Did Helio Castroneves Win Indy Because of TTAC?

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey
did helio castroneves win indy because of ttac

I’m not doing a detailed Indy 500 recap this year because the race, while certainly not boring, was a bit bereft of drama. Not totally bereft — Helio Castroneves’ win was thrilling, especially since he spent the final portion of the race in a shootout in order to take the checkered flag — but it was clean and quick, and not a soap opera on wheels. This is a good thing.

Sure, there were pit-road spins and Graham Rahal knows how it feels when the wheels fall off, but the race was mostly crash-free. Eventual winner Castroneves worked his way toward the front and got into a duel with Alex Palou for the win. The win put Castroneves into the four-time winner club. And we can’t help but think we had a small part in his victory.

We, by which I mean myself, profiled Castroneves and his work with Acura on IMSA DPI cars in 2019, exploring how testing cars in between races might help lead to victory on race day. Now, almost two years later, Castroneves is in a very exclusive club.

Coincidence? We think not.

OK, OK, fine. He didn’t win because of us. I just wanted to write a quick post on Indy and have a bit of fun with it, and toot our own horn a bit in the process. It’s my blog and I’ll be goofy if I want to.

Sunday’s race really was a fun one to watch, not least because it was over quickly and I could go about my holiday weekend sooner. Crashes may make for spectacle, and we all can enjoy them guilt-free when a driver walks away unharmed, but I don’t watch for the wrecks. A clean race is a joy to watch, even if it removes some of the drama that accompanies the attrition that would occur in an incident-marred event.

Yes, the drama in a clean race becomes about pit strategy, and that doesn’t translate well to TV, but it’s fun to talk about. Of course, one hopes for a shootout between the top contenders to spice things up, and that’s what happened over the final quarter of the race.

One of the most popular drivers making history was just icing on the cake.

So, no, Helio didn’t win because of us. But hey, if we can help any already hugely successful and popular driver win a big one two years after a relatively mundane media obligation and interview, we’re happy to do so.

[Image: Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock.com]

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  • Texasjack Texasjack on Jun 02, 2021

    Penske gets his dues. Typical dump job by roger in favor of the latest hot shot kid. Penske is on a downhill slide. Did you see his monotone intro with his saggy jowls at the start of the race? People are a disposable commodity to him.

  • GoFaster58 GoFaster58 on Jun 05, 2021

    What caused Rahal's wheel to come off?

  • ToolGuy CXXVIII comments?!?
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Art Vandelay Dodge should bring this back. They could sell it as the classic classic classic model
  • Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.
  • ToolGuy Is it a genuine Top Hand? Oh, I forgot, I don't care. 🙂