"This one's for Dan," Helio Castroneves radioed to his crew as he brought his race car to a stop along the newly dedicated "Dan Wheldon Way" on the St. Petersburg waterfront race course.
Moments earlier, he took the checkered flag in Sunday's IndyCar Series season-opener and, in keeping with his trademark, victory fence-climbing tradition, the three-time Indianapolis 500 winner scaled the wire fencing in front of the Turn 10 grandstands pumping his fist and shouting toward the fans.
Then he crossed the track to climb another fence where a temporary street sign with Wheldon's name hung high. Castroneves touched the sign, climbed down and brought his hands together as in prayer.
The gesture drew a huge response from the fans. The popular Brazilian driver didn't anticipate the emotion it would evoke in himself as he honored Wheldon, a two-time Indy winner who died in a 15-car accident in the series' 2011 season finale on Oct. 16.
"You guys know I am a very emotional person but as s...