Castroneves scored his second straight Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona victory, beating the similar Acura ARX-05 of Wayne Taylor Racing, with whom he scored the win this time last year.
The four-time Indy 500 winner held off a strong challenge from former Penske Team Acura teammate Ricky Taylor to win by three seconds in the car he shared with MSR Acura’s new full-timers Tom Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis, as well as his ex- and current MSR IndyCar teammate Simon Pagenaud.
The 46-year-old veteran told NBC Sports/Peacock’s Marty Snider: “I’m 46 feeling like 22, brother!
“It was absolutely amazing. I can’t thank enough AutoNation and Sirius XM, Meyer Shank Racing and Acura, because these guys gave me a… ‘Keep pushing, keep pushing!’ great car, great teamamtes with Simon, Tom, Oliver, my brothers!
“At the end, Ricky… Oh man, I was joking with him, ‘Ricky, I taught you a lot of things over three years with Acura but I didn’t teach you all of it: I’ve got to keep something up my sleeve!’
“But, incredible job from everyone, I never thought I’d be climbing the fence at Daytona and today I realized that dream man. That was absolutely incredible.
“I’m so happy for the entire group, because everyone did their part and in the end, I was saying, ‘Put me in, coach! Put me in, coach!’ It was great.”
Asked by Snider what it meant to him to be able to climb the fence at Daytona and Indy within nine months, Castroneves responded, “It’s incredible, incredible…
“But look, when you have passion, and you love what you do, you’ve just got to keep doing it. There is no reason for you to keep listening to noises.
“So as long as I keep it going, I have no isssues. I’m motivated, I’m excited, I want to achieve my dream, and keep it going. And today, another one on the bucket list.”
For Meyer Shank Racing, it was an emotional day to triumph on the 10th anniversary of its previous triumph at the round-the-clock-classic. On that occasion, the win was scored by the late and much-missed Justin Wilson, AJ Allmendinger, Ozz Negri and John Pew..