As the NTT INDYCAR SERIES enters the Month of May, we start our annual looks at special anniversary races, and the 2001 Indianapolis 500 is definitely worth celebrating.
Nobody at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and in the history of the Indianapolis 500 had ever seen it.
A young driver, in his first Indy 500, just won the biggest race of his career, and he didn't directly go to Victory Circle to celebrate with his team. Rather, he wanted to celebrate his way, with the fans, on the front stretch ... 15 feet above the famed Yard Of Bricks ... and the crowd of over 250,000 fans roared with approval.
In his second season with Team Penske, Indy 500 Helio Castroneves beat fellow teammate and countryman Gil de Ferran across the line to give Roger Penske his 11th career victory as team owner. The race was the first oval victory for Castroneves, whose four previous victories - all in CART - came on road & street courses.
It was truly the beginning of a beautiful friendship between Castroneves, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the fans ... one that will continue this year in the 105th Indianapolis 500 on May 30, 2021. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the 2001 Indianapolis 500 with us, as we watch the legend of Helio Castroneves defy the odds of a rookie winning the Indy 500 and start new traditions at the old Brickyard.