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Indianapolis 500 champion Helio Castroneves won’t get chance at Detroit Grand Prix doubleheader this weekend

By JENNA FRYER

AP Auto Racing Writer

Helio Castroneves had hoped his fourth Indianapolis 500 victory would lead to a seat this weekend at IndyCar’s doubleheader in Detroit.

He asked, many times over, but Meyer Shank Racing held to its original plan.

The team said Monday it will field just its usual one car with Jack Harvey in the Detroit Grand Prix doubleheader, as well as its sports car in the IMSA race. The team has a six-race plan with Castroneves that launched at the Indy 500 and delivered MSR its first IndyCar victory.

Castroneves will instead make his debut Saturday night in Tony Stewart’s All-Star Superstar Racing Experience at Stafford Motor Speedway in Connecticut as previously scheduled. His next scheduled IndyCar race is at Nashville in August. He’s also scheduled to drive for MSR on the Indianapolis road course, as well as at Portland, Laguna Seca and the season finale at Long Beach.

“Heck yeah I wanted to go to Detroit. It’s a dear place in my heart but I understand. I can only push, you know?” he said. “I think I do have a little bit of a credit, but I understand about priorities. We’re constantly talking, we’re living in a great place. But it’s not like ‘let’s just jump in and make this happen.’

“I want, I want, I want, but I’ve got to make sure that it is the right time and there is a reason for it and I accept that.”

Castroneves has three career victories at Belle Isle, including his first career win in 2000 in which he climbed his first fence in celebration. It became his signature victory move and when he won the 500 on May 30 in a part-time entry for Michael Shank, his celebratory fence climb became one of the indelible moments in the 105 runnings of the the race.