He was the dark horse who fox-trotted his way to victory. Brazilian race-car driver Helio Castroneves was crowned winner of "Dancing With the Stars" last week. He spoke with Ramin Setoodeh.
Are you going to get teased on the racetrack for this?
They're going to tease me in a good way. They've been very supportive, from all over, not just NASCAR and IndyCar. We have messages from Go Kart drivers.
Did they all vote for you?
I don't know if they voted. Normally, race-car drivers are cheapskates.
Isn't it free to vote?
Then maybe they did vote. I didn't know. I thought it cost something.
So I take it you didn't vote for yourself?
Well, actually my sister was voting from my cell phone.
At least you know you won't be getting a bill.
Even if we get a bill, it was all worth it. I never dreamed I'd be a champion on "Dancing With the Stars."
Why did you kiss your dance partner on the lips?
That was part of the choreography. When we were rehearsing, she was, like, "I'm going to cut the kiss." I'm, like, "No, no! It's going to look awesome."
Was that the first time you kissed?
That was the second time we kissed. We kissed the first time we did the dance.
Are you an item?
We're friends. We've become close, and hopefully it will last for a long time.
After you won, you split with your fiancé.
I'm very sad that that came out. Unfortunately, it didn't work. It's time to move on.
Are you single?
Are you going to date?
I don't know. I'm just going to enjoy this moment.
What kind of driver are you on the freeway? Fast?
No, actually not. I drive slowly, unless I'm late. I try to be conservative and relax. I spend all my aggressiveness on the racetrack, which is better.
What car do you drive?
An Acura RL and a Lamborghini Gallardo. Ooh. You can get in trouble with that one. You can break three digits easily.
Yes. [Pause] On the racetrack. I respect the law.