September 25, 2012 03:00 PM

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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