INDIANAPOLIS — Helio Castroneves is booked with interviews and banquets for the foreseeable future after winning his record-tying fourth Indianapolis 500 Sunday, but when someone asked him if he had time to visit an old home on the north side of downtown Indianapolis, there was no hesitation.
“I said I would, and I will,” Castroneves said.
Castroneves paid a visit to Jameson and Kimmy Terzini during Saturday’s 500 Spectacle of Homes — a reverse parade from Indianapolis Motor Speedway to Monument Circle before select drivers stopped by the homes of assigned season ticket holders.
Kimmy and Jameson Terzini pose with four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves and the autographed team shirts he gave them. (Photo: Stefan Krajisnik)
When he saw they decorated their house with a life size replica of him climbing the fence after his 2009 Indy 500 win, he promised them he’d return if he picked up his fourth win in Sunday’s race.
Monday, Castroneves showed up again in an Indy 500 convertible driven by IMS president Doug Boles.
“He’s a man of his word,” Jameson said. “He doesn’t owe us anything. … To follow up and come through — I don’t know — it’s just amazing.”
The Terzinis found out earlier Monday that he’d be returning, though they didn’t doubt it in the first place. Jameson says Castroneves is the most personable and genuine person in the world, especially after having time to get to know him.
Jameson and Kimmy were in the stands Sunday along with many friends that were at their house for Castroneves’ visits. As Castroneves grabbed the lead on Lap 125, their interest started to build.
As he and Alex Palou began exchanging leads in the last quarter of the race, the Terzinis’ nervousness grew. The race continued with Palou leading with three laps to go, and Jameson noticed the traffic ahead from the bottom of the field.
Castroneves did too.
Castroneves went outside just as he and Palou crossed the Yard of Bricks, and with two laps to go, the Brazilian veteran took the lead for what turned out to be the final time.
That traffic did come, but it came with Castroneves closing out his fourth Indy 500 win.
“You pulled off one of the most epic victories of the Indy 500 history,” Jameson was telling Castroneves on his front porch.
“I was in such control,” Castroneves responded. “The car was so good. I was so confident. It was picture perfect.”
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The scene after Castroneves took the checkered flag was unlike any in Indy 500 history — a combination of a beloved driver’s historic win and coming after a year where fans were forced to watch from home.
Fans climbed the fence to mimic Castroneves’ trademark celebration as he took more than 20 minutes to complete his victory lap. The 135,000 fans in attendance will say they were lucky to see it.
Jameson and Kimmy can raise them one.
“We just had a four-time winner at our house,” Jameson says. “I don’t think a lot of people can say that. We’re very fortunate and very humbled. This whole thing is…”
Jameson pauses to try to grasp what just happened.
“Wow. It went from a normal weekend to a very awesome, incredible, unforgettable weekend very quickly.”
Castroneves presented them both with a signed team shirt.
The Terzinis kept their decorations up, but they had to make some updates. Written in chalk on the steps to their front door were the years Castroneves won the Indy 500 (2001, 2002 and 2009) along with “3x 500 CHAMP.”
The top step now includes 2021. That pink 3 was changed to a purple 4 outlined in yellow. It puts Castroneves with legends A.J. Foyt, Rick Mears and Al Unser as the only four-time winners.
And the Terzinis aren’t done yet. They hope Castroneves returns after a fifth victory — something no driver has ever done.
Until then, this celebration lives on.
“I’m riding a high right now that I hope never ends,” Jameson said.