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Hélio Castroneves (born Hélio Castro Neves; May 10, 1975 in Ribeirão Pretomarker, Brazilmarker) is a Brazilianmarker auto racing driver currently competing in the North American IndyCar Series. In IndyCar competition, Castroneves has 14 wins and 28 poles, and has never placed lower than sixth in the standings in a complete season of racing. Prior to IndyCar, Castroneves competed in the CART championship with a highest championship points finish of fourth.

Castroneves won the Indianapolis 500marker in 2001, 2002 and 2009, making him one of only nine drivers to date to have won at least three. He finished second to teammate and countryman Gil de Ferran in 2003. Castroneves has won three pole positions for the Indy 500, including the most recent in 2009.

Career

Starting his career in karting, Castroneves later raced in the Paul Stewart Racing team, and finished third in the 1995 British Formula Three Championship. [43670]

Hélio Castroneves during a practice session at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway


After being occasionally misidentified by U.S. media as "Helio Neves" he at first changed the spelling to Helio Castro-Neves and then to the current spelling. He has one sister, Katiucia. Castroneves was first recognized while driving for Steve Horne's Tasman Racing team in Indy Lights, interestingly as teammate to fellow Brazilian and future IndyCar champion Tony Kanaan.

After showing potential but lacking reliability while with the Bettenhausen and Hogan teams, Helio was signed by Penske Racing in CART in 2000 following the deaths of Greg Moore and Gonzalo Rodríguez during the last races of the 1999 season. Moore had signed on with Penske but never had the opportunity to race with the team. Castroneves immediately became a regular front-runner. He switched with the team to the rival IRL for 2002, and remained with Penske, teamed with Gil de Ferran, Sam Hornish, Jr., and Ryan Briscoe during his tenure through the 2008 season. In January 2009, Team Penske temporarily replaced him with Will Power, citing the difficulties of remaining competitive while Castroneves prepared for trial on federal tax evasion charges. Castroneves missed the first race of the 2009 season while the trial was ongoing, but returned to racing at the Long Beach Grand Prix.

Racing fans have given Castroneves the nickname "Spiderman" because of his victory celebration, in which he climbs the trackside debris fence.

On May 24, 2009, Castroneves became Indy's 9th (and first foreign-born) three-time winner, by taking the checkered flag for the 93rd running of the Indianapolis 500.

Aside from success in racing, Castroneves won the fifth season of the American reality TV show Dancing with the Stars with partner Julianne Hough. He currently resides in Miami, Floridamarker. He has also appeared on truTV's The Smoking Gun Presents: World's Dumbest... as a frequent commentator--mainly on episodes that feature the "World's Dumbest Drivers".

Personal Life

Castroneves and his girlfriend, Adriana Henao, are expecting a baby girl, the first child for the couple, according to People. The couple will name their baby girl Mikaella, after deciding their original choice, Indy, was "a little too much."

Motorsports career results

American Open-Wheel

() (Races in bold indicate pole position)

Champ Car

Year Team Wins Points Championship Finish
1998 Bettenhausen Racing 0 36 17th
1999 Hogan Racing 0 48 15th
2000 Penske Racing 3 129 7th
2001 Penske Racing 3 141 4th


IndyCar

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 Rank Points
2001 Penske
PHX
Ret


HMS
 


ATL
 


INDY
1


TXS
 


PPIR
 


RIR
 


KAN
 


NSH
 


KTY
 


STL
 


CHI
 


TX2
 

24th 64
2002 Penske
HMS
3


PHX
1


FON
5


NZR
5


INDY
1


TXS
4


PPIR
2


RIR
17


KAN
3


NSH
9


MIS
6


KTY
5


STL
2


CHI
4


TX2
2

2nd 511
2003 Penske
HMS
3


PHX
2


MOT
Ret


INDY
2


TXS
7


PPIR
12


RIR
2


KAN
2


NSH
3


MIS
Ret


STL
1


KTY
5


NZR
1


CHI
Ret


FON
6


TX2
13

3rd 484
2004 Penske
HMS
2


PHX
6


MOT
3


INDY
9


TXS
12


RIR
3


KAN
7


NSH
3


MIL
12


MIS
10


KTY
12


PPIR
6


NZR
5


CHI
10


FON
7


TX2
1

4th 446
2005 Penske
HMS
5


PHX
2


STP
Ret


MOT
Ret


INDY
9


TXS
5


RIR
1


KAN
8


NSH
5


MIL
16


MIS
Ret


KTY
5


PPIR
4


SNM
Ret


CHI
2


WGL
Ret


FON
9

6th 440
2006 Penske
HMS
2


STP
1


MOT
1


INDY
Ret


WGL
7


TXS
1


RIR
10


KAN
6


NSH
5


MIL
14


MIS
1


KTY
3


SNM
5


CHI
4

3rd 473
2007 Penske
HMS
9


STP
1


MOT
7


KAN
3


INDY
3


MIL
Ret


TXS
Ret


IOW
8


RIR
11


WGL
Ret


NSH
6


MDO
3


MIS
Ret


KTY
9


SNM
2


DET
Ret


CHI
4

6th 446
2008 Penske
HMS
4


STP
2


MOT1
2


LBH1
DNP


KAN
4


INDY
4


MIL
5


TXS
2


IOW
14


RIR
2


WGL
16


NSH
3


MDO
2


EDM
2


KTY
2


SNM
1


DET
2


CHI
1


SRF2
7

2nd 629
2009 Penske
STP3
DNP


LBH
7


KAN
2


INDY
1


MIL
11


TXS
1


IOW
7


RIR
Ret


WGL
4


TOR
Ret


EDM
2


KTY
4


MDO
12


SNM
Ret


CHI
Ret


MOT
10


HMS
5

4th 433
1 Because of Champ Car/IRL Reunification in 2008, a compromise was set up where former Champ Car teams raced at Long Beach with the old formula, while IRL teams raced at Motegi that weekend. The Penske team raced at Motegi.
2 Non-points-paying, exhibition race because of Reunification
3 Missed race due to his then-ongoing tax evasion trial. Will Power drove car.


Years Teams Races Poles Wins Podiums
(Non-win)**
Top 10s
(Non-podium)***
Indianapolis 500
Wins
Championships
9 1 122 29 14 33 47 3 (2001, 2002, and 2009) 0
** Podium (Non-win) indicates 2nd or 3rd place finishes.
*** Top 10s (Non-podium) indicates 4th through 10th place finishes.


Indianapolis 500 results

Year Chassis Engine Start Finish Team
2001 Dallara Oldsmobile 11 1 Penske
2002 Dallara Chevrolet 13 1 Penske
2003 Dallara Toyota 1 2 Penske
2004 Dallara Toyota 8 9 Penske
2005 Dallara Toyota 5 9 Penske
2006 Dallara Honda 2 25 Penske
2007 Dallara Honda 1 3 Penske
2008 Dallara Honda 4 4 Penske
2009 Dallara Honda 1 1 Penske


Castroneves's finishes for 2001 to 2003 is currently the best 3 race finishing streak in Indianapolis history. It is equal to the streak posted by Al Unser from 1970 through 1972.

Dancing With the Stars appearance

In Fall 2007, Castroneves became a contestant on ABC's Dancing With the Stars television program in the United Statesmarker, paired with season 4 champion, Julianne Hough. On a show based on judges scores and fan votes, he was announced the season 5 winner on November 27, 2007, beating out Spice Girl Melanie Brown and Marie Osmond.

Performance

Week # Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Foxtrot/"Bewitched theme" 8 9 8 Safe
2 Mambo/"Para Los Rumberos" 9 9 9 Safe
3 Jive/"Kids In America" 8 8 8 Safe
4 Viennese Waltz/"Iris" 9 9 9 Safe
5 Rumba/"Apologize" 8 7 8 Safe
6 Cha-cha-cha/"Get Up Offa That Thing" 9 10 9 Safe
7 Tango/"Jean Genie"

Samba/Candela
9
9
8
9
8
9
Safe
8 Paso Doble/"Amparito Roco"

Quickstep/"Hey! Pachuco!"
9

10
9

10
9

10
Safe
9

Semi-finals
Foxtrot/"Ain't That a Kick in the Head?"

Cha-cha-cha/"Love Rollercoaster"
10

10
10

10
10

10
Safe
10

Finals
Jive/"Let's Twist Again"

Freestyle/ "Land of a Thousand Dances"

Quickstep/"Hey! Pachuco!"
8

9

10
8

10

10
9

10

10
WON


Legal Issues

On October 2, 2008, Castroneves was charged with conspiracy and six counts of tax evasion by a grand jury for purportedly failing to report to the IRS about $5.5 million in income between 1999 and 2004, according to court documents. Each count carries a maximum five-year prison sentence. His business manager and sister Kati, and his lawyer Alan Miller were charged with assisting Castroneves in the supposed scheme. All three defendants surrendered to authorities in Florida on Friday, October 3, 2008. Castroneves pled not guilty to these charges on October 3, and was ordered released on $10 million bail. Castroneves was replaced by Will Power during the duration of his tax evasion court case. The IRS claimed that Castroneves owes $2.3 million in taxes. A guilty verdict would have likely ended Castroneves' racing career.

This issue was related to the initial contract signed by Castroneves with Penske Racing after Greg Moore's death at the California Speedwaymarker during the Marlboro 500 on October 31, 1999. In the trial, it was reported that Castroneves' first contract with Penske (2000-04) was signed with Moore's contract with the names changed in ink to reflect the replacement driver. The deal was signed by Moore's agent, Alan Miller, who signed Castroneves' deal days after Moore's funeral as pressure from Penske sponsors forced a quick resolution to finding a replacement.

Central to the case was the ownership of a Panamanian company called Seven Promotions. Prosecutors called it a shell corporation set up primarily so Castroneves could dodge U.S. income taxes, but Castroneves' father testified he created Seven to boost his son's image in Brazil. The elder Castroneves said his son never owned it. Prosecutors called that a lie, showing jurors numerous documents in which Castroneves claimed Seven as his own. If it was, an Internal Revenue Service agent testified that Castroneves owed U.S. taxes on the full $5 million from Penske even though he has never actually received the money. Instead, the Penske payments were eventually invested in a deferred compensation deal with the Dutch firm Fintage Licensing B.V. Castroneves' attorney Roy Black told jurors in closing arguments that such deals are common -- and perfectly legal -- for athletes who have relatively short careers and face injury or worse at any moment.

The trial ended on April 10, 2009, with closing arguments and the jury deliberated until April 17, when it acquitted Castroneves of all six counts of tax evasion but hung on a count of conspiracy. On May 22, 2009, prosecutors dropped the remaining conspiracy charge.

References

  1. Power replaced Castroneves at Penske during tax evasion case USAToday.com, January 13, 2009
  2. http://sports.yahoo.com/irl/news?slug=ap-irl-castroneves-taxcharges&prov=ap&type=lgns
  3. Power replaced Castroneves at Penske during tax evasion case. Retrieved on 2009-01-13.
  4. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/motor/2009-03-27-castroneves-taxes_N.htm?csp=34 Retrieved on 2009-03-27.
  5. http://www.cbssports.com/autoracing/story/11642170/rss
  6. http://www.indystar.com/article/20090417/SPORTS/90417007


External links




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