By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief
INDIANAPOLIS – Roger Penske has stated that if Helio Castroneves captures his record-tying fourth Indianapolis 500 win today that an opportunity to score a fifth awaits.
Castroneves, 43, moved over the offseason to Team Penske’s Acura program in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship after 20 years racing Indy cars. However, it was always in the cards to be part of the month of May festivities at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the INDYCAR Grand Prix and “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”
The crown jewel event of the Verizon IndyCar Series – as well as all of racing – Castroneves has tasted the famed milk in Victory Lane on three occasions, but not since 2009.
Even still, Penske is at the ready should Castroneves tie the likes of A.J. Foyt, Rick Mears and Al Unser Jr.
“I think the scenario is if he wins his fourth, absolutely give him a chance to get his fifth,” said Penske, a 16-time Indy 500-winning team owner.
“Now, to me, we’ll have discussions about that. Maybe I’ll get Mears to run for his fifth.
“But seriously, I just want to let him know that this isn’t the last race for him.”
For Castroneves, that chance means everything.
“I can’t thank enough Roger and the entire organization to not only give me the opportunity, but accommodate as well all of the details that we need to put ourselves in a position to win,” Castroneves said.
“Doing that shows they have the same goal as I do and everybody is really willing to make something historic. I see all the fans, I see a lot of people really excited to grab No. 4 and I’ll do everything I can to make a lot of people’s wishes come true, including mine.”
Although driving Indy cars is “part of my DNA” for Castroneves, it’s the chance to keep racing that has provided the ultimate dream. However, this incentive-based program is unlike any other.
“Certainly gives you the confidence to go out there and push it to the limit.”