Indianapolis 500 Team Penske Preview
May 29, 2010
Drivers: Helio Castroneves (No. 3 Team Penske), Ryan Briscoe (No. 6 Team Penske) and Will Power (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske)
Race: The 2010 Indianapolis 500-Mile Race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Ind. (2.5-mile superspeedway)
When: Race (200 laps) - Sunday, May 30 at 1:00 p.m. ET
TV/Radio: ABC/IMS Radio Network and XM Channel 145 and Sirius Channel 211 (coverage begins at 12 p.m. ET)
Penske on Pole: Helio Castroneves earned the 16th Indianapolis 500 pole position for Team Penske last Saturday. Castroneves earned his fourth career pole at Indy when he topped the new qualifying Shootout format with a remarkable four-lap average speed of 227.970 mph. All three Team Penske cars earned starting spots among the top four as Will Power qualified second with a speed of 227.578 mph and Ryan Briscoe earned a fourth-place starting spot after recording an average speed of 226.554 mph.
Sweet 16? Team Penske will be looking to extend its record of 15 team victories at Indianapolis this Memorial Day weekend. If the team wins on May 30 it would mark five consecutive decades with an Indy 500 victory for Penske Racing. The team will be looking for consecutive Indy 500 wins for the first time since it won three straight from 2001-2003.
Going Four It: Defending Indianapolis 500 champion Castroneves will try and tie the all-time record of four victories at the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing." Three other legends of racing have won four Indy 500s - Al Unser, A.J. Foyt and Rick Mears. Castroneves will have the benefit of having the last driver to win four times at the Brickyard in his corner. Mears is the longtime team advisor at Team Penske and he will also serve as the spotter for Castroneves at Indianapolis. Castroneves will also try to become the first driver to win back-to-back Indy 500 races twice in their career (Castroneves won in 2001 and 2002).
Pit Perfect: On Friday, Carburetion Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Team Penske won its record 12th title in the IZOD Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge. Helio Castroneves and the No. 3 Team Penske crew won the competition for the fourth time, defeating the Newman/Haas Racing crew and driver Hideki Mutoh in the finals.
Leaders of the Pack: Team Penske has led the IZOD IndyCar Series championship standings from the outset of the 2010 season. The team won the first three consecutive races with Power capturing the checkered flag in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car at both Sao Paulo, Brazil and at St. Petersburg. Castroneves then won in the No. 3 Team Penske Dallara/Honda at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama to make it three in a row for the team. Power continues to lead the series standings while Castroneves is ranked third overall. Briscoe is also starting to build his momentum in the No. 6 Team Penske machine as he's ranked seventh in the standings following four consecutive top-10 finishes.
Rewind: Last season, Team Penske earned its 15th win at the Indianapolis 500 as Castroneves claimed his third victory and first from the pole at Indy. All three Penske cars qualified inside the top-10 as Briscoe earned a second-place starting position and Power qualified ninth. Briscoe led 11 laps and battled for the win before he had to make a fuel stop late in the race and wound up in 15th place. Power also was a threat to score his first Indy win and he took the checkered flag in fifth place. Castroneves overcame an early transmission issue to lead 61 laps en route to his third trip to Victory Circle at the Brickyard.
Penske Pole Production: Team Penske has now won five consecutive pole positions this season. All three Penske drivers have won poles in 2010. Power captured the pole at St. Petersburg, Barber Motorsports Park and Long Beach this season, while Briscoe posted the fastest lap in qualifying last race at Kansas before Castroneves won the pole at Indy last weekend.
Press Time: Penske Racing has enjoyed impressive media coverage during the month of May. In addition to the national headlines created by Castroneves winning the Indy 500 pole position, all three Penske Racing drivers traveled with the rest of the Indy 500 starting field to ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Conn. as well as to New York City earlier this week. Teaming up with IZOD, the drivers all did multiple media interviews and photo opportunities to promote this year's Indy 500. USA Today also featured stories on Penske Racing's NASCAR and IndyCar Series operations as well as Castroneves in Wednesday's edition of the national paper.
Speed Reading: Copies of Castroneves' new biographical book, Victory Road: The Ride of My Life are now available for purchase. The book chronicles Castroneves' emotional life on and off the race track and it serves as an inspirational story about meeting life's challenges.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT THE INDIANAPOLIS 500
Roger Penske: "Our teams always look forward to the month of May and competing at the Indianapolis 500. Team Penske has gotten off to a strong start this season and we need to continue that momentum and deliver solid results at Indianapolis. I believe all three of our teams and drivers will be strong and are capable of winning on Memorial Day weekend. Both Ryan and Will proved last season how tough they can be at Indianapolis and we all know what Helio is capable of here and he has his fourth Indy 500 win in his sights. It is going to be an exciting few weeks."
Helio Castroneves: "Winning the pole position was a very tough battle on Saturday, but we did it and we're in the best position possible for Sunday's race. We have a very fast car and Team Penske is the best in the business. Now, we need to stay out of trouble and make sure we last for 500 miles and see if we can bring home another win here at Indy for Roger and the team."
Ryan Briscoe: "We fell just short of making it three Penske cars on the front row, but we had a good qualifying and we feel good about the No. 6 Team Penske car for the race, starting in fourth position. The Indianapolis 500 is such a great experience and I can't wait to take the green flag on Sunday."
Will Power: "It's been an awesome few weeks here at Indianapolis for the Verizon team and now we're looking forward to a great race. We've been quick since we first got on track and we had a strong qualifying and earned a great starting spot. I'm excited to see what we can do in the race and we'll be trying our best to bring home a 16th win here at Indy for Team Penske."