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Hélio Castroneves

Hélio Castroneves at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for Carb Day for the 2009 Indianapolis 500.
Nationality Brazil Brazilian
Date of birth May 10, 1975 (1975-05-10) (age 34)
Place of birth São Paulo, Brazil
2010 IRL IndyCar Series
Debut season 2001
Current team Penske Racing
Car no. 3
Starts 116
Wins 16
Poles 28
Best finish 2nd in 2002 & 2008
Previous series
1996-1997
1998-2001
Indy Lights
CART
Awards
2001


2002
2009
Indianapolis 500 Winner
Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year
Indianapolis 500 Winner
Indianapolis 500 Winner

Hélio Castroneves (born Hélio Castro Neves; May 10, 1975 in Ribeirão Preto, Brazil) is a Brazilian auto racing driver currently competing in the North American IndyCar Series. In IndyCar competition, Castroneves has 14 wins and 28 poles, and has never placed lower than sixth in the standings in a complete season of racing. Prior to IndyCar, Castroneves competed in the CART championship with a highest championship points finish of fourth.

Castroneves won the Indianapolis 500 in 2001, 2002 and 2009, making him one of only nine drivers to date to have won at least three. He finished second to teammate and countryman Gil de Ferran in 2003. Castroneves has won three pole positions for the Indy 500, including the most recent in 2009.

Contents

Racing career

Starting his career in karting, Castroneves later raced in the Paul Stewart Racing team, and finished third in the 1995 British Formula Three Championship. [1]

Castroneves driving for Paul Stewart Racing at Silverstone during the 1995 British Formula Three Championship season.
Hélio Castroneves during a practice session at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

After being occasionally misidentified by U.S. media as "Helio Neves" he at first changed the spelling to Helio Castro-Neves and then to the current spelling. He has one sister, Katiucia. Castroneves was first recognized while driving for Steve Horne's Tasman Racing team in Indy Lights, interestingly as teammate to fellow Brazilian and future IndyCar champion Tony Kanaan.

After showing potential but lacking reliability while with the Bettenhausen and Hogan teams, Helio was signed by Penske Racing in CART in 2000 following the deaths of Greg Moore and Gonzalo Rodríguez during the last races of the 1999 season. Moore had signed on with Penske but never had the opportunity to race with the team. Castroneves immediately became a regular front-runner. He switched with the team to the rival IRL for 2002, and remained with Penske, teamed with Gil de Ferran, Sam Hornish, Jr., and Ryan Briscoe during his tenure through the 2008 season. In January 2009, Team Penske temporarily replaced him with Will Power, citing the difficulties of remaining competitive while Castroneves prepared for trial on federal tax evasion charges.[1] Castroneves missed the first race of the 2009 season while the trial was ongoing, but returned to racing at the Long Beach Grand Prix.

Racing fans have given Castroneves the nickname "Spiderman" because of his victory celebration, in which he climbs the trackside debris fence.

On May 24, 2009, Castroneves became Indy's 9th (and first foreign-born) three-time winner, by taking the checkered flag for the 93rd running of the Indianapolis 500.[2][3]

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Records

Castroneves currently holds IRL IndyCar Series records for most top-ten finishes (93); Poles (30); and most consecutive seasons with a race win (9).

Other appearances

Aside from success in racing, Castroneves won the fifth season of the American reality TV show Dancing with the Stars with partner Julianne Hough. He currently resides in Miami, Florida. He has also appeared on truTV's The Smoking Gun Presents: World's Dumbest... as a frequent commentator—mainly on episodes that feature the "World's Dumbest Drivers".

Personal life

Castroneves and his girlfriend, Adriana Henao, welcomed a daughter, Mikaella, on December 28th, 2009, at 4:15 pm EST. She was due January 6th, 2010.[4]

Motorsports career results

American Open-Wheel

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position)

Champ Car

Year Team Wins Points Championship Finish
1998 Bettenhausen Racing 0 36 17th
1999 Hogan Racing 0 48 15th
2000 Penske Racing 3 129 7th
2001 Penske Racing 3 141 4th

IndyCar

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 Rank Points
2001 Penske United States
PHX
Ret
United States
HMS
 
United States
ATL
 
United States
INDY
1
United States
TXS
 
United States
PPIR
 
United States
RIR
 
United States
KAN
 
United States
NSH
 
United States
KTY
 
United States
STL
 
United States
CHI
 
United States
TX2
 
24th 64
2002 Penske United States
HMS
3
United States
PHX
1
United States
FON
5
United States
NZR
5
United States
INDY
1
United States
TXS
4
United States
PPIR
2
United States
RIR
17
United States
KAN
3
United States
NSH
9
United States
MIS
6
United States
KTY
5
United States
STL
2
United States
CHI
4
United States
TX2
2
2nd 511
2003 Penske United States
HMS
3
United States
PHX
2
Japan
MOT
Ret
United States
INDY
2
United States
TXS
7
United States
PPIR
12
United States
RIR
2
United States
KAN
2
United States
NSH
3
United States
MIS
Ret
United States
STL
1
United States
KTY
5
United States
NZR
1
United States
CHI
Ret
United States
FON
6
United States
TX2
13
3rd 484
2004 Penske United States
HMS
2
United States
PHX
6
Japan
MOT
3
United States
INDY
9
United States
TXS
12
United States
RIR
3
United States
KAN
7
United States
NSH
3
United States
MIL
12
United States
MIS
10
United States
KTY
12
United States
PPIR
6
United States
NZR
5
United States
CHI
10
United States
FON
7
United States
TX2
1
4th 446
2005 Penske United States
HMS
5
United States
PHX
2
United States
STP
Ret
Japan
MOT
Ret
United States
INDY
9
United States
TXS
5
United States
RIR
1
United States
KAN
8
United States
NSH
5
United States
MIL
16
United States
MIS
Ret
United States
KTY
5
United States
PPIR
4
United States
SNM
Ret
United States
CHI
2
United States
WGL
Ret
United States
FON
9
6th 440
2006 Penske United States
HMS
2
United States
STP
1
Japan
MOT
1
United States
INDY
Ret
United States
WGL
7
United States
TXS
1
United States
RIR
10
United States
KAN
6
United States
NSH
5
United States
MIL
14
United States
MIS
1
United States
KTY
3
United States
SNM
5
United States
CHI
4
3rd 473
2007 Penske United States
HMS
9
United States
STP
1
Japan
MOT
7
United States
KAN
3
United States
INDY
3
United States
MIL
Ret
United States
TXS
Ret
United States
IOW
8
United States
RIR
11
United States
WGL
Ret
United States
NSH
6
United States
MDO
3
United States
MIS
Ret
United States
KTY
9
United States
SNM
2
United States
DET
Ret
United States
CHI
4
6th 446
2008 Penske United States
HMS
4
United States
STP
2
Japan
MOT1
2
United States
LBH1
DNP
United States
KAN
4
United States
INDY
4
United States
MIL
5
United States
TXS
2
United States
IOW
14
United States
RIR
2
United States
WGL
16
United States
NSH
3
United States
MDO
2
Canada
EDM
2
United States
KTY
2
United States
SNM
1
United States
DET
2
United States
CHI
1
Australia
SRF2
7
2nd 629
2009 Penske United States
STP3
DNP
United States
LBH
7
United States
KAN
2
United States
INDY
1
United States
MIL
11
United States
TXS
1
United States
IOW
7
United States
RIR
Ret
United States
WGL
4
Canada
TOR
Ret
Canada
EDM
2
United States
KTY
4
United States
MDO
12
United States
SNM
Ret
United States
CHI
Ret
Japan
MOT
10
United States
HMS
5
4th 433
1 Because of Champ Car/IRL Reunification in 2008, a compromise was set up where former Champ Car teams raced at Long Beach with the old formula, while IRL teams raced at Motegi that weekend. The Penske team raced at Motegi.
2 Non-points-paying, exhibition race because of Reunification
3 Missed race due to his then-ongoing tax evasion trial. Will Power drove #3 entry in place of Castroneves.
Years Teams Races Poles Wins Podiums
(Non-win)**
Top 10s
(Non-podium)***
Indianapolis 500
Wins
Championships
9 1 122 29 14 33 47 3 (2001, 2002, and 2009) 0
** Podium (Non-win) indicates 2nd or 3rd place finishes.
*** Top 10s (Non-podium) indicates 4th through 10th place finishes.

Indianapolis 500 results

Practicing for the 2007 Indianapolis 500.
Year Chassis Engine Start Finish Team
2001 Dallara Oldsmobile 11 1 Penske
2002 Dallara Chevrolet 13 1 Penske
2003 Dallara Toyota 1 2 Penske
2004 Dallara Toyota 8 9 Penske
2005 Dallara Toyota 5 9 Penske
2006 Dallara Honda 2 25 Penske
2007 Dallara Honda 1 3 Penske
2008 Dallara Honda 4 4 Penske
2009 Dallara Honda 1 1 Penske

Castroneves's finishes for 2001 to 2003 is currently the best 3 race finishing streak in Indianapolis history. It is equal to the streak posted by Al Unser from 1970 through 1972.

Dancing With the Stars appearance

In Fall 2007, Castroneves became a contestant on ABC's Dancing With the Stars television program in the United States, paired with season 4 champion, Julianne Hough. On a show based on judges scores and fan votes, he was announced the season 5 winner on November 27, 2007, beating out Spice Girl Melanie Brown and Marie Osmond.[5]

Performance

Week # Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Foxtrot/"Bewitched theme" 8 9 8 Safe
2 Mambo/"Para Los Rumberos" 9 9 9 Safe
3 Jive/"Kids In America" 8 8 8 Safe
4 Viennese Waltz/"Iris" 9 9 9 Safe
5 Rumba/"Apologize" 8 7 8 Safe
6 Cha-cha-cha/"Get Up Offa That Thing" 9 10 9 Safe
7 Tango/"Jean Genie"
Samba/Candela
9
9
8
9
8
9
Safe
8 Paso Doble/"Amparito Roco"
Quickstep/"Hey! Pachuco!"
9
10
9
10
9
10
Safe
9
Semi-finals
Foxtrot/"Ain't That a Kick in the Head?"
Cha-cha-cha/"Love Rollercoaster"
10
10
10
10
10
10
Safe
10
Finals
Jive/"Let's Twist Again"
Freestyle/ "Land of a Thousand Dances"
Quickstep/"Hey! Pachuco!"
8
9
10
8
10
10
9
10
10
WON


Legal Issues

On October 2, 2008, Castroneves was charged with conspiracy and six counts of tax evasion by a grand jury for purportedly failing to report to the IRS about $5.5 million in income between 1999 and 2004, according to court documents. Each count carries a maximum five-year prison sentence. His business manager and sister Kati, and his lawyer Alan Miller were charged with assisting Castroneves in the supposed scheme. All three defendants surrendered to authorities in Florida on Friday, October 3, 2008. Castroneves pled not guilty to these charges on October 3, and was ordered released on $10 million bail.[6][7] Castroneves was replaced by Will Power during the duration of his tax evasion court case.[8] The IRS claimed that Castroneves owes $2.3 million in taxes.[9] A guilty verdict would have likely ended Castroneves' racing career.

This issue was related to the initial contract signed by Castroneves with Penske Racing after Greg Moore's death at the California Speedway during the Marlboro 500 on October 31, 1999. In the trial, it was reported that Castroneves' first contract with Penske (2000-04) was signed with Moore's contract with the names changed in ink to reflect the replacement driver. The deal was signed by Moore's agent, Alan Miller, who signed Castroneves' deal days after Moore's funeral as pressure from Penske sponsors forced a quick resolution to finding a replacement.

Central to the case was the ownership of a Panamanian company called Seven Promotions. Prosecutors called it a shell corporation set up primarily so Castroneves could dodge U.S. income taxes, but Castroneves' father testified he created Seven to boost his son's image in Brazil. The elder Castroneves said his son never owned it. Prosecutors called that a lie, showing jurors numerous documents in which Castroneves claimed Seven as his own. If it was, an Internal Revenue Service agent testified that Castroneves owed U.S. taxes on the full $5 million from Penske even though he has never actually received the money. Instead, the Penske payments were eventually invested in a deferred compensation deal with the Dutch firm Fintage Licensing B.V. Castroneves' attorney Roy Black told jurors in closing arguments that such deals are common—and perfectly legal—for athletes who have relatively short careers and face injury or worse at any moment.[10]

The trial ended on April 10, 2009, with closing arguments and the jury deliberated until April 17, when it acquitted Castroneves of all six counts of tax evasion but hung on a count of conspiracy. On May 22, 2009, prosecutors dropped the remaining conspiracy charge.[11]

References

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Juan Pablo Montoya
Indianapolis 500 Winner
2001-2002
Succeeded by
Gil de Ferran
Preceded by
Scott Dixon
Indianapolis 500 Winner
2009
Succeeded by
current
Preceded by
Juan Pablo Montoya
Indianapolis 500
Rookie of the Year

2001
Succeeded by
Alex Barron
Tomas Scheckter
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Buddy Lazier
Scott Brayton Award
2004
Succeeded by
Kenny Bräck
Preceded by
Apolo Anton Ohno & Julianne Hough
Dancing with the Stars (US) winner
Season 5 (Fall 2007 with Julianne Hough)
Succeeded by
Kristi Yamaguchi & Mark Ballas


Simple English

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