Helio Castroneves has won only twice in the last two years in the Verizon IndyCar Series.
He won two years ago at Texas Motor Speedway, where he scored his fourth win at the 1.5-mile oval, and he last won at Belle Isle Park last June.
If he wins in Texas this year though, Helio wants his own street name to go along with what some other legends of the state have achieved.
“If you look around the track at Texas Motor Speedway you notice there are streets that are named after several drivers. There isn’t one named after me, though,” Castroneves said going into the weekend.
“I told Eddie Gossage (track president) last year that I want to have my own street at Texas. I mean, I am the only four-time Verizon IndyCar Series winner at the track. He assured me that if I make it five wins there will be a ‘Helio Castroneves Boulevard.’ at Texas Motor Speedway.
“I love racing at Texas. It’s just super fast. You don’t get the sensation of speed anywhere like you do there. I’m confident we can get the AAA Chevrolet into Victory Lane and, hopefully, gain a lot of points this weekend.”
Castroneves already gained five points on Wednesday, courtesy of INDYCAR adjusting the post-race points penalty it had assessed to him following the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis.
As the event elevates its stature, the course gets tougher. The jumps get higher and the competition stouter. This year’s course took inspiration from a skatepark, honoring other adrenaline-laced pastimes and competitions.
“There’s a ton of inspiration from other action sports,” Bereman told Red Bull writer Eric Shirk as he geared up for the event.
Bereman was the leading force in the creation of this event and the winner of its inaugural running. In 2022, Bereman had to settle for second with Axell Hodges claiming victory on the largest freeride course created uniquely for the Red Bull Imagination.
Unlike other courses, Bereman gave designer Jason Baker the liberty to create obstacles and jumps as he went. And this was one of the components that helped the course imitate art.
Baker’s background in track design comes from Supercross. In that sport, he had to follow strict guidelines and build the course to a specific length and distance. From the building of the course through the final event, Bereman’s philosophy was to give every person involved, from creators to riders, fans and beyond, the chance to express themselves.
He wanted the sport to bridge the valley between racing and art.
Hodges scored a 98 on the course and edged Bereman by two points. Both riders used the vast variety of jumps to spend a maximum amount of time airborne. Hodges’s first run included nearly every available obstacle including a 180-foot jump before backflipping over the main road.
The riders were able to secure high point totals on their first runs. Then, the wind picked up ahead of Round 2. Christian Dresser and Guillem Navas were able to improve their scores on the second run by creating new lines on the course and displaying tricks that did not need the amount of hangtime as earlier runs. They were the only riders to improve from run one to run two.
With first and second secured with their early runs, Hodge and Bereman teamed up to use their time jointly to race parallel lines and create tandem hits. The two competitors met at the center of the course atop the Fasthouse feature and revved their engines in an embrace.
Julien Vanstippen rounded out the podium with a final score of 92; his run included a landing of a 130-foot super flip.