Helio Returns to the Racetrack–and the Singles Scene

Photo: Photo: REUTERS/Robin Jerstad /Landov

There’s no rest for this Dancing champ. Indy 500 driver Helio Castroneves was back at the racetrack near Miami Thursday, talking about racing and a little romance.

The Brazilian racer, 32, who won the Dancing with the Stars title last month partnered with pro Julianne Hough, said he gained a glitter-ball trophy and “a wonderful friend” in Hough–but denied rumors of a romance with the 19-year-old dancer. “I am single,” Castroneves told reporters gathered to see him at the Firestone Racing test in Homestead, Fla. “Definitely Julianne and I are becoming great friends… So hopefully this friendship will go on forever.”

The same can’t be said for his ex-fianc e Aliette Vazquez: the couple announced their split the day after Castroneves and Hough won the Dancing title. “I never heard from her,” he told PEOPLE. “It is what it is. I just have to move on.”

Moving on has meant keeping busy–and enjoying the attention his Dancing win has garnered him.

At a Nov. 29 event at Disney World in Orlando, Castroneves, who appeared with Hough, said he got his first taste of being a TV star. “There were ladies literally jumping on me,” he said. “They were jumping past security to kiss me. It was weird, but fun.”

Meanwhile, Castroneves and Hough will reunite this weekend at a party in Los Angeles for DTWS cast members. –Lori Rozsa

Photo: REUTERS/Robin Jerstad /Landov

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