Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Penske Racing tabs Will Power as contingency plan for Helio Castroneves

Will Power will assume Helio Castroneves' IndyCar seat at Penske Racing until the two-time Indianapolis 500 and Grand Prix of St. Petersburg winner is tried on seven counts of federal tax evasion beginning March 2. Castroneves plans to take the seat back soon after.

Sounding confident and bolstered by his team's public show of support at Tuesday's news conference announcing the contingency plan, the 33-year-old Castroneves — who faces up to 35 years in prison — predicted an acquittal and the possibility of beginning the season April 5 in the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

"(Penske) knows what's going on, (that) it's not true," the popular Dancing with the Stars winner said in a phone interview with the Times. "We all believe it and I believe it. I know I didn't do anything."

A trial is expected to last at least three weeks. Power, who won the final Champ Car race last season at Long Beach, will team with fellow Australian Ryan Briscoe until Castroneves is free to concentrate on racing, team president Tim Cindric said.

Castroneves is accused of not reporting more than $5-million in revenue, but called the situation a misunderstanding stemming from contract language.

"I'm reading stuff with that type of language, I have no idea what it is. Even if it was in Portuguese, it would still be confusing to me," said Castroneves, a Brazilian who finished second in the series in 2008.

Cindric said Penske felt bound by a nine-year relationship with Castroneves not to cut ties before his trial, whatever the defense.

"There is definitely a risk in doing that (but) you have to look at everything. You can't focus on one bad situation," Cindric said. "You can point out a hundred good things that have happened over the years. You just try to look at it and say it's a tragedy he's in that situation, but at the same time it would be a bigger tragedy if he was ready to go in St. Pete and we weren't there for him."

Penske Racing tabs Will Power as contingency plan for Helio Castroneves 01/13/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 13, 2009 11:23pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs journal: Offense needs to get off to a faster start


    TAMPA — The past two games have seen the Bucs offense muster furious rallies in the fourth quarter of losses, with 229 yards against the Patriots and a franchise-record 27 points against the Cardinals.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field before an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017.
  2. NFL players, owners hold 'constructive' talks on issues


    NEW YORK — NFL players and owners met Tuesday to discuss social issues, a session Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross called "constructive" and Colts defensive back Darius Butler termed "positive."

    A coalition of advocacy groups 'take a knee' outside of a hotel where members the quarterly NFL league meetings are being held on Tuesday in New York City.  Owners, players and commissioner Roger Goodell are all expected to attend. The activists spoke of having solidarity with athletes and coaches around the country who have also kneeled in protest of racial injustice, especially in policing.
 [Getty Images]
  3. Lightning's Steve Yzerman: Nikita Kucherov 'wants to be great'


    If anyone knows what it is like to be as hot as Nikita Kucherov is right now, it's Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman.

    Nikita Kucherov joined Steve Yzerman, Mario Lemieux and Keith Tkachuk as the only players in the last 30 years to score a goal in each of his team's first six games.
  4. Fennelly: Longtime Bucs fans, we want to hear from you


    Calling all Bucs fans! Calling all Bucs fans!

    Jameis Winston is pressured by Chandler Jones during the Bucs' loss to the Cardinals Sunday in Glendale, Ariz.
  5. A punter is the state's only first-team, midseason All-American


    Here's another indictment of how mediocre the state's college football season has become.