Photo: Joe Skibinski/INDYCAR

Helio Castroneves Hoping for Penske Sweep of IndyCar, NASCAR Titles

By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief

HOMESTEAD, Fla. – Roger Penske is on the cusp of history in the 50th anniversary of his organization and three-time Indianapolis 500 champion Helio Castroneves is ready to witness it firsthand.

The longtime Verizon IndyCar Series veteran was part of a 1-2-3 Team Penske sweep this season, with Simon Pagenaud claiming the title. With a long offseason playing out during NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup, the 41-year-old Brazilian has been able to keep up with the progress of fellow Penske driver Joey Logano, who is among the four remaining drivers eligible to win the championship.

In addition to this year’s IndyCar success, the longtime organization also scored the 2012 Sprint Cup Series title with Brad Keselowski and the 2014 IndyCar championship with Will Power – of which Logano was among the Championship 4 then as well, but a late pit stop error ended any hopes of a dual accomplishment for the legendary owner.

However, the uncharted waters by Penske are once again revisited with only 400 miles separating them from a monumental historical achievement.

Castroneves, a 23-time Indy car winner, believes that Sunday night there is a great opportunity for the unprecedented to take place.

“It was great to have 1-2-3 in IndyCar for Roger, and I think on the Cup side they have a phenomenal chance,” Castroneves said. “It would be really special, not only because the entire team is working for that, but to do it on the 50th anniversary of Team Penske would be incredible.”

“It would mean the world for him, for us, for everyone that has been with Team Penske for many, many years. We know how much it means to Roger, and I feel very confident that Joey can bring this home for him.”

The four-time Verizon IndyCar Series championship runner-up added that what makes this level of success possible among racing’s best is the way they compete.

“I think, inside the group we compete, but not to be who is the best against each other, but who is the best with each other,” Castroneves said. “We want to make Roger happy and there is no better reward than when he says ‘Thank you.”

With Penske being highly respected across all platforms of motorsports, Castroneves said that Sunday’s NASCAR finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway is a “good chance” for the world to see why he is revered by many.

“There’s a good chance for Roger to show again why he’s incredible and the respect he’s shown by everyone.”

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Joey Barnes is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Motorsports Tribune. He has covered auto racing since 2013 that has spanned from Formula 1 to NASCAR, with coverage on IndyCar. Additionally, his work has appeared on Racer, IndyCar.com and Autoweek magazine. In 2017, he was recognized with an award in Spot News Writing by the National Motorsports Press Association.

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