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Hélio Castroneves: My Daughter Is More Interested in Cars than Barbies

09/25/2012 at 03:00 PM ET
Craig Sjodin/ABC

Hélio Castroneves has proven he’s a winner on both the race track and the dance floor — and hopes that his 2½-year-old daughter Mikaella can follow in his footsteps.

“She’s always playing with race cars,” the Dancing with the Stars season 5 champ, 37, tells PEOPLE. “I’d love her to play with Barbie dolls and make them dance, so she can focus on dancing, too.”

Catstroneves’s little one can pick up some moves from her dad, as he’s currently competing on the all-star season of DWTS.

“Coming back is awesome because it’s another excuse to dance and have fun again with the cast and the whole show,” he says.

Even though he would like his daughter to embrace her girlie side, the IndyCar driver is happy knowing that she is a fan of his career.

“Every time I go to race, I take her,” he says. “When you ask her what her dad does, she goes, [moves hands like driving a wheel]. It’s the best feeling in the world.”

– Garbrielle Olya

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PEOPLE.com reserves the right to remove comments at their discretion.

Showing 11 comments

Tee Tee on

Such a sweet interview!

B.J. (the girl) on

That’s so cute! As a kid, I always preferred cars to Barbies too, but my dad wasn’t a race car driver, haha.

Sandra on

He is such a happy, charming man…and a great dancer, too!

Missy on

LOVE Helio!! He seems like such a sweet and down to earth guy!!! Team Helio!!!

Kate on

He just annoys me, something about him …like a weasel.

Karen on

Go Helio “the Dancing Banana!!!” You have my vote!!!

Kim on

His little girl is so cute. :)

Jen on

She’s only 2 1/2! If they give her race cars she will play with race cars! He thinks this is odd? I was a tomboy, we grew up being taken to the Indy 500 Time trials back in the 60′s, a kid learns from it’s environment, I loved race cars too, lots of little girls do, we had go carts too I drove around when I was ten and up. I had a race car track by the time I was 6, one of my favorite things, I had dolls but dolls were boring. I used to put the dolls in toy cars and push them around fast. If he thinks it’s odd that his daughter likes cars, he’s the odd one.

Anonymous on

He can’t dance. Mel B was way better than him and she deserved to win. I don’t even watch the show anymore.

Amie on

Hahaha sayin your dad is a race car

Amie on

You do not watch cause it is her talent not yours it is the truth

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