Castroneves rules out Daytona 500 bid

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Castroneves rules out Daytona 500 bid


Castroneves rules out Daytona 500 bid


Helio Castroneves is busy racing at Daytona International Speedway this weekend in the Rolex 24, but he won’t be doing the double. The Brazilian has ruled out competing in the Daytona 500 this year as a deal to put him in a stock car is not coming together.

Castroneves, a four-time Indianapolis 500 winner, was looking to make his first NASCAR start next month. He publicly stated his plans to be at Daytona over the summer, revealing that he and SRX CEO Don Hawk had an agreement that if Castroneves won an SRX race, which he did, Hawk would help get Castroneves a ride. But ahead of the Rolex 24, Castroneves seemed to close the door on being a part of this season’s race.

“Unfortunately, for me, lack of experience, (there is) no testing,” Castroneves said when asked for an update. “A lot of things. I believe you would be a little bit tough throwing myself in such a short notice and to go in a place that you’ve got to race yourself into it. So as of right now, yes, it’s not going to happen.

“But we did have an opportunity. We’ve just got to elaborate a little bit more to give me a little more experience on that. So there is more things to come ahead of us. But as of right now, I want to focus on the IndyCar program as well. And this (Rolex 24) race.”

Castroneves may not be in a car but said he might still attend the Feb. 19 race.

“I might just come and see and watch it and continue to take a look and see what’s going to be the future,” he said.

The Money Team Racing was the latest organization linked to trying to field Castroneves at Daytona. But without a charter, Castroneves would have had to qualify his way into the race either on his qualifying speed or through one of the Bluegreen Vacations Duel races.

There is no preseason testing for Daytona, and Castroneves wouldn’t even have had a practice session to ready himself to make his attempt at earning a spot in the race. Once Cup Series teams arrive at Daytona next month, the first on-track activity is single-car qualifying Wednesday night (Feb. 15), followed by the two Duel races on Thursday (Feb. 16).