Team Penske Honda Indy Edmonton Preview
July 21, 2010
Drivers: Helio Castroneves (No. 3 Team Penske), Ryan Briscoe (No. 6 Team Penske) and Will Power (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske)
Race: Honda Indy Edmonton at City Centre Airport in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
(1.973-mile temporary street circuit)
When: Qualifying - Saturday, July 24 at 5:30 p.m. ET (6:00 p.m. ET on Versus)
Race (95 laps) - Sunday, July 25 at 6:00 p.m. ET (5:00 p.m. ET on Versus)
TV/Radio: Versus/IMS Radio Network and XM Channel 145 and Sirius Channel 211
Edmonton Excellence: Team Penske has enjoyed solid results at Edmonton since the IZOD IndyCar Series added the popular airport circuit to its schedule in 2008. The team has won the pole there in each of the past two seasons (Ryan Briscoe in 2008 and Will Power in 2009) and it's earned three podium results and one victory (last season with Power). Team Penske will look to make it two wins in a row at the City Centre Airport circuit this weekend.
Power Play: Power enters this weekend's race as the hottest driver in the series. He won last Sunday in Toronto for his fourth victory of the year and his second straight win. It marks the second two-race winning streak of the season for Power, who now leads the series standings by 42 points over defending champion Dario Franchitti. Power was sensational at Edmonton in 2009, winning from the pole position while leading 90 of 95 laps. In addition to leading the series in wins, Power also has five poles to pace all competitors this season. Power will strive for his third straight win this weekend at a track that he dominated last season.
Power-ful Visit: Power will visit Stollery Children's Hospital, located at 8440 112th Street in Edmonton, on Thursday, July 22 at 10 a.m. MT as part of the "Racing for Kids" program.
Canadian Reign: In Canada, Power has posted impressive results throughout his career. In nine races spanning Power's career in both Champ Car and IndyCar Series competition on Canadian soil, he has produced three wins and two poles to go along with six top-five and eight top-10 results. In four career races at Edmonton, Power has earned a win, two poles and he's led 118 laps of competition. Power thinks his Canadian heritage may have something to do with the success north of the border. His grandmother, Jean Ella (Buchan) Power, was born in Brandon, Manitoba, but grew up and worked in Lethbridge, Alberta. Overall, Team Penske has earned two wins, two poles, five podium results and eight top-six finishes in its last four races in Canada.
Landmark Victory: On Sunday, Penske Racing earned its 150th all-time open-wheel racing victory as Power won on the Toronto street circuit. A total of 16 drivers have teamed to produce the record number of wins for open-wheel racing's most successful organization, since 1968.
Going for Seven: Team Penske has earned six victories in 10 IZOD IndyCar Series races in 2010. The team won the first three races of the season with Power capturing the checkered flag in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car at both Sao Paulo, Brazil and at St. Petersburg. Castroneves won in the No. 3 Team Penske Dallara/Honda at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama to make it three in a row. Briscoe then took the No. 6 Team Penske machine to Victory Lane at Texas, before Power won the last two rounds of competition at Watkins Glen International and Toronto.
New Streak?: Team Penske saw its record streak of eight consecutive pole positions won in IZOD IndyCar Series competition snapped last week in Toronto. The remarkable run included poles won by all three drivers (Power - 5, Briscoe - 2, Castroneves - 1) and poles at all types of tracks (road course, street circuit, short oval, 1.5-mile oval and superspeedway). Eight in a row tied the all-time open-wheel racing record for consecutive poles. Last season, Team Penske swept qualifying at Edmonton as Power won the pole and Briscoe and Castroneves qualified second and third. The team looks to begin a new run this weekend at a venue where it's won the last two pole positions.
Helio's Edmonton Experience: Castroneves has run well at Edmonton over the last two seasons. He has qualified and finished among the top three at City Centre Airport in both 2008 and 2009 and he's led 37 laps of racing at the venue. The three-time Indy 500 winner started second and finished second at Edmonton in 2008 and he started third and finished second last season behind Power.
Ryan's Race Ready: Briscoe has also produced good results in his two races in Edmonton. He won the pole on the fast and physical street circuit in 2008 before finishing sixth and last season he qualified second and finished fourth. Currently fourth in the series standings, just seven points behind third place, Briscoe hopes a solid result this weekend will earn him a spot among the top three in the championship chase by the end of this weekend.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT THE HONDA INDY EDMONTON
Helio Castroneves: "I'm really looking forward to racing in Edmonton this weekend. It's a very tough, fast circuit and the No. 3 Team Penske car has done well there, finishing second the last two years. We've been very close to a win there and I hope this is the year we can bring it home. I love the fans in Edmonton. They appreciate our racing and they always seem to draw a big crowd. Last week was tough at Toronto but I'm looking forward to putting that behind us with a strong result this weekend."
Ryan Briscoe: "Edmonton is a unique track that our Team Penske cars have always been very fast at. I enjoy racing at the track and I have started on the front row in the past two years. Hopefully this year I can have another strong qualifying result and convert that into a win in Edmonton."
Will Power: "I am looking forward to getting back on track at Edmonton. It's a great place to race and the fan support is always good. I think it is going to be very competitive in qualifying and really tough in the race this weekend. I was pretty strong there last year and the Verizon team has been great all year so I'm hoping that we can come out on top in this event."