a The fourth victory Helio Castronivis in dew 500 has a number of interpretations and factors involved. But, most likely, nothing perfectly sums up the historical achievement of the Brazilian on Sunday (30) better than rewarding someone who has never, at any time, ceased to believe in his potential. More than that, the courage of a man, over 45, ventured for the first time in two decades on a completely unknown project.
Boldness and belief in yourself. This is how Helio made one of the most courageous decisions in his career, and perhaps the most. After 20 years of the most incredible weddings in American motorsport history, the Brazilian found himself without space in powerful Penske and had a choice: to reposition himself in SportsCar, where he was champion in 2020, to retire or to try a new team and return to Indy. Paulista chose the third method.
After many conversations and approaches with McLaren, Helio signed Mayer Shank for the second car for a team that had never had more than one full season at Indy, with Jack Harvey. Not afraid of what might happen, Castroneves signed a six-race deal with a team he barely knew who, in the end, would have to make their Indy 500 debut, the biggest reason for this entire deal.
And this was how the 46-year-old veteran started his new adventure, always thinking of his fourth victory in Indianapolis, all the time looking for a winning record in the biggest race in the world. A short introductory spell, some auditions, and Helio had spent his days there figuring out the names of his teammates and creating a relationship that could be the least competitive in the race he had longed to run again.
The ranking came in, the place in Fast Nine and the general feeling that Castroneves had already made its mark on the Indy 500. After all, on the debut of a small team, 20 years after Penske, the Brazilian was there starting in the first three ranks. That’s enough, right? Well, it might have been, but Helio wanted more and knew he could have it.
A wildly optimistic speech the week before the race made it clear that Helio, in the top ten, in the first step in the new venture, had not considered any of this. Castroneves wanted it because he wanted the fourth Indy 500 and it should have been 2021. With that position, the Brazilian fought tirelessly from the first laps.
The impression all along was that Helio was really someone to be considered in the fray. Good speed was combined with safe stops and perfect driving, which knew how to handle aggression with the very mental side, as when leaving a direct competitor. Alex Paloo Drive strategically or when catching the Catalan dance on the strait, avoiding the emptiness ride of Pilot Ganassi.
The ending was dazzling and there was no way to be any different. Winning at the age of 46 wasn’t enough, it wasn’t enough to win a debut for a modest team, you still had to be in a lady race. And it was like this, beating Palu in the last three laps, that Castroneves took the Indy 500 home and put the IMS in the final setting for the World Cup.
Indy 2021 Beautiful Stories won a story that deeply touched any motorsport fan. Rebirth season Roman Grogan, The highly talented “Next Generation” explosion and yet another Scott Dixon x episode Joseph NewgardenHe won another chapter, perhaps the most special of them.
Castroneves, incredibly, changes the level once more. If it is already an undisputed legend, it acquires an almost immortal status. This is the only way to describe someone who wins four times the biggest and toughest race in motorsports. AJ Foyt and Al Unser Sr. And Rick Mears, the seemingly distant trio, are now in the company of Helio who, without a doubt, is looking for the fifth ring in 2022.
The project was supposed to start a new story and change the level of Meyer Schank within a few years, perhaps as a full-time start in 2022. The reality was much tastier and the first victory in the life of the team came at the best possible time, today. The most desired stage.
Using a poker expression, Castroneves went all out by signing Meyer Shank and ended up breaking the bank. The Brazilian could have fallen into disrepair in the final stage of his career, the team might fail in the car, make mistakes in strategies, and in stops, it would be only natural for all of this to happen. But Helio had always believed, and always trusted, the magic that would happen in what was arguably his second home.
Not knowing that it was impossible, Helio went there and did. And he did so for the fourth time, he did so for one of the most beautiful records that Brazil has set in the sport. Officially, Castroneves is Indianapolis’ largest site ever.