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Helio Castroneves Kansas IndyCar Series Preview

April 24, 2008

Photo courtesy of IMS Photo



Fast Facts:

• Last year in Kansas, Castroneves started and finished third, marking his third top-three finish in six appearances at Kansas Speedway.  He has also completed every lap in his six starts.
• This past weekend in Japan, Castroneves started from the pole and led 94 laps on his way to a second-place finish.  This performance marked his second consecutive second-place finish (he also finished second in St. Petersburg).
• Castroneves has started and finished in the top-five in all three races run to date on the 2008 IndyCar Series circuit and he’s currently leading the Championship point standings with 112 points, twelve points ahead of second-place Scott Dixon. 
• In 2007's seventeen races, Castroneves finished in the top-three five times and the top-ten 11 times. In addition, Castroneves led laps in nine races, including leading most laps three times (St. Petersburg, Milwaukee and Mid-Ohio).
• Castroneves earned seven poles last season, an IndyCar Series record.  In addition, Castroneves is the IndyCar Series leader in career pole positions with 23; more than double that of any active driver.
• Last season at St. Petersburg, Castroneves started from the pole and led a race-high 95 laps on his way to his second consecutive win at the circuit and his first and only win of the season.  His win from the pole, marked an IndyCar Series record-tying (with former teammate Sam Hornish Jr.) six wins from the pole.
• With his 2007 win in St. Petersburg, Castroneves broke Rick Mears’ Penske Racing record of consecutive years with a win for the Team. Mears won at least one race for seven consecutive seasons from 1979-1985; Castroneves has won at least one race every year since 2000. He has earned 18 victories in eight seasons with the Team.
• In 2002, Castroneves scored his second consecutive Indianapolis 500 victory and at age 27, became the youngest driver in history to win the Indianapolis 500 twice and the only driver to win the race in his first two starts.
• Castroneves has finished in the top-five in 53 of the 98 (54%) races he’s run since joining the IndyCar Series full-time in 2002 including Miami, St. Petersburg and Japan in 2008; he’s finished in the top-ten in 75 out of 98 races (77%).

Penske Racing at Kansas Speedway:

• In 2003, Penske Racing made its historic 1,000th open-wheel start at Kansas Speedway. The team made its open-wheel debut on June 15, 1968, when the late Mark Donohue made the first start for the Team at Mosport.
• In the six years Team Penske has been competing at Kansas Speedway, the Team has earned six top-five finishes in twelve starts. Former driver Sam Hornish Jr. won in 2006; Helio Castroneves finished second in 2003 and third in 2007 & 2002; former teammate Gil de Ferran finished third in 2003 and fifth in 2002.

Did You Know?

• In six appearances at Kansas Speedway, Castroneves has earned three top-three finishes (second in 2003; third in 2007 and 2002) and has never finished lower than eighth.  In addition, the 32 year-old Brazilian started in the top-ten five times and has completed each of the 1,200 laps run in competition at the 1.5-mile oval.