IRL: Championship Leader: Helio Castroneves

PERSONAL: Driver: Helio Castroneves Car: No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone Hometown: Sao Paulo, Brazil Residence: Miami Marital Status: Single 2003 SEASON: Points: 439 Place: First Races: 14 Wins: 2 (Gateway,...

PERSONAL:

Driver:
Helio Castroneves

Car:
No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone

Hometown:
Sao Paulo, Brazil

Residence:
Miami

Marital Status:
Single

2003 SEASON:

Points:
439

Place:
First

Races:
14

Wins:
2 (Gateway, Nazareth) (tied for second )

Top fives:
9 (first)

Top 10s:
10 (tied for third)

MBNA Poles:
2 (tied for third)

Laps Led:
385 (second)

Laps Completed:
2,551 out of 2,856 (eighth)

Running at the finish:
11 (tied for fourth)

Earnings:
$1,668,315 (second)

Races in points lead:
2

CAREER:

IndyCar Series championships:
0

IndyCar Series wins:
5

IndyCar Series laps led:
792

IndyCar Series starts:
31

IndyCar Series earnings:
$5,486,355

Indianapolis 500 victories:
2 (2001, 2002)

Other championships:
Brazilian national karting championship (1989)

NOTES:

* Has five IndyCar Series wins and six CART wins.

* Finished second in the 2002 IndyCar Series championship to Sam Hornish Jr., 531-511.

* Lost 2002 season finale at Texas to Hornish by just .0096 of a second, the second closest finish in IndyCar Series history.

QUOTE:

HELIO CASTRONEVES: "I love my position in the points entering the Fontana race. I would like to have had a bit more of a lead, but I still think we have a great shot at winning the title. Marlboro Team Penske has been working hard all year and the effort has definitely shown, because not only am I in the lead, but my teammate Gil (de Ferran) is right there as well. At the beginning of the season, I said that there would be four or five drivers in the points race, and that's exactly what we have right now. The championship is going to be close all the way until the final lap in Texas. However, unlike last year, when it was just me and Sam (Hornish Jr.), this year there will be five of us fighting it out. I'll tell you, the competition in the IRL (IndyCar Series) keeps getting tougher and tougher. Winning my first major championship would mean a lot to me, because it's not just one race, it's an entire season, and you have to manage countless variables over 16 races. To win a championship you have to be consistent and know when to be aggressive. The points race is not even close to being over, so we need to remain focused and execute over the last two events. Like I've heard it said in the movies, it's not over until the fat lady sings."

INDYCAR SERIES POINT STANDINGS:
1. Helio Castroneves 439
2. Scott Dixon 427
3. Tony Kanaan 425
4. Gil de Ferran 422
5. Sam Hornish Jr. 398

-irl-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Team Penske