BRASILIA, Brazil (July 20, 2009) - It was a triumphant homecoming for Team Penske driver Helio Castroneves this week as he returned to his native country for the first time since winning the Indianapolis 500 this past May.
Castroneves, the three-time Indy 500 winner and IndyCar Series star was in Brasilia Monday to meet with the President of Brazil, Luiz Inacio "Lula" da Silva. The President met with Castroneves in recognition of his victory at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May.
Castroneves presented President da Silva with one of his historic autographed racing helmets.
"It was an amazing experience to meet the President of my native country and I am truly honored to have been granted the audience," said Castroneves. "After everything I've been able to accomplish this year, it was fantastic to get the opportunity to shake President da Silva's hand. Now, the next order of business is to get my pit crew to the White House to meet their President. The guys on the team would really like to meet President Obama, and after all they've done for me, I would love to be able to give them the opportunity to meet him."