Follow me on

Twitter Feed Facebook Feed RSS Feed Linked In Youtube

Helio Castroneves wins in court, heads to Long Beach


Helio Castroneves (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)


   By Mike Mulhern


   Helio Castroneves, the two-time Indy 500 winner and Dancing with the Stars celebrity, has been acquitted in federal court in Miami on six charges of tax evasion, and noted racing sports agent Alan Miller has been acquitted on four counts. The jury's decision came after nearly a week of deliberation.
   Roger Penske, Castroneves' Indy-car owner: "Penske Racing is very happy for Helio Castroneves and his family, following today's verdict. The team has supported Helio throughout this process and will continue to as the matter goes forward.  Penske Racing is pleased and excited to have Helio in the No. 3 Team Penske car at this weekend's Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach."

   Now that Joe and J. D. Gibbs have tossed out the word that they're thinking about cranking up a fourth Sprint Cup team, it's going to be a hot spring of speculation about who might be the man at the wheel.
   One man to keep an eye on: Juan Pablo Montoya.
   The Gibbs might be kicking themselves for not making a harder play for the Formula One star last year, after losing Tony Stewart.
   Montoya's international reputation makes him a prime property; he's now in the Chevrolet camp, and he's running much better than he did while with Dodge. However it's been a while since his 2007 Sonoma win.
   Aric Almirola should be on their list; the guy can drive, and he's motivated.
   Richard Petty just announced he was signing AJ Allmendinger to a 2010 deal….which could leave Elliott Sadler's future up for more debate. Sadler hasn't won on the tour since 2004, and in his 10 years he's won just three times.
   Martin Truex Jr. is in the last year of his contract and is looking for a new deal. Truex' name has come up in speculation about the Gibbs' fourth team.  But Truex, now in his fifth season, has only won one race, at Dover two years ago. If he moves, it could well be to Tony Stewart's team, if Stewart feels successful enough to expand.
   David Gilliland is another driver who could be on the Gibbs' list.

   A question to ponder, after walking through Scottsdale's trendy, upscale Fashion Square Mall -- which was all but empty the other day:
   Why aren't mall promoters and NASCAR promoters and local car dealers working on promotional tie-ins with this weekend's Phoenix 500?
   If all three are looking for more traffic, why no Phoenix race cars side-by-side with street-car versions, in the middle of the mall, with some local car salesmen there too?
   Gillian Zucker, who runs California's Auto Club Speedway, has been doing mall promotions in some 25 places around Los Angeles, offering race ticket discounts to anyone buying $100 worth of merchandise at the mall, for example.
  Hey, wait a minute -- that was indeed Carl Edwards over at the Scottsdale mall Thursday. Maybe he could have done some backflips and sold a few cars and tickets.....

   NASCAR execs may be keeping an eye on the rapidly fading U.S. newspaper industry….but they're not helping things with such late East Coast starting times for races – Friday night's 9:30 p.m. EDT Nationwide start, and Saturday's 8:30 p.m. EDT Cup start.
   Little wonder that here is but one East Coast paper covering Saturday's 500K, the Charlotte Observer.



Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.

© 2010-2011 www.mikemulhern.net All rights reserved.
Web site by www.webdesigncarolinas.com