Is Helio Castroneves Officially Out at Penske?

Jen PrestonSenior Analyst IJanuary 12, 2009

He'll be heading to court in March, during the IndyCar Series season, where he could be sentenced to years in prison for tax fraud.

But that's not all Helio Castroneves is looking to lose.

According to SPEED Channel's Robin Miller, Team Penske will announce next week that Castroneves is out of his No. 3 Team Penske Honda. A replacement will also be named at that time.

Miller claims that Ryan Hunter-Reay, Justin Wilson, or Will Power are possible replacements for Castroneves.

Castroneves was arrested and charged with six counts of tax evasion last October, along with his sister. If convicted, the two face up to 35 years in prison. Their lawyer, who was also arrested, could serve up to 20.

During his court appearance, Castroneves appeared in leg irons and handcuffs, and pleaded not guilty to all the counts against him. He paid a $10 million bond, and was allowed to race in the Surfer's Paradise event in Australia before the year ended.

Castroneves is not entered in the 24 Hours of Daytona sportscar event, with IRL teammate Ryan Briscoe driving with Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas.

He and his co-defendants are expected in court beginning on March 2nd.