Up to Speed: On Flying an IndyCar

In practice last year, Helio Castroneves got an unexpected—and terrifying—lesson in aerodynamics.
“When I lost control, the car spun out and went backward for a split second. All of a sudden, I felt the rear coming up, and I thought, What’s going on?

“Then I saw the sky.

“It was like, I don’t know, when you do a flip into a swimming pool. I closed my eyes, because I didn’t want to see what was coming.

“When I opened them, I heard the voice of Roger [Penske] saying, ‘Are you okay?’ I was like, ‘Wow, I actually am okay. What happened?’

“I wasn’t even sore the next day. Hey, it looked more impressive than it was. Like, three hours later, we were back in the car again. That just proves the safety of the track and the car—and most important, the safety crew, how quickly they responded.

“If it had been in years past, I don’t think I would’ve had the same luck.”


This article is part of IM’s special May 2016 coverage of the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500.