Team Penske Barber Motorsports Park Preview
April 8, 2010
Drivers: Helio Castroneves (No. 3 Team Penske), Ryan Briscoe (No. 6 Team Penske) and Will Power (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske)
Race: Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala.
(2.3-mile permanent road course)
When: Qualifying – Saturday, April 10 at 10:20 a.m. ET
Race (90 laps) – Sunday, April 11 at 3:45 p.m. ET
TV/Radio: Versus/IMS Radio Network and XM Channel 145 and Sirius Channel 211
First Time Around: This marks the first race for the IZOD IndyCar Series at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. Team Penske has already fared well at the other first-time venue on the 2010 schedule as Will Power won the series season opener on the streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil on March 14.
Quest for Three Straight: Power will be looking to grab a piece of history this weekend in his bid to become the first driver in IndyCar Series history to win the first three events of the season. With his win on the streets of St. Petersburg on March 28, Power became the first series driver since former Team Penske standout Sam Hornish Jr. (2001) to start the season with consecutive race wins. Power has three victories for the team in just eight races dating back to last season and he carries a 44-point lead (103-59) in the standings entering this weekend.
Beasts of Barber: Though this is the first race at Barber, Team Penske has had its share of success in its two previous visits to the picturesque road course. During the recent pre-season open test at the venue, Feb. 24-25, Team Penske topped the timing chart on both days of testing. The first day saw the fastest overall time posted by Briscoe in the No. 6 Team Penske Dallara/Honda. Castroneves was second quickest on day one in the No. 3 Team Penske entry and Power posted the fourth quickest time of the day in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Honda. The second day saw the Team Penske drivers sweep the top three positions on the time charts, with Power setting fast time, followed by Castroneves and Briscoe. Last season, Power topped all times at the pre-season open test at Barber for Team Penske.
Hitting Their Stride: Both Briscoe and Castroneves are coming off their best results of the season. Briscoe rallied from a 19th-place starting spot to capture third place in St. Petersburg, while Castroneves earned a fourth-place result. Castroneves is now ranked sixth in the standings with 54 points while Briscoe is seventh with 51 points.
Road Warriors: Team Penske has an impressive record at permanent road circuits over the last several seasons. In the nine previous series races run on permanent road courses since 2007, Team Penske has earned two wins, seven pole positions and eight podium finishes.
Powerful Profile: Versus will televise a profile on Power in the pre-race show this Sunday, beginning at 3 p.m. ET. The Versus cameras traveled to Indianapolis last week to capture footage of Power working out, relaxing at home and playing drums in a band.
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