Race Weekend Central

Hélio Castroneves Wrecks in Supposedly ‘Final’ Indy 500

When Roger Penske gave Helio Castroneves, now competing full-time for Team Penske’s IMSA team, another shot at the Indianapolis 500, the team owner said he could run it again in 2019 if he wins the 102nd running.

Castroneves failed to finish as he crashed on the exit of Turn 4 on Lap 144, but he made it clear that he wants one more opportunity from the Captain.

“Please, Roger, can I come back?” Castroneves said on television, asking for another shot.

Penske was asked if the three-time champion could run “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” again. Penske said it’s hard to say no.

“Helio will be back in a car with us next year,” Tim Cindric, team president said.

“We’ll be taking a look at that for sure,” Penske added.

Whether he meant that seriously or said it just to appease the lighthearted media atmosphere in the deadline room remains to be seen. If Castroneves runs again, it would likely be in the same situation as this year, meaning Team Penske fields three full-time entries and one additional car for the Brazilian.

Should he ever win another Indy 500, he’ll join AJ Foyt, Al Unser, and Rick Mears as the only men to win it four times.

Castroneves’ accident wasn’t the result of contact with another car. He simply lost control of the No. 3 Pennzoil Chevrolet. The aerodynamics to the Indy Cars in Sunday’s race were brand new to the event, and other veterans, including Sebastien Bourdais and Tony Kanaan, also suffered similar fates.

“The fans are so incredible,” Castroneves said. “Hopefully (Penske) and everybody sees that. This place, definitely I deserve another chance. I can’t go out like this.”

About the author

John Haverlin is Frontstretch's exclusive IndyCar editor and writer. He has covered American auto racing's various forms, including NASCAR Cup, Xfinity, Truck, K&N, Whelen Modified, IndyCar, Mazda Road to Indy, USAC, Modified Touring Series, World of Outlaws, ARCA and ACT Tour. He is a graduate of Arizona State University and currently resides in Long Island, New York.

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