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Team Penske Texas Preview

June 3, 2010

Photo courtesy of Steve Swope



FAST FACTS

Drivers: Helio Castroneves (No. 3 Team Penske), Ryan Briscoe (No. 6 Team Penske) and Will Power (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske)

Race: Firestone 550K at Texas Motor Speedway in Ft. Worth, Tex.
(1.5-mile oval)

When: Qualifying - Friday, June 4 at 4:35 p.m. ET (5:00 p.m. on Versus)
Race (228 laps) - Saturday, June 5 at 8:45 p.m. ET

TV/Radio: Versus/IMS Radio Network and XM Channel 145 and Sirius Channel 211 (coverage begins at 8:00 p.m. ET)

Team Penske at Texas: After a challenging day Sunday at the Indy 500, Team Penske looks forward to returning to action at a track where it has a tremendous track record - Texas Motor Speedway (TMS). The team has won five IZOD IndyCar Series races at the 1.5-mile, high-banked oval, including four out of the last six events at the venue. Over the last six IndyCar Series races at Texas, Team Penske has led 664 of 1284 laps of competition (51.7%).

HCN at TMS: Helio Castroneves has a tremendous history at Texas, as he's earned three wins, a pole position and seven top-five finishes in 11 starts at TMS. Castroneves will be looking to become the first four-time IndyCar Series race winner at Texas this weekend - he and former Team Penske driver Sam Hornish Jr. each hold the current record with three career victories at Texas.

Briscoe Ready for Breakout?: Ryan Briscoe has also fared well at TMS. In his two starts for Team Penske at Texas, Briscoe has earned a pair of podium finishes and led 172 laps. In 2009, Briscoe led a race high 160 laps only to finish second behind Castroneves.

Power Premiere: This will mark the first race for current IZOD IndyCar Series points leader Will Power in a Team Penske car at Texas. Power ran a partial-season schedule last season and did not compete at TMS. Power's only start in the Lone Star state came in 2008 with KV Racing Technology when he started eighth and finished 13th.

Rewind: Last season, Team Penske swept the top two positions at Texas. Briscoe earned a second-place starting position to pace the team in qualifying and he took the lead of the race on lap 11. Briscoe dominated most of the race, leading 160 laps in all, but Castroneves, who started fourth, came out in front of his teammate on the final pit stop and brought home his third career Texas triumph.

Penske Pole Pursuit: Team Penske has produced an outstanding qualifying record in 2010. The team will be looking for its sixth consecutive pole position in qualifying on Friday. Will Power claimed the pole at the St. Petersburg, Barber Motorsports Park and Long Beach street/road circuits earlier this season, while Briscoe owned the top qualifying result in Kansas before Castroneves won the pole for the Indy 500. Castroneves is the only current Team Penske driver to win a pole at Texas as he claimed the top starting spot in 2004.

Season Leaders: Team Penske has earned three victories in 2010 and has led the series standings throughout the IZOD IndyCar Series 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 fourth overall. Briscoe enters this weekend ranked seventh in the championship chase driving the No. 6 Team Penske entry.
Night Moves: Saturday night's event marks the first night race on the 2010 schedule. Chicagoland Speedway (August 28) and Kentucky Speedway (September 4) will also host night races this season. In 2009, Team Penske claimed victory in the night races at all three of those venues.

Pit Bosses: The No. 3 Team Penske pit crew has once again proven that it's the best in the business. On Carburetion Day at the Indianapolis 500, Team Penske won its record 12th title in the annual IZOD Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge. Castroneves and the No. 3 car crew won the competition for the fourth time, defeating the Newman/Haas Racing crew and driver Hideki Mutoh in the finals.

Speed Read: 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 FIRESTONE 550K

Tim Cindric: "After a difficult day at Indy, everyone at Team Penske is looking forward to the opportunity to race at one of the best venues in the country. We have had a great deal of success at Texas and Helio is hoping he can repeat there and get his fourth win overall. We had two really solid cars there last year and I think Will is poised to win his first oval race in the near future."

Helio Castroneves: "I definitely have some great memories of racing in Texas. Last year, we felt Ryan and I both had great cars so we want to recover from Indy and hopefully have a similar experience as 2009. We will keep working hard and I'm hoping for a good finish for all three of us!"

Ryan Briscoe: "We are going into Texas looking to continue the success we have had there as a team. Last year, Helio and I finished 1-2 and this race has always been kind to us. I am looking forward to this event so that we can move on from Indy and hopefully end the night shooting pistols in Victory Circle."

Will Power: "I feel good about racing Texas this weekend. My fiancé (Elizabeth Cannon) and her family are from this area, so it is kind of like a home track to me. I'm really looking forward to getting back on track this weekend. The Verizon Team Penske car should be fast. Penske always seems to have fast cars at this event. I plan on racing hard, having some fun and hopefully improving on our results from Indy."