Everyone remembers their first time at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. There’s just something different there, something that gets into your soul and under your skin. You can almost hear a faint whine of engines, smell the ethanol in the air, and just feel the excitement and energy that resides there even when it lies dormant…It makes you feel alive!
Shelby (@ShelbyB03 on Twitter) is undeniably one of Helio Castroneves’ biggest fans, even starting her own Helio fan page on Facebook. This is her story of when and how she became an Indy Car, and Helio fan, enjoy.
“I was 16 years old when my dad took my mom and I to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for a day of practice in May, 2009. Just seeing the place from a distance gave me chills and goose bumps, or should I say race bumps? the sights, sounds and smells of the place made me feel like I was in a whole other universe-which I was; I was at the “Racing Capitol of the World. I knew that since I started to gain a spark in liking the sport, it was time to choose who I thought would be my favorite driver. I asked my dad about the man who drove the #3 car; they told me all about how he won back-to-back wins, climbs the fence with his victories, this driver was Helio Castroneves. I was inspired by how good he was to this fans, I loved his race number; in that moment I knew that he might just be the one, my new favorite driver in my new favorite sport.”
Fast forward to May of 2012: “This was my first time to ever have a bronze badge garage pass. Walking into the garages gave me the behind the scenes look of how the sport ran. I couldn’t believe how much it really took with the mechanics feverishly working to make a perfect car set up, I saw drivers out and about signing autographs for fans, there were cameras clicking for pictures and interviews were happening everywhere for media. Being up close and personal with the “race world” got me hooked for life.”
Shelby is very active on Twitter, with Penske racing and Helio Castroneves himself. She has definitely proven herself a true Helio fan, and has developed a friendship with him through Twitter and attending races. Having a fan like Shelby in the Indy Car series is awesome, and it’s just the type of fan that Indy Car needs, young, engaged with the series, and incredibly enthusiastic.
These are pictures of Shelby with Helio.
Thanks SO much for sharing, Shelby! We can’t wait to see you at the track this year!