Helio Castroneves *This* Close to Winning Dancing With the Stars
Tonight, around 20 million people will see who will win this season's Dancing with the Stars. Two of the finalists, Marie Osmond and a Spice Girl, were well know before hand. The third finalist though comes from the unfortunately obscure word of IndyCar racing, Helio Castroneves.
Look at the cast. It's arguable that Helio was the least famous celeb. Yet, here is he in the finals. I haven't been watching, but from what I'm gathering, he made it this far because of a.) his dancing skills, b.) his charisma, and c.) his partner is really hot (not necessarily in that order).
Obviously, the exposure is great for the IRL. It's not everyday that one of its drivers is showcased in front of 20 million people a week. How much it will help the league is up for debate. My Name is IRL argues that it would better if Helio didn't win. However, he ignores the real reason why it might not be for the best: the N-word (the IRL blogosphere's phrase for NASCAR). An IndyCar driver with a name and some exposure has proven to be dynamite for the tin tops. Helio has likely moved up to #2 (behind Danica) on their hit list. While I fully believe the IRL can develop talent down the road, it will take a few years, and the bleeding needs to stop now.
Still though, it's hard not to spin this as a positive for Indy racing, at a time when it's desperately needed. Go get 'em Helio.