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Team Penske Race Preview - Houston

October 3, 2013




THE RACE

Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston (IZOD IndyCar Series)
“Double Down in H-Town” Doubleheader
Reliant Park (1.7-mile street circuit)
Saturday and Sunday, October 5-6, 2013

No. 3 Shell V-Power Pennzoil Ultra
Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet

Helio Castroneves - @h3lio
IZOD IndyCar Series Championship Standing: 1st   

No. 12 Verizon
Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet

Will Power - @12WillPower
IZOD IndyCar Series Championship Standing: 9th (-130 pts.)

THE BROADCASTS

Qualifying:
Friday (Race 1) – 4:05 pm ET
Saturday (Race 2) – 11:45 am ET
Race:
Saturday (Race 1) – 3 pm ET (live on NBC Sports)
Sunday (Race 2) – 1 pm ET (live on NBC Sports)     

Radio Broadcast:  IMS Radio/ SiriusXM 211
 

THE NEWS AND NOTES

No. 3 Shell V-Power Pennzoil Ultra
Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet


· RUNNIN’ UP FRONT: Houston marks the 13th time this season that Helio Castroneves enters a race weekend leading the IZOD IndyCar Series standings. He carries a 49-point lead in the title chase over rival Scott Dixon after Castroneves earned a ninth-place finish last race on the streets of Baltimore. Castroneves has led the points for the last 11 consecutive races as he continues to pursue his first series title.

· HELIO IN HOUSTON: Castroneves has never raced on the Reliant Park course but he did compete on the old Houston street circuit in the CART Series. He made four starts at the circuit located around the George R. Brown Convention Center from 1998-2001. His two starts there for Team Penske provided his best results as he started fourth and finished fifth in both 2000 and 2001.

· CONSISTENCY IS THE KEY: Castroneves continues to be the only driver in the IZOD IndyCar Series to complete every lap of competition in 2013. He has completed all 2,003 laps and has posted top-10 results in 15 of 16 races, including the last 12 in a row dating back to the Indianapolis 500.

· TRIUMPHANT IN TEXAS: The Lone Star state has been good to Castroneves over the years and he hopes that continues this weekend. He is the only IndyCar driver to win four races at Texas Motor Speedway and he earned his lone win so far this season at the Ft. Worth oval track. In all, Team Penske has earned nine IndyCar wins in the state of Texas since 2001.

· SHOWING STRONG FOR SHELL-PENNZOIL: The No. 3 Team Penske IndyCar will carry the Shell V-Power and Pennzoil Ultra colors this weekend in the hometown of the respective companies. Castroneves will race the distinctive car livery for both races this weekend in the event sponsored by Shell and Pennzoil. This season’s Indianapolis 500 marked the last time Castroneves raced in the Shell V-Power Pennzoil Ultra machine.

· LOOK AT LANDRY’S: Castroneves’ IndyCar will carry a new logo this weekend as Landry’s, one of Houston’s top companies, will be displayed on the outside front wings of the No. 3 machine. Though a relationship with Team Penske sponsor, Hitachi, Landry’s will be featured on the car at Houston. Landry’s, Inc. is a multinational, diversified restaurant, hospitality, gaming and entertainment company based in Houston.

THE Q & A

HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 SHELL V-POWER PENNZOIL ULTRA DALLARA/CHEVROLET

ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO GETTING BACK ON TRACK AFTER AN EXTENDED BREAK IN THE SCHEDULE?

“Wow, it seems like a long time since we last raced in Baltimore a few weeks ago. It’s been tough waiting, but it will make it even better once we get on track Friday in Houston. I’m really looking forward to this weekend. It will be good to race in the Shell V-Power Pennzoil Ultra Chevrolet in the home of Shell and Pennzoil, especially since they are sponsoring the race as well. We know we need to have a strong weekend with two races in front of us and a close battle for the championship. We are focused and ready and I’m looking forward to getting to know the new Reliant Park street course and see what we can do.”

HOW WILL IT BE RACING THE SHELL-PENNZOIL CAR AT THEIR HOME RACE TRACK?
“We raced the No. 3 Shell V-Power Pennzoil Ultra car at the Indianapolis 500 this season and now we get to wear their colors in their hometown of Houston. I know this is a very important event for everyone at Shell and Pennzoil and it’s important to the city of Houston as well. We are going to be busy this week, for sure, but it’s going to be a lot of fun too. I think it’s great that we get a chance to put on a good show with back-to-back races on Saturday and Sunday and we’ll be working hard to make sure that Shell-Pennzoil car is in Victory Lane at least one of those two days!”


THE NEWS AND NOTES

No. 12 Verizon
Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 
  

· HOUSTON POWER SUPPLY: Will Power is one of just six current IndyCar drivers that have competed on the Reliant Park street circuit. Power raced at the venue in 2006 and 2007 when it was featured on the Champ Car World Series schedule. Power earned top-10 starting spots in both races and won the pole for the 2007 race. He finished seventh in 2007 and came home 11th in the 2007 race at Reliant Park.

· TEXAS STYLE: Texas is the unofficial “home” state for Power. His wife, Elizabeth, hails from Plano, Texas and Power’s extended family will be supporting him this weekend. Power has also tasted victory in the Lone Star state as he earned his first career oval track win at Texas Motor Speedway in 2011.

· ROAD RALLY: Despite finishing 18th in his last race on the streets of Baltimore due to an accident, Power has turned up his production in road and street course races recently. The three-time defending series road course champion, Power has earned top-five starting positions in each of his last five races – all on road or street circuits – to go along with two top-five finishes, including a win at Sonoma Raceway.

· STILL SHOWING SPEED: As they try and rise up through the series rankings after a tough first half of the season, Power and the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske squad have continued to demonstrate good speed and the ability to run at the front of the challenging IndyCar field. Power has earned two poles and his averaging starting position is 4.4, which is tied for the series lead among all drivers in 2013. He has also led 12 of 16 races this season, which is tops among all series competitors.

· SHELL SHOW: Both Power and Castroneves will make several appearances this weekend at the Shell Experiential Display located in the Reliant Center. On Friday, Power will appear at 1:15 pm CT while Castroneves will be at the mobile unit at 1:45 pm. Power will address the crowd at the display at 9:30 am Saturday and 9:45 am Sunday while Castroneves will appear again at 10 am Sunday.

THE Q & A

WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON DALLARA/CHEVROLET

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT COMPETING ON A “NEW” STREET CIRCUIT IN HOUSTON

“I think it’s great to add the Houston street circuit this year. I remember racing there around Reliant Park in 2006 and 2007 and it seemed to be a really popular event with the fans and a cool venue for a race. It was a bumpy and challenging street circuit and I think it’s definitely going to make for an interesting weekend – especially with two races and so many points on the line for the championship. We’re looking forward to getting back on track in the Verizon Chevrolet to see if we can add another win or two with a good effort this weekend in Houston.”

WHAT WILL IT BE LIKE RACING A DOUBLEHEADER FOR THE THIRD TIME THIS SEASON

“I really like the doubleheader format, personally. I’ve mentioned it before but I think we really spend about as much time on track when all is said and done and it really is good for the promoters and fans, who get to host two full races in one packed weekend. It’s always challenging for the drivers and teams but I like the challenge and it’s always a good opportunity to score some major points over two days on track.”