Castroneves Thinks No. 4 Is Within Reach At Indy
Helio Castroneves goes for a fourth Indy 500 victory on Sunday. (Photo courtesy of the IZOD IndyCar Series)
By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
INDIANAPOLIS – There was a time when Helio Castroneves thought the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was an easy place to figure out.
The colorful Brazilian driver came to Indy for the first time in 2001 and surprised everyone, including himself, by winning the race.
A year later, he returned to Victory Lane, the first driver ever to win in his first two tries at the speedway and the first driver to repeat since Al Unser in 1970-71.
In 2003, Castroneves was extremely disappointed to finish second to Penske Racing teammate Gil de Ferran. This place was easy, right?
“I never thought it was easy, but having all that early success did make me think I had a chance to win every year,’’ Castroneves said.
That’s when the historic track on the Westside of Indianapolis began to show its teeth to Castroneves.
After consecutive ninth place finishes, a crash in 2006 relegated him to 25th, by far his worst finish here.
“Those first two wins came so fast, then nothing,’’ he said. “I began to wonder would I ever win Indy again?’’
He did. In 2009, Castroneves was dominant, winning from the pole.
Read the full story »