Helio Castroneves won’t pursue Daytona 500 ride this year

Four-time Indianapolis 500 champion Helio Castroneves said he won’t race in next month’s Daytona 500.

The 47-year-old Brazilian said efforts to secure a ride with Trackhouse Racing and Money Team Racing failed.

With the Daytona 500 scheduled for Feb. 19, Castroneves said he no longer has enough time to find a team, go through testing and qualify in time for NASCAR’s marquee race.

“To go to a place where you’ve got to race yourself into (the race), as of right now, it’s not going to happen,” he said, per the Associated Press. “We need to have an opportunity, and we’ve just got to … give me a little more experience.”

The open-wheel veteran became interested in driving in the Daytona 500 after winning the inaugural Superstar Racing Experience (SRX) stock car race in June at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla.

SRX CEO Don Hawk told Castroneves that if he won one of the series’ races, he would help him get a NASCAR start.

“The intention originally was he really wanted to run in the Daytona 500, it was a crown jewel,” Hawk said after Castroneves’ SRX win. “And so we’re really going to try to make the Daytona 500 work.”

Castroneves is in Florida for Saturday’s Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, where he is the two-time defending champion.

He won the Indy 500 in 2001, 2002, 2009 and 2021 and has been the IndyCar Series runner-up four times.