t never stops, even in the off-season,”
says three-time indianapolis 500 winner
and four-time verizon indycar series
runner-up Helio castroneves. He could be
describing his enthusiasm for racing, his
obsession with speed, or his thoughts about
how to improve his racecar or his own
technique. The truth is, “it” is all of these.
“The off-seasons are so hard,” he says
with real longing in his voice. “you end a
season thinking it’ll be so nice to have one
or two weeks off, but about three days
into it, you’re thinking, ‘Man, i need to go
back to my racecar!’ it’s the adrenaline
you can’t find anywhere else in life. you
can do karting, but it’s not the same at all.
“This is how bad it is,” offers the Team
Penske driver, warming to his theme. “i
find it hard to go traveling on vacations,
because every time i get on a plane, it’s
Iusually to go to a race. so if i land and there isn’t a race, it feels like there’s omething missing! so usually on my
holidays i stay home with the family and
that’s actually nicer. That is my time off;
things like picking up [daughter] Mikaella
from school, and so on. That’s much more
relaxing than going on vacation.”
not that the thoughts stop there. in
and around his home in Ft. Lauderdale,
Fla., castroneves’ mind often drifts to the
Team Penske race shop or a race track.
and now he’s lapsed on the hobby front
– “i used to do tennis with a group of
friends in Key Biscayne, but we’ve kind of
lost touch” – he’s thinking about racing
while he’s exercising. or watching Tv. or
eating at a restaurant.
“every time, man, every time!” he says.
“i’m one of the most experienced drivers p h i l
Yes, life is sweet if
you’re Mr. Castroneves.
But despite the idyllic
lifestyle, his other
Chevrolet is rarely far
from his thoughts.