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Q+A Helio Castroneves The 28-year-old Brazilian driver, nicknamed Spider-Man for his fence-climbing victory celebrations, is the two-time defending Indy 500 champ.

May 26, 2003
May 26, 2003

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May 26, 2003

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Q+A Helio Castroneves The 28-year-old Brazilian driver, nicknamed Spider-Man for his fence-climbing victory celebrations, is the two-time defending Indy 500 champ.

SI: You started crawling up the chain-link fence three years ago
in Detroit after winning your first CART race. What prompted
that?

This is an article from the May 26, 2003 issue Original Layout

Castroneves: When I crossed the checkered flag for the first
time, I was so happy and I wasn't thinking straight. Not that I
think all the time straight, anyway. When I climbed the fence, it
was a pure expression of emotion and happiness.

SI: Have you seen Spider-Man?

Castroneves: Yes, of course. I loved it. I have a poster from the
director in my office with a note: "Thanks for letting us borrow
the Spidey name."

SI: You've raced two times at Indianapolis and you've won both
times. What's your secret?

Castroneves: Maybe I am smarter than the other guys, huh? It's
just been a matter of being at the right time in the right place.

SI: Why does Brazil produce so many supermodels?

Castroneves: It must be the water. The women have fantastic good
looks. They have everything in place. Right butt. Right breast.
Right everything.

SI: Do you have any interest in trying out another circuit, be it
Formula One or NASCAR?

Castroneves: I'm doing IROC, which is fun. If I have an
opportunity for Formula One, why not?

SI: You live in an eighth-floor condo overlooking a pool in
Miami. How's the view?

Castroneves: You have some girls going topless, so I consider it
a fantastic view.

SI: You split time between Sao Paulo and Miami. Could you ever
live in a cold-weather city like Buffalo?

Castroneves: I used to live in Columbus [Ohio] in 1996. The
reason I live in Miami is because I lived in Columbus in 1996.

SI: Are you a good driver in street traffic?

Castroneves: Only when I'm not late. But most of the time I am
late, and that's bad because then I'm trying to go as fast as I
can.

SI: So what's the fastest you've cranked it up while driving with
the rest of us?

Castroneves: Well, let's put it this way: I've gone well past the
three digits. --R.D.

COLOR PHOTO: PETER JONES/REUTERS "Maybe I'm smarter"

For more from Helio Castroneves, go to si.com/scorecard.