HomeNews and EventsVintage victory: Castroneves wins historic fourth Indy 500

Vintage victory: Castroneves wins historic fourth Indy 500

At age 46, he joins not only Foyt, Unser and Mears, but Brady and Mickelson as veteran champs


So far, 2021 has been a good year for what might be termed vintage athletes. Tom Brady, age 43, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the Super Bowl; Phil Mickelson, 50, won the PGA golf championship, and during the Memorial Day weekend, 46-year-old Helio Castroneves won the Indianapolis 500

While he wasn’t the oldest driver to win the world’s most famous auto race, Castroneves’ victory was his fourth in the 500 and no one has won the race more often, as he joins A.J. Foyt, Al Unser Sr. and Rick Mears as the only four-time winners in the history of a race that stretches back to 1911.

“I don’t know if it’s a good comparison, but Tom Brady won a Super Bowl, Phil (Mickelson) won the PGA, and now here you go,” said Castroneves, a native of Brazil who previously won the 500 in 2001, 2002 and 2009. “The old guys still got it.”

Making the Castroneves victory even more impressive was the fact that this was the fastest 500 in history, the winner averaging more than 190 mph, and he wasn’t driving for Roger Penske, as he did in his previous victories, but for the Meyer Shank Racing. The victory not only was the team’s first at Indy, but its first in the IndyCar Series.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


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