Castroneves moves to other side of dance floor

March 10, 2008

What's the hot career move for select champion athletes? TV analyst, of course, and Helio Castroneves is following that path.

The reigning "Dancing with the Stars" champion will be an "Entertainment Tonight" contributor when the sixth season of the celebrity competition premieres March 17 (8 p.m. ET, ABC). He'll be in the audience scrutinizing the contestants and having fun as usual.

"It will be fun again to see friends and see the stars getting nervous like I was," said Castroneves, who teamed with professional dance partner Julianne Hough to win the mirror ball trophy in November.

Castroneves recently relayed some advice to Miami Dolphins 6-6, 255-pound defensive end Jason Taylor, who is paired with the sultry Edyta Sliwinska.

1/64 Scale 2007 Indianapolis 500 Dario Franchitti Winner Car By Greenlight.

"You think your training camp is hard …," Castroneves joked. "I told him, 'Have fun and don't be too competitive because you're already competitive in your job, and just relax."

So who is the champ's choice to dance off with the mirror ball trophy?

"Right now, the early favorite is Kristi Yamaguchi," said Castroneves, referring to the 1992 Olympic Games figure skating gold medalist. "She has the experience ice skating so that might give her an early advantage. But remember, it's not only about dancing. It's the whole package."

Castroneves has hung up his dancing shoes, but the two-time Indianapolis 500 champion is preparing for a run at his first IndyCar Series title. The drama of that series debuts March 29 (8 p.m. ET, ESPN2) at Homestead-Miami Speedway with the GAINSCO Auto Insurance Indy 300.