Final Castroneves charge dropped

Minutes before setting the fastest lap in the final practice session for Sunday's Indianapolis 500, Helio Castroneves learned that the final federal charge against him had been dropped

Final Castroneves charge dropped

The Brazilian was found not guilty of six federal tax evasion charges last month after a six-week trial. The jury was deadlocked on one charge of conspiracy, and federal prosecutors could have retried him on that charge.

However, on Friday they announced that they would not pursue further action against the double Indy winner.

Castroneves returned to the IndyCar Series in Long Beach just one day after his not guilty verdict last month and went on to take pole position for the 500.

"I don't know if it's sunk in yet," said Castroneves. "But this is the best month of my life."

To cap a magical day, his crew led by veteran crew chief Rick Rinaman edged Marco Andretti in the finals of the Carb Day pitstop competition with a final stop of just 7.962 seconds, a record in the competition. The win was the third in a row for Castroneves and Rinaman's crew.

"Some of these guys have been with me for 10 years or more. We're a team. We win together, we lose together, we celebrate together. This one is very special for me. The month is falling into place. I'm so thankful to have these guys."

When asked about the court's decision, Castroneves wept briefly.

"It feels awesome, no question," he said. "I just have to thank the team, which always believed and has always been behind me. It's just good news. It makes me even more strong. I'm thankful that I had a fair trial and that it turned out the way it did. This is the last page of my book."

When asked if Castroneves had changed because of the trial, Penske team president Tim Cindric and Rinaman joked that Castroneves recently treated his crew to dinner, noting that he rarely picks up the bill.

"We knew he was cheap," Cindric quipped, "but he wasn't a criminal in our minds."

shares
comments
Indianapolis 500: Runners and riders
Previous article

Indianapolis 500: Runners and riders

Next article

Andretti out of Indy 500 on first lap

Andretti out of Indy 500 on first lap
Load comments
Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021 Plus

Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021

In an enthralling 2021 IndyCar campaign, the series bounced back from its COVID-19 truncated year prior and Alex Palou defeated both the established order and his fellow young guns to clinch a maiden title. It capped a remarkable season with plenty of standout performers

IndyCar
Nov 21, 2021
How F1's other IndyCar exile finally unlocked his potential Plus

How F1's other IndyCar exile finally unlocked his potential

Romain Grosjean's swashbuckling rookie year in IndyCar captured the imagination of many in 2021. But another ex-Formula 1 driver whose potential was masked by five years of toil in, at best, middling machinery also enjoyed a breakout year in 2021 - winning twice and finishing sixth in points. Here's how Marcus Ericsson finally delivered on his promise

IndyCar
Nov 16, 2021
How Ganassi's relentless new champion outfoxed IndyCar's best Plus

How Ganassi's relentless new champion outfoxed IndyCar's best

IndyCar sophomore Alex Palou stunned by overcoming team-mate Scott Dixon and the rest of a white-hot field in 2021. He was consistently fast and crucially showed a level head, rebounding well from setbacks to put himself in a near unassailable position entering the final round

IndyCar
Nov 4, 2021
Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up? Plus

Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up?

Despite appearing to have an IndyCar job for life with Meyer Shank Racing, Jack Harvey’s departure and move to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing sparked plenty of debate. However, Harvey's and RLL's combined strengths could prove to be a winning combination - if they get the balance right

IndyCar
Oct 17, 2021
Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing IndyCar win Plus

Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing IndyCar win

Saturday 16 October marks the 10th anniversary of Dan Wheldon’s death. David Malsher-Lopez pays tribute, then asks Wheldon’s race engineer from 2011, Todd Malloy, to recall that magical second victory at the Indianapolis 500

IndyCar
Oct 16, 2021
Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting Plus

Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting

Kyle Kirkwood, the record-setting junior formula driver, sealed the Indy Lights championship last weekend. But despite an absurdly strong junior career and scholarship money, his next move is far from clear

IndyCar
Oct 6, 2021
Why IndyCar title glory is just the start for Ganassi's new star Plus

Why IndyCar title glory is just the start for Ganassi's new star

Newly-crowned IndyCar champion Alex Palou has been lauded as a complete driver and veteran-like in only his second season. The 24-year-old is still in the early days of his career, but the parallels are there for all to see with his six-time champion Chip Ganassi Racing team-mate who has been CGR's team leader since 2014

IndyCar
Sep 28, 2021
Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar Plus

Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar

One of motorsport’s worst-kept secrets is now out in the open, and Romain Grosjean has been confirmed as an Andretti Autosport IndyCar driver in 2022. It marks a remarkable turnaround after the abrupt end to his Formula 1 career, and is a firm indication of his commitment to challenge for the IndyCar Series title  

IndyCar
Sep 24, 2021