The two hardest predictions in Indianapolis are the weather and who will be the next winner of the Indianapolis 500. On Wednesday, the weather was as unpredictable as ever at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but the smile on Castroneves' face was not. For the first time, Castroneves will be on full display for all of 16th Street on the west side of Indianapolis to see, with a giant 90 foot banner above Gate 2. Although the four time champion did receive a banner in 2001 for his first win, it certainly wasn’t as massive as the one unveiled on a windy Wednesday afternoon. Covered in milk, Castroneves liked what he saw.
“It looks like a big celebration, I love it!” “(It’s been) a very special moment over the last year, to be a part of history, now it’s 2022, we are really looking forward to continuing the history and continue to fight for that fifth win.”
When asked about the pressure of a 5th Indy 500 win, the defending champion answered as we knew he would. “Pressure, that is what brings the best out of me. We understand what we need to do to improve, but a lot of people look at us with different eyes, and I love that. Now, we just got to go out and repeat it and go for it.”
As he secured the final clip for the banner, I thought to myself, yes it’s windy out here, but what a missed opportunity for Castroneves. With the nickname “Spiderman” for climbing the track fencing after all of his NTT IndyCar wins, including the four Indy 500’s, they should have let Castroneves propel from the top of the grandstands between turns 1 and 2 and hang down above the banner that shows Castroneves pouring the celebratory milk all over himself. I am not sure the bosses at Meyer Shank Racing would go for that, but it’s certainly entertaining. Maybe next time send him up with a giant sharpie to autograph the banner.
“Look, what we did last year was amazing, everyone put the project together last minute. It’s a long process and at the end of the day, this will be a special one.” The four time champ on continuing the momentum into the month of May, “We know what we have, we will continue working and once you have that foundation pretty strong, the rest of it will be plenty easy.”
Castroneves will make his 22nd start in the Indy 500 in less than 60 days and his second for Meyer Shank Racing. His 22nd start will tie him with George Snider for the 6th most starts in race history. Castroneves will be joined by new teammate Simon Pagenaud who won the Indy 500 in 2019 and finished third a year ago. Many more celebrations for the fourth four time winner are planned over the next two months.
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