Helio Castroneves to get 2019 Indy 500 ride after crashing Sunday

INDIANAPOLIS -- Helio Castroneves made a public plea to return to the Indianapolis 500 next year, and it appears team owner Roger Penske will oblige.

After last season, Penske moved Castroneves from his full-time IndyCar ride to the Penske sports-car Acura team starting this season with the promise of fielding a car for the Indianapolis 500.

Castroneves, who has three career Indianapolis 500 wins, crashed on Lap 146 and finished 27th on Sunday.

"Please, Roger, let me go back," Castroneves said after stepping out of his car.

The popular Castroneves probably didn't need to say "please" to get a seat for the Indianapolis 500.

"It's hard to say no to him, isn't it?" said Penske, who already had promised Castroneves a ride for 2019 if he won Sunday.

Penske, who served as the strategist for Castroneves in the race, then turned to team president Tim Cindric.

"I have to talk to the president here," Penske quipped. "He'll figure that one out for me."

Cindric was quick to respond.

"He's going to be back," Cindric said. "He will be here next year in one of our cars. I'll say it."

Castroneves, who also competed in the IndyCar race on the IMS road course two weeks ago, has crashed out in only two of his 18 Indy 500 starts.

"That guy was sitting here this morning before I walked in, sitting in his firesuit next to his engineer ready to go, about 6:30 this morning," Cindric said. "He's been in his yellow suit -- I don't think I've seen him out of his yellow suit since we got here this month.

"He's ready to go all the time."