Our Haute 100 list details the accomplishments of the most influential people in each of our markets—Miami, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. These people continue to make moves, so rather than waiting for the next Haute 100 issue to come out, we thought we’d provide you with regular updates on those Haute 100 members who are making headlines. On our Haute 100 Miami list is race car driver Helio Castroneves.
What Made Him Haute: Helio Castroneves’ captivating personality and thousand-watt smile (not to mention his paso doble) won him legions of fans and victory in the 2007 season of ABC’s hit show “Dancing with the Stars.” The Coral Gables resident graced the cover of Haute Living Miami in the summer of 2009, just a few months after he was acquitted on tax-evasion charges. Immediately following the trial, Helio boarded the Penske team jet to California, where he finished seventh in the Long Beach Grand Prix after leading the race for several laps. This was an extraordinary feat for a man who had not trained for nearly seven months. But he soon topped that by winning the pole position at Indianapolis and then the 500 itself — the Golden Grail, motor racing’s biggest and most celebrated event. It wasn’t his first time in the winner’s circle; he also roared across the finish line in first place back-to-back in 2001 and 2002.
What Makes Him Haute Now: Helio continues to make headlines with his multi-dynamic personality. After having gone through an difficult period in his life last year for tax evasion charges, an experience he says changed his life, he goes on to write an autobiography about the experience, titled “Victory Road: The Ride of My Life,” and to win several racing tournaments, including the Indy Japan 300 just last month. “There we were, suddenly in the lead with a few laps to go. It was one of the best feelings I’ve ever had in a race car,” he says about the race that made headlines because of the outstanding victory. And crediting his win entirely to teamwork, he clues us into his humble personality. But if that isn’t enough to convince you of his big heart and down-to-earth attitude, consider his visit to the West Kendall Hospital this past week, where he visited patients and signed autographs for fans.