Castroneves seeks win number four at Indy 500

Brazilian Helio Castroneves is focused on two numbers as he prepares for the Indianapolis 500 - four and 100.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Thu 31 Mar 2011, 1:14 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 8:21 AM

A fourth 500 win on the 100th anniversary of the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” would see Castroneves celebrate two milestones on one day.

Only Rick Mears, A.J. Foyt and Al Unser have driven cars into Victory Lane four times at the sprawling Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Castroneves can join that elite club with another victory on May 29th.

“Wow, it will be a combination they’ll all talk about, the 100th with a great ending and I hope we’ll make it happen,” Castroneves told Reuters during a recent media tour to New York. “Just to be in the historic moment; it’s a big deal whether you are a fan or you tell your kids, ‘I was there’.”

Castroneves and his two Australian Penske team mates Ryan Briscoe and Will Power are sure to be among the favourites again when the cars line up on the starting grid.

Driving for the powerhouse Team Penske, which has a record 15 victories at the famed Brickyard, Castroneves knows his way around the 2.5 mile (4 km) oval claiming back-to-back wins in 2001 and 2002 then returning to the winner’s circle in 2009.

“I have the car, I have the team, I did it three times; so I know what I need to do,” said Castroneves, known to his fans as “Spiderman” for climbing the fence after a victory.

While Castroneves has dominated the 500, he has never been able to build on that success and capture the IndyCar championship.

But the Brazilian insists, he would not trade even one of his 500 victories for a driver’s title.

“People still ask ‘you don’t have a championship?’, smiled Castroneves, whose has also captured the glittering trophy that goes to the winner of the popular television show “Dancing with the Stars.” “It’s unfortunate. It’s not for a lack of effort.

“If you have to win just one race (the 500) that’s the one.”

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