"DWTS" Winner Helio Castroneves: Tax Evasion Trial a "Blip" in My Life - NBC 6 South Florida
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"DWTS" Winner Helio Castroneves: Tax Evasion Trial a "Blip" in My Life



    "Dancing With the Stars" winner and three-time Indy 500 champ Helio Castroneves said he's moved beyond a tax evasion trial during which he faced 10 years in prison.

    Speaking during a reading of his new memoir "Victory Road" at Books and Books last night, the Brazilian racecar driver who took home the disco ball trophy with partner and rumored ex-fling Julianne Hough in 2007 on the ABC reality show said he doesn't feel ill-will toward the U.S. for accusing him of hiding millions from the IRS in offshore accounts.

    "When I came to this country, I always said this is a country of opportunity -- I really love this place," Castroneves said Wednesday night. "So, even that the government ended up questioning and taking me to court, I have to say that was just a blip on the radar in my life."

    He added, "You turn the page. You got to move on."

    After a grueling trial, a jury found him not guilty and a conspiracy charge was later dropped.  

    "It was a completely difficult territory, an unknown territory -- I had no idea what I was going to do," said Castroneves.  "Especially after being on ''Dancing with the Stars.'"

    The legendary speedster leaves no hood un-popped in his first book, a tell-all fittingly coined "Victory Road," which divulges the details of everything from "DWTS" secrets to his life with girlfriend Adriana Henao and new daughter Mikaella.  

    "Many times I asked God why this [the trial] was happening to me," he said. "My answer came when I crossed the finish line in Indianapolis."

    He added: "Hopefully, I will be doing this as long as I have fire in me ... and so far, I'm burning."