Helio Castroneves Wins Record-Tying Fourth Indianapolis 500

Make that a four for Helio Castroneves.

The 46-year-old Brazilian auto racing driver, who was considered too old to race full-time, has claimed his fourth Indianapolis 500 win.

Helio Castroneves

Castroneves has at long last joined the exclusive club in a popular victory for the old guys.

Then Castroneves scaled the Indianapolis Motor Speedway fence for his trademark victory celebration at the largest sporting event since the start of the pandemic.

Castroneves wasn’t done yet. At 46 and one of the oldest drivers in the field, he ran along the frontstretch of the speedway waving to the 135,000 fans in attendance. He pumped his arms in the air and waved to the ecstatic crowd, his explosion of emotional energy stopped every few feet by a flood of rivals who rushed onto the track to congratulate him.

“I was drawn by the positive energy of everyone. For a long time these people want to see a four-time winner,” Castroneves said. “I say that because they tell me. Every time we sign the autographs, they are like, ‘I’ve never seen a four-time winner. I want to see it.’ That’s what probably made me thank all of them because they made this place special.”

Almost every member of Team Penske rushed out to meet Castroneves, including former teammate Will Power, who saw the final scoring pylon and had no idea his longtime friend won.

“I was looking up and down, ‘Who is the 06?'” Power told Castroneves in a victory hug. “You’re a legend.”

Castroneves became the fourth-oldest winner in Indy 500 history, behind Al Unser (47, 1987), Bobby Unser (47, 1981) and Emerson Fittipaldi (46, 1993).

“It means a lot,” Castroneves said of the reception. “I’ve been in the sport for a long time, and I hope I have more friends than actual enemies. And even those who don’t like me, I hope they understand that this is a very difficult place to achieve. And that meant we did something very special.”

After more than two decades driving for Team Penske, winning three Indy 500 with them, Castroneves was eventually phased over to the sports car program, where he won the IMSA championship last season before Roger Penske shuttered the team and made the business decision to cut Castroneves loose.

Spider-Man insisted he was not done racing, and Michael Shank agreed. He hired Castroneves for the Indy 500 to complement the one-car Meyer Shank Racing team. Maybe Castroneves would have a shot to win, but he would also boost a team that needed some veteran leadership at one of the most challenging tracks in the world.

His last Indy 500 win was in 2009, and Castroneves has been trying since to join A.J. Foyt, Al Unser Sr. and Rick Mears, his former mentor at Team Penske, as the only four-time winners of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” Mears was the last driver to join the club in 1991.

“I love Indianapolis! You guys don’t understand it! The fans, you give me energy,” Castroneves said.

Penske, now the owner of the speedway, embraced Castroneves in victory lane, while Foyt welcomed the new member to the four-time winners club.

“He deserved it, he worked hard to get it, and he finally got it,” said Foyt, who was celebrating the 60th anniversary of his first Indy 500 victory. “It wasn’t given to him, and when someone works as hard as he did, I’m glad it happened for him.”

Castroneves, who also won the 500 in 2001 and 2002, was part of the winning Rolex 24 Daytona sports car team in January, taking the prestigious sports car event for the first time. This was the only IndyCar race on Castroneves’ schedule this season.

“I’ve run two races this year and won two races, I’d say that’s pretty good,” said Castroneves, who noted this might be the year for aging veterans. “I don’t know if this is a good comparison, but Tom Brady won the Super Bowl and Phil Mickelson won the golf [PGA Championship], so here you go. The older guys are still kicking the younger guys’ butts.”

It was a stark contrast to the recent theme of young drivers taking over IndyCar, which now has six different winners through six races this season. Three of them have been first-time winners, and four are drivers age 24 or younger.

Castroneves found himself in a closing duel with one of the young stars, 24-year-old Spaniard Alex Palou, but he passed Palou for good with two laps remaining and beat him by 0.4928 seconds for the victory.

“It hurts. It hurts a lot. I didn’t expect a second place to hurt that much,” said Palou, who took the series points lead.

Castroneves, who has three runner-up finishes at Indy, said Palou “had a great car and did everything he possibly could. Last year, he didn’t finish. This year he finished second, so that’s a big improvement.”

Helio Castroneves Returning to IndyCar for Six Races Next Season

Helio Castroneves is getting back into the race… 

The 45-year-old Brazilian race car driver will return to IndyCar for six races next season with Meyer Shank Racing.

Helio Castroneves

Shank will expand to a second car to accommodate Castroneves, the three-time Indianapolis 500 winner. The popular race car driver has driven for Roger Penske for 20 years but has been in sports cars the last three seasons. It doesn’t matter it is sports car or commercial vehicle you will understand how to tune a Diesel engine here. Penske still entered him in the last three Indy 500s.

The Indy 500 is included in the six-race deal for Castroneves. He will also race at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama, Long Beach, California, and the road course races at Indy, Portland and Laguna Seca.

“I know it’s only six races, however, one of them is extremely important for me, which is the Indy 500,” Castroneves said Tuesday.

Castroneves has said he wants to return to IndyCar, where he raced full-time from 1998 through 2017. Team Penske moved him to IMSA sports cars in 2018 but is closing that team after this weekend’s season finale.

Castroneves has driven Penske cars the last 20 seasons but raced for Arrow McLaren SP in October in the IndyCar doubleheader at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Shank is expanding to a second car behind last month’s partnership with Liberty Media Corp., which became a minority investor in the team. Castroneves will be the first true IndyCar teammate for Shank driver Jack Harvey, who’ll return for a second full season.

Shank has an alliance with Andretti Autosport but is primarily a single-car organization.

Shank and Harvey first paired for the 2017 Indianapolis 500 and built a six-race program for 2018. They ran 10 races in 2019 and expanded to a full schedule this year. Next season will be their second consecutive full season.

Shank will follow that same model for his new second car, with Castroneves helping to get the program running.

“The idea to start off with six races for the second IndyCar was another strategic plan,” said team owner Mike Shank. “As I’ve always said in the past, we will never bite off more than we can chew. It’s always been one of our goals to expand the IndyCar program, and this is the best way that we can start that.”

Hernandez: First Latina to Win ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars”

She may be a teenager, but Laurie Hernandez is already dancing royalty…

The 16-year-old Puerto Rican gymnast, an Olympic gold and silver medalist at the 2016 Rio Games, has been crowned the champion of the 23rd season of ABC‘s Dancing with the Stars.

Laurie Hernandez

Hernandez was crowned the belle of the ballroom alongside her dance partner Val Chmerkovskiy in Tuesday night’s finale, which also featured former Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson and IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe.

Hinchcliffe was the runner-up as Johnson finished third.

At just 16 years old, Hernandez is the youngest champion in the show’s history. She’s also the first Latina to take home the coveted mirrorball trophy, and only third Hispanic competitor to claim the title in the show’s 23-season run. Brazilian IndyCar racer Helio Castroneves won DTWS in Season 5, while El Salvadoran-American actor J.R. Martinez, a former U.S. Army soldier, won the title in Season 13.

Hernandez joins Shawn Johnson as Olympic gold medalist gymnasts that have also won a season of Dancing with the Stars. Fellow gymnasts and Olympic champions Nastia Liukin and Aly Raisman have fourth place finishes on their DTWS resumes.

Other previous Olympians to win Dancing with the Stars include Apolo Ohno, Kristi Yamaguchi and Meryl Davis.

Montoya Wins IndyCar Series Race at Pocono Raceway

Juan Pablo Montoya is back at the top of the podium in the IndyCar Series.

The 38-year-old Colombian racing driver won the IndyCar race Sunday at Pocono Raceway, the highlight of a triumphant return to open-wheel racing after seven years in NASCAR.

Juan Pablo Montoya

Montoya won for the first time in the CART/IndyCar Series since 2000 and had his first major victory since he won a road-course race at Watkins Glen in NASCAR in 2010.

Helio Castroneves was second to make it a 1-2 finish Sunday for Team Penske. With double points awarded in the 500-mile races, Castroneves moved into a tie for the points lead with Team Penske teammate Will Power.

Carlos Munoz, Ryan Briscoe and Scott Dixon completed the top five.

Montoya, who won from the pole, took the lead for good when Tony Kanaanwas forced to pit for fuel with four laps left. Montoya took it from there and continued to stamp himself a player in the championship hunt. He moved to fourth in the standings.

“As soon as we signed him, I knew he would be an asset for us, and a headache,” Castroneves said.

Montoya, the 1999 CART champion and 2000 Indianapolis 500, winner took the checkered flag to the sight of hundreds of Colombian fans waving the flag and cheering him on.

It was just the kind of scene he pictured when he decided to head home to open wheel. Montoya wanted a competitive ride again after lackluster results driving for Chip Ganassi in NASCAR. He knew his open-wheel return would have a learning curve: Montoya last ran in CART in 2000, then left Formula One midway through the 2006 season for NASCAR.

After only two top 10s in his first seven starts, Montoya reeled off a third, second and seventh in his past three. Now, he has the win needed to erase any lingering doubts that has move back to open wheel was the right one.

Castroneves Wins the Detroit Grand Prix

It’s a case of déjà vu for Helio Castroneves

The 39-year-old Brazilian auto racer and former Dancing with the Stars champion easily won the second Detroit Grand Prix race of the weekend on Sunday, finishing 1.6836 seconds ahead of Penske Racing teammate Will Power.

Helio Castroneves

Castroneves celebrated in his signature style, climbing a fence, in the same place where he did it for the first time many years ago.

It was in Detroit where Castroneves raced to the first of his 29 victories in 2000 and scaled the safety fence.

Helio Castroneves

And he’s still winning and climbing with more composure.

“I was able to hold my emotions better,” he said. “I guess I’m getting older.”

Castroneves’ lead was so large that when he made his final pit stop on Lap 49 he still was ahead when he got back on the track.

The competition got closer after cautions led to restarts with seven and three laps left, but Castroneves could not be caught in part because Power did not want to risk ruining his teammate’s path to victory by possibly hitting him.

“Because of Roger, I definitely wasn’t going to race him hard,” Power said.

Castroneves has 29 IndyCar victories, tying Rick Mears for 11th on the career.

“Oh, really?” Castroneves asked. “Wow. What an honor.”

Castroneves finished 0.060 seconds behind Ryan Hunter-Reay last week in the Indianapolis 500 in his bid to join Mears as a four-time winner in open-wheel racing’s signature event.

Castroneves to Perform on DWTS: All-Stars with Chelsie Hightower

Hélio Castroneves will begin his quest for a second mirror ball trophy when Dancing with the Stars‘ first All-Star season premieres in just over a month… And, now he’s received his partner assignment.

ABC revealed the pro partners who’ll guide celebs including the 37-year-old Brazilian auto racer Kirstie Alley, Pamela Anderson and Bristol Palin in their second time on the dance.

Helio Castroneves

Castroneves, the fifth season champion of the hit celebrity ballroom dancing competition, will perform with pro Chelsie Hightower. He’d previously performed with Julianne Hough, who won’t be participating in the show this season. 

Here’s a look at the pairings:

Season 4 champ Apolo Anton Ohno & pro Karina Smirnoff
Kirstie Alley & her season 12 pro partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Joey Fatone & his season 4 pro partner Kym Johnson
Season 8 champion Shawn Johnson & Derek Hough
Bristol Palin & her season 11 pro partner Mark Ballas
Season 3 champ Emmitt Smith & his pro partner Cheryl Burke
Kelly Monaco & pro Val Chmerkovskiy
Melissa Rycroft & her season 8 pro partner Tony Dovolani
Pamela Anderson & pro Tristan McManus
Season 2 champ Drew Lachey & pro Anna Trebunskaya
Gilles Marini & pro Peta Murgatroyd

Meanwhile, the All-Stars edition’s 13th contestant will be voted on by the public. Carson Kressley, Sabrina Bryan and Kyle Massey are all jockeying on ABC.com for viewer votes before the August  24 deadline, with the winner being revealed on Good Morning America August 27.

Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars will premiere on September 23.

Castroneves to Compete on “Dancing With the Stars: All-Stars”

Hélio Castroneves is racing back to the ballroom to prove he’s the best of the best…

The 37-year-old Brazilian auto racer and former Dancing with the Stars champion will be competing in the upcoming All-Star season on the ABC celebrity ballroom dancing competition series.

Hélio Castroneves

During its presentation at the Television Critics Association summer press tour on Friday, the network announced plans to bring back season five winner Castroneves and other former competitors, including previous finalists Kirstie Alley, Gilles Marini and Bristol Palin.

Along with Castroneves, the full roster also includes previous winners Kelly Monaco, Drew Lachey, Emmitt Smith, Apolo Anton Ohno and Shawn Johnson — and a slew of runners-up. The only competitor not to actually make it to a finale is season ten competitor Pamela Anderson.

In addition, three previous contestants not chosen for the season are still eligible to participate, if they can garner enough public support. Kyle Massey, Sabrina Bryan and Carson Kressley are all up for inclusion in the upcoming season.

Meanwhile, Castroneves and his fellow competitors have not been assigned their professional partners. That announcement will come in August.

Check out the full cast list for Dancing With the Stars: All-Stars, which premieres on September 24, below:

The All-Stars

Kelly Monaco (season one winner)
Drew Lachey (season two winner)
Emmitt Smith (season three winner)
Apolo Anton Ohno (season four winner)
Hélio Castroneves (season five winner)
Shawn Johnson (season eight winner)
Bristol Palin (season eleven second runner-up)
Kirstie Alley (season twelve runner-up)
Gilles Marini (season eight runner-up)
Melissa Rycroft (season eight second runner-up)
Joey Fatone (season four runner-up)
Pamela Anderson (season ten, eliminated week seven)

The Wildcards

Carson Kressley (season thirteen, eliminated week five)
Kyle Massey (season eleven, runner-up)
Sabrina Bryan (season five, eliminated week six)