IRL: Castroneves returns to driving at Homestead test

Two-time Indy 500 winner & "Dancing With The Stars" champion joins IndyCar Series drivers participating in Firestone tire test at Homestead on Dec. 6 INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2007 -- IndyCar Series driver Helio Castroneves will return...

Two-time Indy 500 winner & "Dancing With The Stars" champion joins IndyCar Series drivers participating in Firestone tire test at Homestead on Dec. 6

INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2007 -- IndyCar Series driver Helio Castroneves will return to the cockpit of his No. 3 Team Penske Dallara/Honda/Firestone for the first time since winning "Dancing With The Stars" when IndyCar Series competitors test at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Dec. 6.

Castroneves, who mamboed, waltzed and jived his way to victory with professional dance partner Julianne Hough on the fifth season of the popular primetime show, will participate in a Firestone manufacturers test. Fans can watch the testing from the 1.5-mile oval's general-admission grandstand seating from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

"It's been a couple of months since I've been in a race car, so I'm definitely looking forward to getting back on the track," the two-time Indianapolis 500 winner said. "I had a lot of fun with 'Dancing with the Stars,' but now it's time for me to turn my attention back to racing, which is what I do best. Now that I've won the dancing title, I have my sights set on next year's IndyCar Series championship."

Castroneves will be joined by Team Penske teammate Ryan Briscoe, Vision Racing's Ed Carpenter, Andretti Green Racing's Tony Kanaan and Hideki Mutoh and three-time defending SpeedJam Indy 300 winner Dan Wheldon of Target Chip Ganassi Racing.

"I'm also looking forward to the test, as it will be the first time that Ryan (Briscoe) and I will be able to work together on the IndyCar Series program," Castroneves said. "He's a fantastic driver, so hopefully we'll both be able to teach each other a few things to ensure that Team Penske is consistently among the leaders in 2008."

The SpeedJam Indy 300, the 2008 IndyCar Series season opener, is scheduled for March 29 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

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The 2008 IndyCar Series season begins under the lights with the SpeedJam Indy 300 on March 29 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The 16-race schedule, one of the most diverse in all of motorsports, features races on 11 ovals, three permanent road courses and two temporary street circuits, all broadcast worldwide through a comprehensive, long-term agreement with ABC Sports/ ESPN. The 2008 Indy Pro Series season also begins on March 29 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The 16-race schedule, which features eight ovals and four road/street course doubleheader weekends, will be televised by ESPN2.

-credit: irl

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