Months after a victory in SRX competition put it in play, four-time Indianapolis 500 champion Helio Castroneves is still working on a potential deal to race in the 2023 Daytona 500. Castroneves’ Daytona 500 bid stems from his win in an SRX race at Five Flags Speedway in June, in which he bet SRX CEO Don Hawk that he’d have to find him a ride in the Daytona 500 if he won an SRX race.
While Castroneves’ racing resume includes a record-tying four Indy 500 wins and two victories in the 24 Hours of Daytona, the 47-year-old Brazilian had yet to compete in the Daytona 500 or make a single NASCAR start. Speaking to Motorsport.com, Castroneves said that he was still working on a potential opportunity for Daytona while expressing hope that any deal would get done shortly.
“Hopefully in the next two weeks we will hear something, but as of right now, I’ve called people that I hear are interested but nobody is getting back to me,” Castroneves told Charles Bradley of Motorsport.com. “So I guess I’ll wait for the right time for them to call! It’s a race I’d love to do for several reasons: I love racing and I’ve never had the chance to drive a Cup car.
“I know Daytona is a different beast and you need drafting partners to help you out. But I learn quick! The race is a lot of laps, so I’d have 200 laps to learn it all. Hopefully we can make something happen.”
According to Adam Stern of Sports Business Journal, teams that are in the running to put Castroneves in a Cup car include Trackhouse Racing, who would likely put Castroneves in the PROJECT91 car for international racing stars, as well as The Money Team Racing owned by Floyd Mayweather. Trackhouse’s PROJECT91 made one start in 2022 with former F1 champion Kimi Raikkonen behind the wheel, while The Money Team Racing made four starts primarily with Kaz Grala.
Should Castroneves find a Daytona 500 ride and successfully qualify, he would have a chance to become just the third driver in history to win both the Indianapolis 500 and Daytona 500. Mario Andretti and A.J. Foyt are the only two to have done so, with Andretti winning The Great American Race in 1967 and Foyt in 1972.