Castroneves Looks To Championship Doorway

Milwaukee, WI – Helio Castroneves met with the media Friday at the Milwaukee Mile, fresh off the whirlwind media tour following his Indianapolis 500 victory.

Still having his usual wit and humor, Castroneves also showed more of his underlying serious and driven side. When told that he was sitting in the same seat that 2008 Indianapolis Champion Scott Dixon sat in last year, Castroneves jumped to his feet as if the chair was on fire and laughed with the crowd. Asked later if his experience in the last six months has made him appreciate racing more, he answered that he has an appreciation “not only for what I do, but for life. I always knew that I wanted to be a racecar driver and I want to be doing what I am doing. But, I realized I loved what I am doing.”

The past six months in Castroneves life cannot be ignored. In the news not for racing or being the “Dancing with the Stars” champion, Castroneves was on trial for tax issues that could have meant the possible end of his career. Back on track after being acquitted, Castroneves immediately scored top ten finishes at Long Beach and Kansas and went on to win his third Indianapolis 500. Now the racing focus is the championship. Castroneves thoughts on the championship are not all or nothing.

“Honestly if it is meant to be it will be. I’m not trying do something and if it doesn’t happen Im going to be upset,” Castroneves explained. “Everytime I go to the racecar, I’m giving 100 percent if not more. One day that door will be open. That’s what I’m looking for. Hopefully this year, it will the year for the door to be open. You continue to have goals. This particular time, [the focus] is the championship, and I’m going to work and fight for it.”

Checking at the statistic sheet at the end the press conference, Castroneves rattled off the numbers 5,1,1,2,5. When asked about his finishes, Castroneves laughed and said, “I did not ask about the finish I asked about the starts.”

Finishes for Castroneves have been polar opposites of his starts. When asked what a win would mean, he said, “To win [would mean] breaking the karma. I do very well in the qualifying, it’s incredible. Unfortunately in the race, something always happens.”

Putting all that has happened in his rollercoaster life of the past six months in perspective, Castroneves said, “You cant deny it, it’s part of my life, it’s part of what happened and you can’t just hide. It won’t disappear. There is going to be a scar, the scar will heal, but it won’t disappear, it’s always going to be there. It will be great to turn the page. Hopefully only good things are ahead of [me]. Life continues, life moves on.”

“I want to have fun. I want to go for it, it feels like everything is going to end up fast. I’m trying to [use] the momentum in a good way. I think I have a reason for it.”

“I should have the sponsor of the little bunny, because I’m still going man, I’m not stopping at all.”

Castroneves begins the next step in the road to the championship today with practice and qualifying for Sunday’s ABC Supply/A.J. Foyt IndyCar Series race at the Milwaukee Mile.

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