IndyCar Driver Review: Helio Castroneves


With the IndyCar season in the books and a limited amount of news to come since the season finale at Fontana, my MotorSportsTalk colleague Chris Estrada and are taking a look back at the 2013 season just past. Chris and I each ranked our top 10 drivers and some of the biggest stories; now we take a look back at the field driver-by-driver.

Over to you, runner-up Helio Castroneves


Helio Castroneves

  • Team: Team Penske
  • 2012: 4th Place, 2 Wins, 1 Pole
  • 2013: 2nd Place, 1 Win, 2 Poles, 5 Podiums, 6 Top-5, 16 Top-10, 239 Laps Led, 9.2 Avg. Start, 7.5 Avg. Finish

DiZinno says: I get the sense that if Castroneves didn’t win the title this year, he won’t be able to. Everything was set up on a platter for him with myriad issues plaguing any and all of his rivals, and they didn’t strike him until Houston. That weekend will take the blame for the title loss but for as consistent as Castroneves was this year, which was admirable, there weren’t that many standout drives from the popular Brazilian. He scored only one top-five finish in the last 10 races after five in the first nine. In this field, you simply needed to not only gather points, but gather big points more than just a handful of times.

Estrada says: A recent INDYCAR release “caught up” with Castroneves, who said that he’s moved on from the 2013 season – going on to say that “last year was yesterday’s news.” For the three-time Indianapolis 500 champion, that’s probably for the best considering how his run to the championship fell apart in Houston. Maximizing what his car would give him on race day got him into the hunt and kept him there. But with Dixon’s second-half rampage, he simply needed more great days down the stretch instead of good ones. That didn’t happen, and as a result, Castroneves is still missing a series title.