Sports Speaker Helio Castroneves, the highly charismatic and personable Brazilian native, is one of the most accomplished race car drivers in the United States. Driving with Team Penske for fifteen seasons, Helio has already attained much in his career—he is a three-peat winner of the Indianapolis 500, and the only active driver to win two consecutive Indy 500s. He also finished second in the Verizon Indycar Series in 2013. Several records are already in his possession; Helio ninety-three top ten finishes earned him IRL IndyCar Series record, as well as the most consecutive seasons with a race win with a total of ten. He is also the Brazilian driver with the most IndyCar wins.
Off of the track, Helio is a Dancing with the Stars champion and an author of his own book. Helio competed on the dancing show in its fifth season, taking home the victory with partner Julianne Hough. His success the first time around resulted in an invitation to perform again on the show in its fifteenth season, this time partnered with Chellsie Hightower, as well as to guest judge in the eleventh season. His 2010 book “Victory Road – the Ride of My Life” details his challenging journey from driving go-karts in Brazil to becoming the skillful driver he is today, along with the obstacles and moments of happiness he faced on the track and off of it. Helio works with several charities, including HCA Hospitals, the Dan Marino Foundation, The Consequences Charity and Foundation, Children International, Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, the IRL Ministry, and the Buoniconti Fund. In his native country, Helio helped transform one of his donated cars into the Mobile Play Room for the local children of Ribeirão Preto.
Known to fans for his enthusiastic grin and for climbing the track fence with the checkered flag after a win, Helio’s outgoing personality sets him apart from the rest of the pack. He has been featured on the pages of notable publications such as People, TV Guide, Newsweek, Maxim, and Esquire, and appeared in numerous ads for Shell and Pennzoil. He also holds claim to being only the second race car driver put on ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption (PIT) set backdrop, in addition to Danica Patrick. Look out for Helio as he attempts to win his fourth Indy 500 and make strides in the world of racing.