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Team Penske St. Pete Preview

March 21, 2013




THE RACE

IZOD IndyCar Series Grand Prix of St. Petersburg – Sunday, March 24, 2013

No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet
Will Power - @12WillPower
   

No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet
Helio Castroneves - @h3lio
 

THE NEWS AND NOTES

·    KING OF THE ROAD:  In the last 20 IZOD IndyCar Series road/street course races, Power – the three-time defending Mario Andretti Road Course Champion – has posted 13 poles, eight race wins and 13 podium finishes.

·    ST. PETE SPEED:  Power will attempt to win his fourth consecutive pole at St. Pete in 2013 and his second career race victory at the waterfront street circuit (2010).

·    LEADER OF THE PACK: In 2012, Power led Team Penske for the third consecutive year in poles and race wins on the way to his second place finish in the IZOD IndyCar Series championship.

·    POLE ACHIEVEMENT:  Entering the 2013 season, Power is tied with Dario Franchitti for eighth all-time with 29 poles.

·    BEST AT THE TEST:  Power was fastest on both days of the open test at Barber Motorsports Park last week. The defending winner at Barber, Power looks to carry that speed to St. Pete.
   

·    BAY SHORE BOSS:  Castroneves, with race victories in ’06, ’07 & ’12, is the only multiple race winner on the Streets of St. Pete.

·    CAPTAIN CONSISTENCY:  After making consistency a point of emphasis in 2012, Castroneves led all drivers by completing 1,965 of 1968 laps and by earning a series-high 12 top-10 finishes.

·    TIE BREAKER: Castroneves, who leads all active drivers with 37 poles and 4,733 laps led, is currently tied with Johnny Rutherford for 12th all-time with 27 wins. He is also in a three-way tie for eighth with 29 runner-up finishes and tied with Tony Kanaan for 11th all-time with 106 top-five results. His three Indianapolis 500 victories are also tied with Franchitti for most among active drivers.

·    HELLO HITACHI: This weekend Castroneves makes his first start driving the distinctive No. 3 Hitachi car for Team Penske.

THE Q & A

WHY HE HAS HAD SO MUCH SUCCESS BEFORE AT ST. PETE

“I definitely like the track and it is fun to drive because of the challenges it gives the drivers. You are really amped to win because it is the first race. The poles haven’t always converted to race wins but hopefully we can change that this year” – Will Power

DOES HE EXPECT ANY CHANGE ON TRACK WITH A TWO-CAR TEAM 

“It shouldn’t change anything on the track and we have all the data from last year. Certainly you like having teammates out there, but the two-car system has worked great for us so far.” – Will Power

IS THERE IS ANY CHANGE IN HIS MINDSET THIS YEAR 

“You make slight adjustments every year, especially mentally for me. I worked on some new things in the offseason that should be good  both in the race and in my overall approach.” – Will Power
   

WHY HE IS THE ONLY THREE-TIME WINNER AT ST. PETE

“The track fits my style being technical and tough, and because of that we have been able to build the confidence to put ourselves in position to win. Plus, since it is the first race, we are so excited that we want to go all out for the win.” – Helio Castroneves

ON DRIVING FOR TEAM CHEVY 

“They have obviously done their homework to give us a great engine. It’s so competitive right now and the trust we have in Chevy engines leads to more confidence on the track.” – Helio Castroneves

WHAT HE WANTS TO ACCOMPLISH THIS YEAR 

“I have the same mentality as last year – go for consistent points. This year we want to improve those finishes into top-fives to put us in line for the championship.” – Helio Castroneves