Race-car driver Helio Castroneves' tears of dispair from last week's court appearance, when he was indicted for tax fraud, turned to tears of joy on Saturday for coming in first in the Petit Le Mans Prototype 2 Class auto race. The 10-hour race was held in Atlanta.
"This was a terrific win for Helio and Penske Racing tonight in the 1,000-mile Petit Le Mans race," Bed Denker, senior vice president of the Penske Corp., told People. "Helio is elated and proud of his team after what has been a long week for him."
The two-time Indianapolis 500 winner's attorney, Mark Seiden, claims that Helio's recent legal troubles are the result of bad advice, not an attempt to cheat the government out of millions of tax dollars.
"He is not a tax lawyer and not an accountant," says Seiden. "He relied in good faith on competent professionals for tax advice. We don't feel he did anything wrong, and will be vindicated in court."
Helio will have to celebrate his racing victory locally—and cheaply—since his accounts have been frozen and he has surrendered his passport to authorities until his case goes to trail.