3-time Indianapolis 500 champ Helio Castroneves moving full-time to sports cars

FILE – In this June 10, 2017, file photo, team owner Roger Penske, left, talks with driver Helio Castroneves, of Brazil, on pit road before an IndyCar auto race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves will move to Team Penske’s sports car program next season, bringing his 20-year full-time IndyCar career to an end. Castroneves will still drive for Penske at the Indianapolis 500. (AP Photo/Randy Holt, File)

IndyCar’s most recognizable driver will drive sports cars full-time in 2018.

Team Penske announced Wednesday that three-time Indianapolis 500 champion Helio Castroneves would move to its new IMSA team in 2018. Castroneves, who finished the 2017 IndyCar season fourth in the points standings, will team with former IndyCar driver Juan Pablo Montoya and current IMSA driver Dane Cameron on the new two-car team next season. A fourth driver to be Castroneves’ co-driver will be announced later.

Castroneves, 42, has driven full-time in American open-wheel racing since he joined the now-defunct CART series in 1998. He moved to Team Penske in 2000 and has been with the team ever since.

In 17 years in the IndyCar Series, the Dancing with the Stars champion has won 24 races across 265 career starts, though he’s never won the series title.

Castroneves’ opportunity to continue in the Indianapolis 500 means he gets at least one more opportunity to be the fourth driver to win four Indianapolis 500s. Only A.J. Foyt, Rick Mears and Al Unser Sr. have four Indy 500 victories.

“Helio has been a valuable member of Team Penske for almost 20 years and we are looking forward to sharing more success together,” Roger Penske said in a team statement. “Competitors like Helio, Rick Mears and Mark Donohue are what have made Team Penske what it is today. This represents a new challenge for him and I know he is excited about the opportunity. Having established winning drivers like Helio and Juan, teaming up with young and talented racers that know the series like Dane Cameron, will help give our new sports car program a solid foundation as we head into the 2018 season.”

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Nick Bromberg is the editor of Dr. Saturday and From the Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!