Not only is he on the poll for this year's Indy 500, Castroneves has won the "greatest spectacle in racing" twice before. He's also been a winner at Texas Motor Speedway and--just to show he has moves off the track--Dancing with the Stars, as well.
The Sao Paulo native earned the nickname "Spiderman" for his habit of climbing the fence separating fans from the race track after victories, something he's done 14 times in his IndyCar career.
He was in Dallas yesterday, taking a break from Indianapolis to cook with Stephan Pyles. Of course, he says he's not much help in the kitchen. And how could he be, if he thinks milk tastes like Champagne...
1. So what does the Indy 500's milk taste like?
Like Champagne. It is very good--the taste of victory.
2. Do they keep it cold?
Yeah. That's a great surprise--a good one. You're thirsty because of the race and you end up chugging this gallon of milk. It's a good thing I like milk.
3. Are on you a strict diet during race weekends?
I always try to keep a certain weight and eat right: white meat, salad--even though I'm not a big fan of salad, I'll eat it. I can't stay away from dessert, though. That's my favorite thing at restaurants.
4. Does the race team chef allow you much say?
Yes. He knows in the morning to give me cereal with two percent milk or plain yogurt and fruit. Lunch is always pasta because it digests quicker--maybe with some red sauce or a little butter. No hot sauce.
5. Indianapolis have good restaurants?
They do. They have Capital Grill, just like here, and some great sushi places.
6. But compared to Sao Paulo...?
Sao Paulo is one of the best places in the world. You can eat really well--flavors from all over the world. I would say the pizza in Sao Paulo is better than in Italy.
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7. Ever tempted to break the rules and eat what you want during race weekend?
Listen, if you exercise regularly, you can eat whatever you want. Just that moderation is important.
8. Do you like to cook?
I'm not very good, I have to say. I leave it to the professionals, those who know what they are doing. I'm better at the eating part.
9. Did you grow up on stories of Ayrton Senna?
Big time. He was a hero to all of Brazil. He was an inspiration for every driver of my generation.
10. How would you do if you raced him at Indy?
Oh, I think I would do pretty well. I don't think he ever raced ovals and I race ovals. I would do well. But mostly, it would have been such an honor to race against him.