This past weekend, Helio Castroneves won his fourth Indianapolis 500 championship. His record now stands at 15 wins and one loss, and he is one of only two drivers in the modern era (along with Juan Pablo Montoya) to win the Indianapolis 500 four times. Over the years, Castroneves has been known as a more than capable race car driver, but he was more famous for his personality than his racing prowess. Castroneves is a fan favorite, and he has been a major fan favorite since he joined Andretti Autosport in 2012. He was injured in a crash in his second season with the team, but he returned to victory lane in 2014.
Helio Castroneves is a three-time Indianapolis 500 winner. He is also a member of the Hall of Fame class of the IZOD IndyCar series, and one of the best drivers in the history of American open-wheel racing. But to most casual fans, Castroneves is a quiet hero, a non-attention-seeking driver who never gets into any trouble, and a guy who could be mistaken for the cheery neighbor you always see at events—not a guy who takes home a ton of money in Indy 500s.
Despite age being a barrier to success in motorsport, only a select few drivers in the world have been able to maintain their level of performance into their 50s. Our guest this week is the now 61-year old Helio Castroneves, who before Monday’s race, was the oldest driver to win the Indianapolis 500 in the last 40 years, and the oldest to have won the race in the last 60 years.
— On Saturday morning, about 24 hours before the start of the 2021 Indianapolis 500, an impromptu meeting of the 33 drivers competing in this year’s race took place during the final driver’s meeting at the exclusive Indy Club. A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears, the only four-time winners in 104 years of racing’s greatest spectacle, stood next to the Borg-Warner trophy, a prize on which their faces have been etched dozens of times. When the sacred triumvirate of the speedway stopped to take a picture, someone exclaimed: No one will ever win four more times! Mears, who was last with the group in 1991, responded calmly. Don’t forget that. Someone has a chance to do it tomorrow. This weirdo is forgetting about Helio Castroneves. We had all forgotten about him until we looked on Sunday afternoon with six laps to go, at that point he was in the lead and did so again for good with only one lap to go on the 2.5 mile rectangle. With Sunday’s thrilling victory, Helio Castroneves became the fourth driver to win the Indianapolis 500 four times. Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports After seeing the checkered flag, the 135,000 fans in attendance were suddenly reminded how much they loved him as they watched Castroneves race across the world’s longest grandstand, taking in their applause. Dozens joined him as his muscle memory forced him to climb over the fence like he had done long ago when he had earned the nickname Spider-Man. The next time these three legends stand around the three-foot-tall silver trophy, they will do so with Helio Castroneves at their side. Castroneves told ESPN Sunday afternoon, with the winner’s crown still around his neck and his lips black with tire residue after kissing the legendary brickyard on the start-finish straight at Indy. People like you. They want you to win. But as the years go by and there is no winning, they permanently forget you as a prospect until you give them a reason to remember you again. After today, they won’t forget me. Our collective forgetfulness was not without reason. Castroneves was once the golden boy of American open-wheel racing, but he is now 46 years old. The racer he faced, Alex Palou, was 4 years old when Helio won his third Indy 500. Castroneves was the favorite every time he took the green flag at Indiana Speedway, but on Sunday he was considered average at best, and Vegas odds were 30-1. He drove for the IndyCar team, Team Penske, which won the Indy 500 18 times. But four years ago that team moved him part-time to IndyCar and, with little public explanation, forced him into the relative purgatory of Sports Car racing. Eventually, they broke up. But at that point, he had won only one open-wheel race in six years, and he hadn’t won in Indy in 12 years. 2 Connected This is the man who owned the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He won the race on his first two attempts, in 2001 and 2002, becoming the first 500 winner to win twice since Anser in 1970 and ’71. In 2009, he won again, earning his sixth top-four finish in nine races. In his first 10 Indy 500 starts, he won three times, took four pole positions and finished outside the top nine only once. In the midst of all this, he even won Dancing with the Stars. Therefore, his fourth sip of the Indy 500 winner’s milk seemed inevitable. It was not a question of if, but of when. Then it became, well, when? Then he went from ‘if’ to ‘never’, especially when he arrived in May for a one-off outing with Meyer Shank Racing, a sports car team that made its IndyCar debut four years ago and managed just one podium finish in 33 attempts. From the outside, their deal looked like an old man pulling the strings of an underfunded attraction, a quixotic effort against a garage full of super teams with lots of money and super young talent. I never thought about it that way, Castroneves said as he stood on the front stretch Sunday afternoon, overwhelmed by the description of his situation. I saw in Michael (Shank) a man who promised me a chance to win this race, and I believed him. He told us: If you give me what I need, we can win the race, and I believed it, recalls Shank, who also firmly denies any suggestion that his team is small and poor. So our goal with Helio has always been simple. Give him what he says he needs, then let him lead the way with the wheel in his hand. Now the hiker and the still new team have a common victory. The greatest victory of all. Castroneves not only scored the biggest win of his life, but also one of the biggest in the 105-race history of motorsports’ greatest spectacle. The four-time Indy 500 winner also won the fastest race of all time (190.690 mph). He had a bunch of kids do it, and in the blink of an eye, he went from He’ll never win four times to Do you think he can win five times? Formerly known as H3lio, Face Racer will join AJ, Big Al and his mentor Rocket Rick as the only ones with four silver faces on the trophy. Foyt said: He deserved it. He worked hard for it and finally got it. It wasn’t given to him, and when someone works as hard as he did, I’m glad it happened to him. Like I said, he deserved it. According to Mears, who is still Penske team manager, if we couldn’t win the race, we were counting on Helio to do it. Helio Castroneves poured milk – and I mean milk – after winning the fourth race of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday. Stacy Revere/Getty Images Al Unser Sr, who played a prominent role in Sunday’s pre-race ceremonies, met Castroneves at a dinner in St. John’s. Joseph’s Steakhouse. Elmo’s on Saturday night Al told me he was rooting for me to win tonight. It was really cool. Judging by the ridiculously long line of people who were eager to shake his hand, kiss his neck and even kiss his cheeks, many were cheering his victory on Sunday. Some 135,000 of them finally showed up, got to see the race and were swept away by such enthusiasm on the track that even Indy’s biggest old-timers had to admit they’d never seen anything like it. Among them, a man who decided to kick Castroneves off his racing team. Roger Penske, now owner of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, waited with a smile for his former employee in the winner’s circle. The lesson is to never give up, no matter what Father Time or another race team tells you, Castroneves said, then took another sip of milk from the bottle he carried almost an hour after the checkered flag, as if he had been milked by a cow fed by a fountain of youth. Tom Brady Phil Mickelson, me. We old-timers are the best. And I don’t think we’re done yet.Helio Castroneves made his first Indianapolis 500 start in the mid-1990s with his family in tow. His grandfather, Mario, served as his engineer for the team. The young Castroneves won his first Indy 500 in 2001, leading 88 of the 100 laps in his Penske-Chevrolet, but never won again. But his fourth Indianapolis 500 win in 2017 will stand the test of time.. Read more about how many times has helio castroneves won the indy 500 and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is the oldest living Indy 500 winner?
One of the oldest living Indianapolis 500 winners, Helio Castroneves, celebrates his fourth win in the beloved race at age 45. Castroneves has been in a car on the big race for 11 year, winning it in 2002, 2003, and 2003. The Brazilian has previously competed in the race with the Penske Racing team, but he has since moved on to the Team Penske, which makes him the oldest driver to win the prestigious race since Bobby Allison in 1980, when he was 43 years old. When Helio Castroneves won his fourth Indy 500 in 2016, he became the oldest driver ever to win the prestigious race. Castroneves is only 32 years old, but he’s won the Indy 500 four times. He’s also the only driver to win the Indy 500 four times as part of a five-time Champ Car title. But Castroneves isn’t the only one to win the Indy 500 four times. Among his many other accomplishments, Mario Andretti was the very first driver to win at least four times in one year, and he did it twice.
What years did Helio Castroneves won the Indy 500?
As a former driver, the Indianapolis 500 is one of the top events on the motorsport calendar. In fact, it is the first race of the year, which means it kicks off the racing season, providing a season-long championship battle that typically makes for intense racing. Like other major Indy events, this one has a rich history, as it has been competed for in various forms for the past 100 years – with a major change occurring in the mid-1980s. Helio Castroneves was a talented driver, but no one would argue he was a great driver.
Who is Helio Castroneves married to?
After racing in the Indy 500 for an astounding 16 years (since 2001), Castroneves has finally achieved that elusive Indy 500 win. His feat may be an impressive one, but what’s even more impressive is that it has taken him this long to do it, and he’s not even 38 years old yet. Helio Castroneves is a Brazilian racecar driver and racing champion. He is most known for winning the Indianapolis 500. He also raced for the Penske Racing team, which made him the first Brazilian to compete in the Indianapolis 500 and won the championship in 2001 and 2002. He is married to Dr. Ana Luna Castroneves.
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