Helio Castroneves Goes For Fourth Indy 500 Win -- For The Sixth Time!
Helio Castroneves Goes For Fourth Indy 500 Win -- For The
Last year, Helio Castroneves came within 0.06 seconds of winning his fourth Indianapolis 500 race.
His last-lap duel with Ryan Hunter-Reay, where Castroneves got the short end of the stick, is the
stuff of Brickyard legend.
Castroneves' last Indy 500 win was in 2009, so this year's storyline is familiar. Can he win that
elusive fourth title and drink the champion's milk yet again? The only others in the elite four-timers
club are legends A.J. Foyt, Al Unser Sr. and Rick Mears.
Castroneves just turned 40, but he looks much younger. The Brazilian starts fifth in a field of 33 this
year in the No. 3 Shell V-Power car, with an average qualifying speed of 225.502 mph. That's ahead
of Penske teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, starting 15th, but behind his other two teammates - Will
Power, second, and Simon Pagenaud, third.
Helio Castroneves began May with a terrible practice crash preparing for the 2015 Indy 500. He
starts fifth in the 99th running of the big race. (Photo courtesy of Verizon IndyCar)
Castroneves has had his ups and downs this month. On May 13, he had a spectacular test crash
where he went airborne and flipped. But yesterday, in the the TAG Heuer pit competition, he won. "I
tell you what, I believe in any omen right now and if that's where [the pit win] takes it, I'll believe it,"
Coincidentally, four-time 500 champ Mears is Castroneves' spotter for the race, giving radio advice.
Mears, if anyone, knows that just because one has three wins doesn't guarantee another. "Of my
four, the first will always have its place," said Mears, now 63. "But you may never win another. You
get a little older and wiser and realize few people have ever won once, let alone twice. Then, after
the third, only a very few guys have ever won four, so what are the odds?"
Indianapolis has been disrespectful to some of its most talented drivers. Michael Andretti, a team
owner who's led more laps than most any driver at Indy (more than 400), has never won. His father,
the great Mario Andretti, won it just once -- in 1969 -- despite competing in 29 races.
Four-time Indy 500 winner Rick Mears (above left, with author Jim Clash) will be the radio spotter
for Helio Castroneves during the 2015 Indy 500 race. (Photo: Christine Dennison)