5 Reasons Why Helio Castroneves Can Win His 4th Indianapolis 500

1 of 6

Why Helio Castroneves Can Win His 4th Indianapolis 500

helio
Brian Spurlock-USA Today Sports Images

Helio Castroneves is no stranger to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. When the green flag drops tomorrow he could become a winner once again and join the most exclusive club in motorsports as a four-time winner of the Indianapolis 500.

Winner of the 2001, 2002 and 2009 Indianapolis 500, Castroneves will start eighth in Sunday’s 500 mile race. There have only been three four-time winners, A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears, and this will be the first time since 1992 that there have been two three-time drivers in the field of 33 as he and Dario Franchitti will try for their fourth.

Castroneves is starting his 13th Indy 500 Sunday, all of which have been for team owner and Indianapolis legend Roger Penske. A back-to-back winner in ’01 and ’02, it looked as if Castroneves had passed his prime until 2009 when he won the 500 from the pole position.

Aside from the standard statistics, Castroneves recently gave everyone more reason to believe he wants this fourth win—as if we needed reason—when he said he would give up sex for one year to win a fourth Indianapolis 500. That seems pretty extreme, but Indy is Indy and I’m sure he isn’t the only one who feels that passionately about the greatest race track in the world.

For four years now, Castroneves has been seeking the greatest level of Indianapolis immortality. The Brazilian has as good a chance as anyone to make history and here are five reasons why he just might.

2 of 6

Finish What You Start

finish
Brian Spurlock-USA Today Sports Images

Since he arrived in 2001, there has remained one constant truth about Helio Castroneves: the guy can wheel a car around Indy like it’s nothing. Helio has finished 11 of 12 Indy 500’s he has participated in. That’s kind of a big deal. With so many variables out of the driver’s control this guy has managed to keep it intact and cross the finish line after 200 laps in all but one 500. Oh, and by the way, he has finished in the top 10 in 10 of his 12 starts.

3 of 6

No Pressure...In Due Time

no pressure
Michael Hickey-USA Today Sports Images

Helio still has time on his side. The 38-year-old is still 10 years younger than Al Unser was when he won his fourth Indianapolis 500. The fan favorite at Indy for years now, Castroneves still has a playful, easy-going spirit with a charismatic sense of humor that keeps him light and loose. There is pressure, there’s always pressure. But the pressure to get it done as soon as possible doesn’t exist within Castroneves.

4 of 6

Numbers Game

Numbers
Michael Hickey-USA Today Sports Images

Numbers don’t lie—or so they say. But, perhaps they mean something in some way. How about this for your daily dose of ‘wow.' Helio Castroneves is going for his fourth Indy 500 in a field that pits four former winners against four rookies and four female drivers. Castroneves hasn’t won the 500 in four years and the last time he won he won from the pole position, which he has held four times at Indianapolis. On Carb day, Castroneves and Team Penske won the pit stop challenge. A competition they won four years in a row between 2006 and 2010. And, finally, Jim Harbaugh is driving the pace car Sunday. Harbaugh’s football number was four and in 1997, he started and was a co-owner of Panther Racing. Panther Racing’s primary car number has always been four and from 2008 to 2011, they finished second in the Indianapolis 500 four years in a row. If Helio is going to win his fourth, this year feels like the year he would do it.

5 of 6

Dream Team

team
Brian Spurlock-USA Today Sports Images

If there was a team capable of putting a car in winner’s circle it is Team Penske. Castroneves has the right crew on his side. Look for solid in-race adjustments and fantastic strategy to keep Castroneves competitive. Castroneves and his pit crew have won six Carb Day pit-stop challenges, so expect nothing less than flawless stops on Sunday.

6 of 6

The Best To Ever Do It

Roger
photo courtesy of freep.com

Perhaps the greatest open wheel racing owner ever, Roger Penske has won the Indy 500 15 times, more than any other owner. There may be no other name more synonymous with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway than Penske Racing and Roger Penske. There is no better person to have in your pit box on Sunday and for Penske there may be no better driver to have in his race car than Castroneves.

1 of 6

Why Helio Castroneves Can Win His 4th Indianapolis 500

helio
Brian Spurlock-USA Today Sports Images

Helio Castroneves is no stranger to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. When the green flag drops tomorrow he could become a winner once again and join the most exclusive club in motorsports as a four-time winner of the Indianapolis 500.

Winner of the 2001, 2002 and 2009 Indianapolis 500, Castroneves will start eighth in Sunday’s 500 mile race. There have only been three four-time winners, A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears, and this will be the first time since 1992 that there have been two three-time drivers in the field of 33 as he and Dario Franchitti will try for their fourth.

Castroneves is starting his 13th Indy 500 Sunday, all of which have been for team owner and Indianapolis legend Roger Penske. A back-to-back winner in ’01 and ’02, it looked as if Castroneves had passed his prime until 2009 when he won the 500 from the pole position.

Aside from the standard statistics, Castroneves recently gave everyone more reason to believe he wants this fourth win—as if we needed reason—when he said he would give up sex for one year to win a fourth Indianapolis 500. That seems pretty extreme, but Indy is Indy and I’m sure he isn’t the only one who feels that passionately about the greatest race track in the world.

For four years now, Castroneves has been seeking the greatest level of Indianapolis immortality. The Brazilian has as good a chance as anyone to make history and here are five reasons why he just might.

2 of 6

Finish What You Start

finish
Brian Spurlock-USA Today Sports Images

Since he arrived in 2001, there has remained one constant truth about Helio Castroneves: the guy can wheel a car around Indy like it’s nothing. Helio has finished 11 of 12 Indy 500’s he has participated in. That’s kind of a big deal. With so many variables out of the driver’s control this guy has managed to keep it intact and cross the finish line after 200 laps in all but one 500. Oh, and by the way, he has finished in the top 10 in 10 of his 12 starts.

3 of 6

No Pressure...In Due Time

no pressure
Michael Hickey-USA Today Sports Images

Helio still has time on his side. The 38-year-old is still 10 years younger than Al Unser was when he won his fourth Indianapolis 500. The fan favorite at Indy for years now, Castroneves still has a playful, easy-going spirit with a charismatic sense of humor that keeps him light and loose. There is pressure, there’s always pressure. But the pressure to get it done as soon as possible doesn’t exist within Castroneves.

4 of 6

Numbers Game

Numbers
Michael Hickey-USA Today Sports Images

Numbers don’t lie—or so they say. But, perhaps they mean something in some way. How about this for your daily dose of ‘wow.' Helio Castroneves is going for his fourth Indy 500 in a field that pits four former winners against four rookies and four female drivers. Castroneves hasn’t won the 500 in four years and the last time he won he won from the pole position, which he has held four times at Indianapolis. On Carb day, Castroneves and Team Penske won the pit stop challenge. A competition they won four years in a row between 2006 and 2010. And, finally, Jim Harbaugh is driving the pace car Sunday. Harbaugh’s football number was four and in 1997, he started and was a co-owner of Panther Racing. Panther Racing’s primary car number has always been four and from 2008 to 2011, they finished second in the Indianapolis 500 four years in a row. If Helio is going to win his fourth, this year feels like the year he would do it.

5 of 6

Dream Team

team
Brian Spurlock-USA Today Sports Images

If there was a team capable of putting a car in winner’s circle it is Team Penske. Castroneves has the right crew on his side. Look for solid in-race adjustments and fantastic strategy to keep Castroneves competitive. Castroneves and his pit crew have won six Carb Day pit-stop challenges, so expect nothing less than flawless stops on Sunday.

6 of 6

The Best To Ever Do It

Roger
photo courtesy of freep.com

Perhaps the greatest open wheel racing owner ever, Roger Penske has won the Indy 500 15 times, more than any other owner. There may be no other name more synonymous with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway than Penske Racing and Roger Penske. There is no better person to have in your pit box on Sunday and for Penske there may be no better driver to have in his race car than Castroneves.


Around the Web