Team Penske Gets Championship Weekend Underway in Vegas

October 14, 2011

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (Oct. 13, 2011) – Team Penske recorded 170 strong laps Thursday during the first round of practice for Sunday's INDYCAR World Championships, the 2011 season finale for the IZOD IndyCar Series at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves led the way with the sixth-fastest lap of the session as he clocked in at 223.519 mph in the No. 3 Guidepoint Systems Team Penske Dallara/Honda.

"It was a good start today for the Guidepoint Systems car," said Castroneves. "It's my first time here at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and we took our time to get to know the track and I think we have a pretty good idea where we need to go for the weekend."

Ryan Briscoe posted a fast lap of 223.482 mph in the No. 6 IZOD Team Penske Dallara/Honda, the eighth-fastest lap of the session.

"We had a good practice today," said Briscoe, who enters the weekend ranked sixth in the series standings. "The IZOD Team Penske car had good speed and we feel good about our chances this weekend. It's definitely going to be an interesting race."

Will Power, who is 18 points behind Dario Franchitti in the IZOD IndyCar Series championship standings heading into Friday's qualifying session, had the 14th-fastest lap Thursday – 222.220 mph in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Honda.

"We still have some speed to find in the Verizon car but it was a decent start for us today," said Power. "It's good to get some laps in here at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and we'll be working hard to get the most out of the car in practice and qualifying tomorrow."

Friday's qualifying session begins at 6 p.m. ET. Coverage of Sunday's 200-lap race will begin at 3:00 p.m. ET on ABC-TV.