Helio Castroneves Joins Four-Time Indy 500 Winners Club - Engine Builder Magazine
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Helio Castroneves Joins Four-Time Indy 500 Winners Club

Helio Castroneves joined the exclusive club of four-time Indianapolis 500 winners this past weekend with a victory Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

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Castroneves joins A.J. Foyt (1961, 1964, 1967, 1977), Al Unser (1970, 1971, 1978, 1987) and Rick Mears (1979, 1984, 1988, 1991) as four-time winners of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” The Brazilian’s previous victories came in 2001, 2002 and 2009, all as a full-time driver with Team Penske.

However, this one was different. Castroneves drove the No. 06 AutoNation/Sirius XM Honda of Meyer Shank Racing to the team’s first Indy win and first NTT IndyCar Series victory. Castroneves, 46, also became the fourth-oldest winner in “500” history in his first IndyCar start of the season, as he is scheduled to run only a partial schedule this year.

“It’s not the end; it’s the beginning,” Castroneves said. “I don’t know if it’s a good comparison, but Tom Brady won a Super Bowl, Phil (Mickelson) won the PGA, and now here you go. The old guys still got it, kicking the young guys’ butts. We’re teaching them a lesson.

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“What a great team effort. Everyone was in sync. We didn’t make any mistakes. No. 4 – what a moment. I’m just so honored to be a part of this amazing group with A.J. Foyt, Al Unser Sr. and Rick Mears. This is absolutely a dream come true.”

Castroneves, who started eighth, finished a stirring duel with 24-year-old Spaniard Alex Palou over the closing laps by passing Palou with a daring outside move in Turn 1 on Lap 199. He held off Palou’s No. 10 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda to win by .4928 of a second.

2019 Indy winner Simon Pagenaud finished third in the No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet, .5626 of a second behind Castroneves. Pato O’Ward was fourth in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, while Ed Carpenter rounded out the top five in the No. 20 SONAX Chevrolet.

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The next NTT IndyCar Series races are the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit doubleheader, the headline races of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear on June 12-13 on Belle Isle in Detroit.

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