Brazilian auto racer Hélio Castroneves became the fourth driver to ever win the Indianapolis 500 a record-tying fourth time at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday (May 30). He also set the record for fastest Indy 500 race ever.
Along with his win this year, Castroneves, who was born in São Paulo, Brazil, won the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” in 2001, 2002 and 2009. He became the only non-American to win the race four times and, at the age of 46, is the fourth-oldest winner in race history.
ESPN reports that the day before the big race, the three men who won the Indy 500 four times before Castroneves (A.J. Foyt, Al Unser Sr. and Rick Mears) were posing for a photo after a race meeting when someone yelled out, “No one will ever win four again!”
Mears replied, “Don’t forget. Someone has a chance to do it tomorrow.”
That someone turned out to be Castroneves, who was driving the No. 06 AutoNation/Sirius XM Honda for Meyer Shank Racing.
“It’s not the end; it’s the beginning,” Castroneves said. “I don’t know if it’s a good comparison, but Tom Brady won a Super Bowl, Phil [Mickelson] won the PGA, and now here you go. The old guys still got it, kicking the young guys’ butts. We’re teaching them a lesson.”
Castroneves added: “What a great team effort. Everyone was in sync. We didn’t make any mistakes. No. 4 – what a moment. I’m just so honored to be a part of this amazing group with A.J. Foyt, Al Unser Sr. and Rick Mears. This is absolutely a dream come true.”