This weekend’s Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indy will mark Helio Castroneves 300th career IndyCar start, which is the seventh-most in series history.
“What a special moment for me to wake up and do 300 times something that I love,” said Castroneves. “For me, it’s fantastic. It’s a blessing. I think it’s very difficult for a person to do what you want when you dream, and I’m one of those people who is very fortunate to be able to keep doing it with the same enthusiasm that I had when it was the first time. So the 300th, it’s probably…feels just like my first time. And I’m very excited about that. And hopefully the result will be a celebration so that we can make part of history as well.”
More notes about Castroneves’ 300th start:
• It will be his 261st career start as a member of Team Penske.
• Castroneves’ 29 career series wins are tied with Team Penske legend and current consultant, Rick Mears, for 11th place on the all-time list.
• Castroneves’ 43 career Verizon P1 Pole Awards place him fourth on the all-time list.
• The first Indy car start for Castroneves came at Homestead-Miami Speedway on March 15, 1998. He qualified 22nd and finished 24th.
• Castroneves’ first Indy car win came on June 18, 2000 in the Tenneco Grand Prix of Detroit at Belle Isle Park while driving for Team Penske. It was his 46th career start and seventh start with the team.
• Castroneves’ first Indy car pole position came in the 1999 Miller Lite 225 at The Milwaukee Mile. It was his 26th career series start.
“Congratulations to Helio on making his 300th career start,” said team owner Roger Penske. “I could not think of a better place for him to celebrate this achievement than at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“Helio has really exemplified what it means to be a member of Team Penske – both on and off the racetrack – since joining our team in 2000. His record speaks for itself and he continues to be one of the most productive drivers competing in the series. I know he will be doing everything he can to join Rick Mears as a four-time Team Penske winner of the Indianapolis 500 in a couple of weeks.”