For a few minutes, Helio Castroneves imagined himself in the starter's stand of an INDYCAR race.
The IZOD IndyCar Series championship runner-up waved the green flag to start a tricycle race on the WFCU Centre ice during the second intermission of the hockey game between the Windsor Spitfires and Owen Sound Attack and followed with the checkered flag as one of the contestants won a prize.
Castroneves, donning a No. 3 Spitfires jersey with his name on the back, also dropped the ceremonial first puck and signed autographs at Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix Night.
"It was a really fun night with the Windsor Spitfires," Castroneves said. "We got a chance on talk to everyone about the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix and had a lot of fun with the fans. The Spitfires did really well, too. They won so I think maybe we were the good luck charm."
The May 30-June 1 Chevrolet Dual in Detroit will be an IndyCar Series doubleheader race weekend again in 2014. Tickets go on sale Nov. 20, but as part of Castroneves’ visit Canadian fans can get $10 off the cost of their tickets by visiting www.Detroitgp.com/spitfires.
Castroneves, of Brazil, isn't as familiar with ice hockey as he is with soccer, but he quickly became a fan.
"It's always good to get people excited about the Chevy Dual in Detroit races on Belle Isle presented by Quicken Loans and I got to learn a lot about hockey, which is cool," he said. "It’s amazing what they can do on skates. I only wish I had a little bit of their co-ordination."
For information about the races on Belle Isle, CLICK HERE.