Castroneves is still pursuing a NASCAR Cup shot in the Daytona 500

Helio Castroneves Daytona 500

Helio Castroneves, a four-time winner of the Indianapolis 500, said he hasn’t given up hope of competing in the Daytona 500, but he’s currently waiting to see if he’ll have the opportunity.

Helio Castroneves Daytona 500

Don Hawk, the CEO of the SRX Series, promised to give Castroneves, 47, a spot in the Daytona 500 if he managed to win one of the six championships he competed in this summer on short ovals.

Despite not having been initially planned to compete, the Brazilian quickly won the following race at Pensacola.

Subsequently, Hawk emphasized that the “intention originally was he really wanted to run the Daytona 500 and if not, a ‘crown jewel’ [race]. So, we’re really going to try to make the Daytona 500 work.”

Castroneves is still unsure whether he will get his desired chance to compete in “The Great American Race” 76 days before the Daytona 500.

“I’m working on it,” he told “I know lately there has been rumors, even my team owner Mike [Shank] has been asking me what’s going on? Don Hawk, we had a bet, and I’m sure he’s probably stirring the pot to try and make it happen.

“Hopefully in the next two weeks we will hear something, but as of right now, I’ve called people that I hear are interested but nobody is getting back to me. So I guess I’ll wait for the right time for them to call!

“It’s a race I’d love to do for several reasons: I love racing and I’ve never had the chance to drive a Cup car. I know Daytona is a different beast [from SRX] and you need drafting partners to help you out. But I learn quick! The race is a lot of laps, so I’d have 200 laps to learn it all. Hopefully we can make something happen.

“I’ve done SRX, I’ve done IROC, and I understand it’s a different beast, and I appreciate the competitors in NASCAR have a lot of experience, but at the end of the day a race car is a race car and a race track is a race track. We’ve just got to put ourselves there and make it happen.

“Mario [Andretti] has won it, AJ [Foyt] too – why not another Indy 500 champion to get a chance?”

When questioned if he would be willing to compete for Trackhouse’s Project 91, which aims to introduce foreign racers to the sport’s top division, Castroneves responded that he would like to follow Kimi Raikkonen, who drove its car at Watkins Glen the year before.

“They have a good car, a fast car,” said Castroneves of Trackhouse. “I know we’d have a lot of things we’d have to achieve, like having to qualify on time or race your way in if you’re not a regular, but we’ve got to do it the right way – that’s why we’re trying to look for a good team.”

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Grand Prix, IndyCar, Nascar, NASCAR Cup Series, Xfinity, Helio Castroneves, Daytona 500, Indianapolis 500, SRX Series

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