The big Verizon IndyCar Series race is this weekend at Pocono Raceway, but for some drivers, their minds were far from the track Friday afternoon.
Brazil and Colombia faced off in the World Cup and drivers from those countries, including Helio Castroneves, got caught up in the action.
He’s used to doing victory laps, but what Helio Castroneves was doing here could be called a victory jump.
The race car driver was celebrating after his home country, Brazil, scored its first goal against Colombia in the World Cup.
“It was right at the beginning, 7 minutes, we’re still warming up and all of sudden, bam!” said Castroneves.
Castroneves and other IndyCar drivers were gathered inside the hospitality suite at Pocono Raceway to watch the soccer game.
Castroneves is Brazilian but others here, including Castroneves’ wife, are Colombian.
“My wife is Colombian, so I have that kind of a match every day of life, and most of it, she end up winning the match,” said Castroneves.
“For us Latin Americans, it’s like almost a religion, the Brazilians versus the Colombians. We always have this kind of rivalry,” said Sebastian Saavedra, who is from Colombia.
The Verizon IndyCar Series will hit the track this Sunday and the drivers say this is a nice way to take their minds off the race.
“Relax before the big one and, obviously, when you go into the race, forget about it, you just want to be in the front,” said Castroneves.
For American driver Josef Newgarden, he’s amused by their passion for soccer.
“It’s entertaining watching the Brazilian and Colombians. They are so into the sport, it is unbelievable, it’s a little annoying at times,” laughed Newgarden. “Helio with his whistle is too much. I just can’t even bear it, but it is enjoyable.”
In the end, Brazil trumped Colombia 2 to 1 as Castroneves, a seasoned winner, gloated over the victory.
Now he’s looking ahead to another victory: his own.
“Well, now let’s do it at the track,” he yelled.