In the end, Helio Castroneves joined the unique membership of four-time Indianapolis 500 winners Sunday.
Then Spider-Man scaled the Indianapolis Motor Speedway fence for his trademark victory celebration on the largest sporting occasion for the reason that begin of the pandemic.
Castroneves wasn’t achieved but. At 46 and one of many oldest drivers within the area, he ran alongside the frontstretch of the speedway waving to the 135,000 followers in attendance. He was interrupted throughout his victory jog by a number of drivers and most of Group Penske, the group he spent greater than 20 years with whereas successful three Indy 500s.
— Indianapolis Motor Speedway (@IMS) May 30, 2021
But it surely was time for Roger Penske to half methods with Castroneves, who nonetheless believed he had loads of racing forward. Michael Shank picked him up for a partial schedule that included the Indy 500 and a shot for Castroneves so as to add to his legacy on the speedway.
His final Indy 500 win was in 2009, and Castroneves has been making an attempt since to affix A.J. Foyt, Al Unser Sr. and Rick Mears, his former mentor at Group Penske, as the one four-time winners of “The Biggest Spectacle in Racing.” Mears was the final driver to affix the membership in 1991.
“I really like Indianapolis! You guys do not perceive it! The followers, you give me vitality,” Castroneves mentioned.
Castroneves, who additionally gained the 500 in 2001 and 2002, was a part of the successful Rolex 24 Daytona sports activities automotive group in January, taking the distinguished sports activities automotive occasion for the primary time. This was the one IndyCar race on Castroneves’ schedule this season.
“I’ve run two races this 12 months and gained two races, I would say that is fairly good,” mentioned Castroneves, who famous that 43-year-old Tom Brady gained the Tremendous Bowl this 12 months and 50-year-old Phil Mickelson gained the PGA Championship final week.
It was a stark distinction to the current theme of younger drivers taking on IndyCar, which now has six totally different winners via six races this season. Three of them have been first-time winners, and 4 are drivers age 24 or youthful.
Castroneves discovered himself in a closing duel with one of many younger stars, 24-year-old Spaniard Alex Palou, however he handed Palou for good with two laps remaining and beat him by 0.4928 seconds for the victory.
A 12 months in the past, no followers have been allowed for the race that was delayed from Might to August. This 12 months, celebrities have been again and followers have been all over the place, they usually have been handled to a win by some of the widespread drivers in Indy 500 historical past.
The Related Press contributed to this report.