signed every piece of paper that was thrust in front of him, and told anyone who would listen that he feels very, very, very good about his chances of making history on Sunday in the 94th running of the Indy 500.
TORONTO -- Call this week's column the "Feud Edition" as driver squabbles in Saturday night's NASCAR race at Chicagoland and a revival of the Paul Tracy-Helio Castroneves feud in Sunday's IndyCar Series race gave race fans some added entertainment.
NEW YORK -- Helio Castroneves pushed the estimated 300,000 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to the edge of their seats when he surged past Scott Dixon on the 142nd lap of the Indy 500. He brought scads of them to their feet when he streaked across the finish line 58 laps later, fist a-pumping, to his third Indy crown. But the coronation couldn't begin in earnest until the emotive Brazilian (think Roberto Benigni, only tanner and more hirsute) could made his ritual climb up the track fence to indulge in a celebration that has earned him the nickname Spider-Man.
INDIANAPOLIS -- While the motion picture that is Helio Castroneves' life has more sequels than the old "Rocky" movies, the back story to Sunday's 93rd Indianapolis 500 included the two stars of the 2005 race.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Five weeks ago, Helio Castroneves stared into the abyss, wondering if he would spend Memorial Day in a federal prison as his fate was in the hands of a 12-member jury as they deliberated his fate in a tax evasion trial.
The 93rd running of the Indianapolis 500 is Sunday, and this year's race boasts one of the deepest fields in the event's history. With the return of Helio Castroneves and Dario Franchitti, and a grid that boasts a number of past champions, the Borg-Warner Trophy is up for grabs.
Helio Castroneves learned a lot about himself in almost two months on trial for federal income tax evasion. He learned the cost of not immersing himself in his personal business; he learned the price of fame (or was it the benefit?); and he learned about real fear.
There is no question that Penske Racing's Helio Castroneves knows how to beat the competition. The 33-year-old Brazilian has twice won the Indianapolis 500, defeating Gil de Ferran in 2001 and Paul Tracy in 2002. Perhaps as impressive, if not more noteworthy, Castroneves teamed up with dancer Julianne Hough to win "Dancing with the Stars" in Season 5 (2007). Tens of millions of Americans watched them triumph over Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, singer Melanie Brown and actress Marie Osmond, among other celebrity contestants.
When Danica Patrick talks about Helio Castroneves, you can imagine her sitting on the floor of her Phoenix home amid hundreds of files, contracts and tax documents. It would be the middle of the night, Patrick with a flashlight in one hand, magnifying glass in the other, mumbling gibberish as she speed-reads the forms.
MOORESVILLE, N.C. -- Helio Castroneves, a two-time Indy 500 winner and one of the most colorful drivers in IndyCar Series history, will be replaced on Tuesday when Team Penske announces its driver lineup for 2009.
Carl Edwards was crestfallen. It was right there in front of him. It was his. And then it was snatched away. He paused, composed himself. Reconciled it. "That was a really good sandwich," he said, stunned as the waitress stealthed away a half-eaten grilled chicken on whole wheat and snap pea salad. "I wasn't done eating, guys."
TALLADEGA, Alabama -- NASCAR and IRL drivers are keeping a close eye on the Helio Castroneves/Alan Miller tax evasion case, some because Miller is also their agent and others because Team Penske could be in need of a new driver as early as late October.
DETROIT -- One of the biggest complaints about Brian Barnhart is that the IndyCar President, Competition Division, is usually "all bark and no bite" when it comes to enforcing penalties, that he often warns drivers against the sins of blocking but rarely penalizes offending drivers.
Hélio Castroneves Sr. says he never intended to turn his son into a famous racecar driver, as he himself had dreamed of being. He just wanted to throw the boy an unforgettable first birthday party. So he bought a cake festooned with sparkling silver icing and crowned it with a palm-tree-lined toy racetrack he had borrowed from a local shop.
Last week SI writer Richard Deitsch interviewed Helio Castroneves for the magazine's Q&A. The two-time Indianapolis 500 champion from Brazil recently won ABC's Dancing with the Stars. Here are additional excerpts from their conversation: