Indy 500 winner Castroneves: “The older guys still get it”

Indianapolis 500’s newest four-time winner Helio Castroneves made a point to take a swipe at the regular talk of the current youth movement in IndyCar racing.

Indy 500 winner Castroneves: “The older guys still get it”

At 46 years and 20 days old, the Brazilian cemented a place in Indy 500 history by becoming the fourth-oldest driver to conquer the Indianapolis Motor Speedway after Al Unser in 1987, Bobby Unser in 1981 and Emerson Fittipaldi in 1993.

The Meyer Shank Racing driver beat Chip Ganassi Racing’s youngest driver, 24-year-old Alex Palou, in a straight duel in the closing laps to win by half a second, and score his fourth win at the Indy 500 – a full 11 years after his third.

Castroneves has been part-time in IndyCar since the end of the 2017 season, when Team Penske, with whom he scored his first three Indy 500 wins, switched him to the IMSA SportsCar Championship, a series he won last year along with Ricky Taylor, before Penske’s Acura contract ended and he was let go.

At that point, he was signed by Wayne Taylor Racing in IMSA and with Meyer Shank Racing for six races in IndyCar.

Coming just four months after he was part of WTR’s Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona winning line-up, Castroneves remarked to the TV broadcasters: “Man, I only did two races this year, and I won two. I think I still got it, don’t you think?”

Asked about the long post-race celebrations before reaching the TV mics, he said, “Let me tell you, it’s not the end of it, it’s the beginning.

“I don’t know if this is a good comparison or not, but Tom Brady won the Superbowl, Phil Mickelson won the PGA, and now here you go. So the older guys still get it, still kicking the young guys’ butt. We teach them a lesson.”

Race winner Helio Castroneves, Meyer Shank Racing Honda, Mike Shank

Race winner Helio Castroneves, Meyer Shank Racing Honda, Mike Shank

Photo by: Barry Cantrell / Motorsport Images

He also took the opportunity to ‘correct’ Paul Tracy, who he beat to the 2002 Indy 500 glory in controversial fashion. After complimenting the NBC team, he called out analyst Paul Tracy, who he controversially beat to the Indy win in 2002.

“PT, PT! I know you’ve been talking about that second win. PT, I’m sorry man, that was my win! And now I’ve just confirmed another win.”

Castroneves also paid tribute to his team.

“I can’t thank enough AutoNation, SiriusXM, [team co-owners] Mike Shank, Jim Meyer – the entire organisation and Honda. They gave me the most when I needed it, they were right there.

“This stage is absolutely incredible. I love Indianapolis. You guys don’t understand. The fans, they give me energy. This is absolutely incredible!

“From the beginning we were so comfortable, happy, kinda like calm. Right now I’m just so excited. The Firestone tyres were absolutely on rails. The car was just incredible. I knew it was good, I knew I was going to have to fight, to put the elbows out.

“What an incredible feeling. I couldn’t do this without my family, my mum and dad in Brazil. I love you guys.

“And of course the Lord. The Lord has been right by my side all the time. This is just absolutely awesome.”

shares
comments
Indy 500: Castroneves pulls off stunning victory to beat Palou for fourth win

Previous article

Indy 500: Castroneves pulls off stunning victory to beat Palou for fourth win

Next article

Palou didn’t expect second place at the Indy 500 "would hurt that much”

Palou didn’t expect second place at the Indy 500 "would hurt that much”
Load comments
The lasting legacy of a fallen Indycar rookie Plus

The lasting legacy of a fallen Indycar rookie

Jeff Krosnoff was plucked out of obscurity to become a respected and highly popular professional in Japan, and then got his big break in Indycar for 1996. But a tragic accident at Toronto 25 years ago cut short a promising career and curtailed his regular team-mate Mauro Martini's passion for racing

IndyCar
Jul 14, 2021
The two key areas where Dixon needs to re-assert his authority Plus

The two key areas where Dixon needs to re-assert his authority

OPINION: Having been Chip Ganassi Racing's IndyCar focal point for the best part of a decade, Scott Dixon has been so far outgunned by new team-mate Alex Palou in 2021. After finishing behind the Spaniard at his traditional happy hunting ground at Mid-Ohio, Dixon has work to do to assume his traditional position in the team and the standings

IndyCar
Jul 6, 2021
The winners and losers of IndyCar 2021 so far Plus

The winners and losers of IndyCar 2021 so far

At the halfway point in the 2021 IndyCar Series season, we've had seven winners in eight races, spread between five teams – none of them Team Penske. In this unusual season, even by IndyCar standards, who’s excelling and who’s dragging their heels?

IndyCar
Jun 18, 2021
Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history Plus

Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history

Helio Castroneves’ overwhelming vivaciousness outside the cockpit belies a hardcore racer who knows how to plot his moves – and then recall it all. A day after his fourth Indy 500 win, he explained his tactics

IndyCar
Jun 2, 2021
How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status Plus

How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status

Helio Castroneves joined AJ Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears with the most Indianapolis 500 wins after edging past Alex Palou on the penultimate lap of a thrilling race that validated Michael Shank's faith in the veteran Brazilian - who is discovering that there is life after Penske after all

IndyCar
Jun 1, 2021
Indy 500 preview: Will experience or youth be victorious at the Brickyard? Plus

Indy 500 preview: Will experience or youth be victorious at the Brickyard?

A quarter of the drivers racing in the 105th edition of the Indianapolis 500 are former winners - but are they the favourites? The veteran drivers largely impressed in qualifying - but there's also a plethora of young guns looking to secure victory at IndyCar's flagship race...

IndyCar
May 27, 2021
What will it take to get American drivers in Formula 1? Plus

What will it take to get American drivers in Formula 1?

The FIA says it wants American drivers in Formula 1, but would it take an IndyCar driver to transfer or does an American need to join the European junior ladder system to get there?

Formula 1
May 19, 2021
Why IndyCar is satisfying Grosjean’s appetite for his second life Plus

Why IndyCar is satisfying Grosjean’s appetite for his second life

After spending the majority of his 179-race Formula 1 career in middling to tail-end machinery, Romain Grosjean finds himself once again with an underdog team in IndyCar. While not without its challenges, he's relishing the more level playing field that means his Dale Coyne Racing crew can expect to claim a few scalps...

IndyCar
May 14, 2021