The couple received a total score of 21.5 of 30 from the three-judge panel for their Foxtrot on the Sept. 24 show. Combined with fan voting through multiple platforms, they were among the 12 couples who were safe from elimination as part of the Sept. 25 results show.
The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said he got the opening-week jitters out of the way with a solid Foxtrot and can concentrate on his next performance on Oct. 1.
"I'm very relieved. Everybody's so good," Castroneves said. "I want to thank the fans because without them, certainly I wouldn't be able to be here."
Castroneves, who won season 5 of the celebrity ballroom dancing competition in 2007 and Hightower looked ahead to next week's dance.
"We have the Jive, so it's going to be a very fun, fast-paced, upbeat dance," Hightower said. "We start practicing in the morning."
The Team Penske driver recalled that "Jive wasn't one of my very strong dances five years ago. It was not bad, but it wasn't strong and hopefully Chelsie can help me out and improve me. I know we're going to need a lot of water because that's one of the toughest dances of all time, I would say, but I'm up for the challenge. I really want to do it for her."
Actress Pamela Anderson was the first to be dropped from the competition. Drew Lachey and Bristol Palin were the other celebrities in danger of going home early.
Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke received the highest total score (24.5) from the judges for their Cha-Cha-Cha.