Typically as any division reaches their halfway point, the title contenders begin to become more clear to the fans. Looking at the 2014 Verizon IndyCar season so far with eight races into the books, one of the drivers that shows a lot of promise is Helio Castroneves.
Currently sitting second in points, Castroneves has a win and four podiums with only two finishes outside of the top-10 in the first eight races this season. Team Penske has shown quickly that they are one of the teams this year that has speed, joining the likes of Ed Carpenter Racing, Andretti Autosport and a few others. If the speed stays together along with the lack of bad luck, this could be the year that the multi-Indianapolis 500 winner gets his first title.
Though perhaps the biggest feat so far this year that shows the potential in Castroneves is his ability to fight back from adversity. After coming up just shy of the winning the Indianapolis 500, the disappointment was evident in Castroneves’ behavior. Rather than let that bother him moving forward, Castroneves has put together a fifth, a win and an eighth in the races that followed.
Those around Castroneves feel that he has the ability to do it based on his attitude. Rick Mears, who spotted for Castroneves at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last month, says that Castroneves is a very focused and determined driver.
“A lot of people look at him and they see his easy-going, happy personality. And that is who he is, but underneath that is a driver that will do whatever it takes to win,” Mears commented. “You have to have that attitude to win the number of races he’s won.”
This isn’t anything new for Castroneves, though, as he has been a fixture in the championship picture over the course of his career, but has yet to accomplish the necessary outcome. Three different times, he has finished in the runner-up position, missing the title by mere points.
Over the course of the second half of the season, the key will be for Castroneves to stick to his guns, posting solid finishes and overcoming adversity in the best ways possible while not wrapping himself up with controversies.