Castroneves racing Sunday

April 17, 2009
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helioHelio Castroneves will be on the track this weekend in Long Beach, Calif. Penske officials had a contingency plan in place to put him on the track—even as far back as two weeks ago at St. Petersburg.

Penske Racing officials said Castroneves will be flying to California later today and would be behind the wheel of an Indy Racing League car tomorrow. As soon as the verdict was read, Penske Racing owner Roger Penske dispatched one of his planes from Detroit to pick up Castroneves in Florida where the case was held.

“We said, we’re ready for you, and he said, ‘I’m coming,’” said Tim Cindric, Penske Racing president.

Castroneves will drive the No. 3 car for Penske, and will be the third entry for Penske at Long Beach and at Indianapolis in May. Penske officials remained non-committal about running a third car for the full season, but one thing was clear. Castroneves would have a ride for the remainder of the season. Will Power could be the odd man out at Penske.

“[Castroneves] is a true star in every sense of the word, and his infectious personality, popularity and success on the track is welcome back,” said Brian Barnhardt, Indy Racing League chief operating officer.

It will be interesting to see how the IRL’s new TV partner, Versus, treats the issue at Sunday’s race. It will also be interesting to see if any of the team’s or series’ corporate partners will have any hesitancy in being associated with Castroneves, who was up on charges of evading paying taxes on $5.5 million.

Penske officials said they feel they’ll have few problems refocusing Castroneves from the case to racing.

“If I hadn’t known him as well as I do, I might question if this is the right move … but his focus and concentration is among the best,” Cindric said.

Castroneves will likely hold a press conference some time over the weekend at Long Beach, Cindric said.
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  • Kudos for Helio but my advice to him is to get your financial act together and don't be so trusting of legal advisers.
  • It will be interesting to see which sponsors want to partner or distance themselves from a guy whose name will be mentioned in the same sentence as tax evasion quite a bit through May and probably this year. I can't imagine companies like Hot Wheels with its pitches to kids or Izod would want to have much to do with him. But we'll see. That new vodka company might be a good match.
  • Will be interesting to see if anyone cares enough to find ReVersus this weekend. Seriously, this is absolute maximum exposure the 'league' could have got for this deal. I doubt it will help though, since nothing has ever un-sucked the earl, and this won't likely change that. :lol: We'll see. Looking forward to the ratings, couldn't care less what happens at the event.
  • Helio is lucky people in this country dislike the IRS more than tax cheats. He's also pretty lucky that at least some of the jurrors on the case clearly didn't understand the facts of the case and the letter of the law.
  • Dave 3

    So, since you know so much of what wasn't released, you must be the judge, jury, and.........hangman???
  • Will he finally come out of the closet now?
  • I can’t imagine companies like Hot Wheels with its pitches to kids or Izod would want to have much to do with him.

    Are you kidding? What do kids care about taxes?

    You are most likely correct about Izod not wanting much to do with him. Hugo Boss has been a Penske sponsor for years.

    I think that this will be such a non-issue by the end of May, the only time that this will ever come up is from blog trolls.

    Or, it could come up if Helio is again in a fight for the championship by the last race. We will be reminded that he missed the first race.

    Helio was on a roll at the end of last season. Sunday will certainly be interesting.
  • Da Hooey:

    How's he going to come out of the closet? There's no room in there. You're taking up all the space!!! Gotch.....
  • Wow, forget about innocent until proven guilty, have any of the TG/IRL Haters ever heard of innocent after being acquitted?

    Why would anyone care about the case since he was acquitted on all charges? My guess is most people will have sympathy for a man who was persecuted by a government out of control and an IRS run by a tax cheat. '

    So what happened to the stat that 97% of IRS cases are convictions? Made up by a TG/IRL Hater or creative accounting on the part of the IRS?
  • The truth shall set you free.
  • Maybe he will if you ask him out for a beer DaHooey.
  • Haha. :lol:
  • (1) I do not care about the tax charges, since he was found NOT GUILTY.
    (2) I have no trouble finding VERSUS on my TV. But then again, I'm not a NECKCAR fan who can't spell words that have more than five letters. I will be watching NHL hockey playoffs throughout the week, and INDYCAR racing on the weekends on VERSUS.
    (3) I thought yesterday's telecast was a pretty good one.
    (4) I always liked Long Beach, back in the CART days. Glad to see it's a home to the surviving US Open Wheel racing series.
    (5) Remembering last year when Danica won a race on pit stop strategy and so many people were on her case because she didn't really win. Haven't seen comments like that about Dario yesterday anywhere online.
    (6) Penske has to find a place for Will Power on his team for the full season. I know a 3 car team in 2009 is hard to pull off, but Roger can do it if anyone can.
    (7) Where have you gone Dan Wheldon?
    (8) Paul Tracy back at the Brickyard! Yee-haw!
    (9) Will Michael get behind the wheel any time soon? I can't believe that his racing days are really over.
    (10) Any chance the Indy Cars ever race at Road America?
  • So what happened to the stat that 97% of IRS cases are convictions? Made up by a TG/IRL Hater or creative accounting on the part of the IRS?

    Prosecutors obtain convictions in over 90 percent of tax evasion cases, with some estimates claiming a prosecutorial success rate as high as 97 percent.

    Link: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/michael_mccann/03/10/Helio/?eref=sircrc

    I guess CNN/SI must be TG haters. One stat you can believe in is that you are 100% the biggest ....... on this forum.
  • Sounds like it was the latter. That the IRS pads their record. There is no way, unless they frame people or only take the absolute wins that they can have that high of a success rate. By the way, CNN/SI is just reporting what they are told, they are not claiming it is true. I guess similar to SI claiming that it was definite that Irsay was moving the Colts to California and the Star picked it up as fact.
  • I never doubted those prosecution percentages. You almost never hear of innocence in federal tax cases. I figured Helio was toast when this first came out.

    That said, from the article you have posted, it doesn't look like the government had a rock solid case to begin with...lots of speculation on their part.

    I'm glad Helio is back in the 3% car. Race on!
  • 3% car, good one.
  • Who wouln't want to set up a tax shelter OUT side IRS jurisdiction. ?? The true story of the US Economy is here! EVERYONE and Every Business wants to set up out side the US.
    Great philosophy question! Is it a crime to out source? Or is it a crime to persecute successful business here? ????????????????????????????

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