April 21, 2009 09:00 AM by Britteny Elrick
It’s been a long journey for former Dancing With The Stars champion, Helio Castroneves, after finally being charged with conspiracy and three charges of tax evasion. However, the two-time Indianapolis 500 winner was acquitted, and on Sunday he participated in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Helio, his sister, and lawyer could have faced up to six years in prison if convicted of the charges from 1999 to 2004 – you can check out the full details here. Helio told PEOLE after returning to the track for the first time in six months, “I’m so happy to be here. I can’t stop hugging everybody. I was smiling under my helmet the first few laps. It feels so good to be back.”
As far as his fan support, Helio mentioned, “So many people sent me messages, sent me prayers, and I never lost faith. It kept me really strong. It feels like I just woke up from a bad nightmare. Hearing words like object, sustained, overruled – I want to forget the past six weeks.” He adds, “The best place for me to fix and heal the scars is here. My life is starting over.”
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Photo Credit: midwestsportsfan.com