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Team Penske Aims to Build on Momentum at Long Beach

April 14, 2011

Photo courtesy of Steve Swope



FAST FACTS

Drivers: Helio Castroneves (No. 3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske), Ryan Briscoe (No. 6 Penske Truck Rental) and Will Power (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske)

Event: Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach
Streets of Long Beach, Calif.
(1.98-mile temporary street circuit)

When: Qualifying - Saturday, April 16 at 5:30 p.m. ET
Race (85 laps) - Sunday, April 17 at 4:30 p.m. ET (Live on Versus)

TV/Radio: Versus-TV/IMS Radio Network and XM Channel 145 and Sirius Channel 211

Another Day at the Beach: Team Penske has a strong history at the Grand Prix of Long Beach. This will mark the team's 20th race on the famous street circuit. Dating back to 1985, Team Penske has earned 18 top-five finishes, 13 podium results, seven pole positions and four victories at Long Beach.

Follow the Leaders: Entering this weekend's race, Team Penske leads the IZOD IndyCar Series standings. After a dominant win on Sunday at Barber Motorsports Park, Will Power holds a 94-87 edge over Dario Franchitti in the championship rankings. Helio Castroneves arrives in Long Beach ranked 11th in the standings and after suffering contact in each of the first two races of the season, Ryan Briscoe is tied for 21st in points.

Power-ful Place: Power has a strong history at Long Beach. He won the last-ever race for the Champ Car World Series at the venue in 2008 and he has won the pole position at Long Beach and finished on the podium in each of the last two seasons. After leading all 90 laps at Barber for his first win of the year last weekend, Power is expected to be one of the drivers to beat this Sunday on the streets of Long Beach

Helio's Home at the Beach: Castroneves also has a good track record at Long Beach. The popular Brazilian driver, who is looking to extend his record streak of consecutive seasons with a victory for Team Penske to 12 years in 2011, won from the pole at Long Beach in 2001 and finished second there in 2000. Overall, he has led 101 laps in his six starts at Long Beach with five top-10 finishes. This is also the venue where he returned to the team after his tax trial in 2009.

Street Wise: Team Penske excels at street course circuits. Castroneves, Briscoe and Power have all earned temporary road course victories over the last three seasons and the team overall has produced 21 poles and 12 wins at road/street course venues since 2007. Team Penske is well positioned to start the 2011 season as the first four races are all held at street or road circuits.

Castroneves on Kimmel: Castroneves will make an appearance on the "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" show on ABC-TV on Friday, April 15. Castroneves will be is involved in a sketch that will promote the Shell "Fuel My Passion" sweepstakes featuring Kimmel's Uncle Frank and Aunt Chippy.

Prime Partnerships: Team Penske is proud to welcome several new sponsors to its family in 2011. Joining Power's No. 12 car team primary sponsor, Verizon, in the Team Penske stable this season, The Automobile Club of Southern California will compete as a sponsor of the No. 3 car driven by Castroneves beginning this weekend. Penske Truck Rental will serve as the primary sponsor of the No. 6 car driven by Briscoe at Long Beach. Team Penske also welcomes Shell-Pennzoil, IZOD, Guidepoint Systems and PPG as primary sponsors in 2011 along with new associate sponsors Meijer, Coca-Cola and Comfort Revolution.

Cali Connections: Team Penske has several California connections. Longtime team advisor and four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Rick Mears was raised in Bakersfield while team manager Jon Bouslog hails from Anaheim. Sean Hanrahan, chief mechanic on the No. 3 car, is from Costa Mesa and No. 3 car crewman, Carlos Plaza, comes from Torrance. Don Textor, who works on the No. 12 car crew, is from Fullerton while team communications manager, Michael Ribas, comes from San Diego.

Visit Us at Verizon: Both Power and Briscoe will meet with fans and sign autographs at the Verizon store located at 16401 Beach Blvd. in Huntington Beach, Calif., on Friday night, April 15, from 6-7 p.m. PT.

Sign of the Times: All three Team Penske drivers will sign autographs for fans at the Team Penske merchandise trailer, located in the main midway of the paddock, from 1-1:30 p.m. PT on Friday afternoon, April 15.

California Castroneves Crew: Castroneves and Team Penske will host a group of about 40 local underprivileged children on Sunday as part of Shell's "Fuel for Success" program. Castroneves will meet with the "Castroneves Crew" on Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m. ET. The No. 3 Automobile Club of Southern California car will also carry a "Castroneves Crew" logo this weekend.

Legacy of Success: Team Penske continues to set the standard of success in open-wheel racing. Throughout its storied history, the team has posted 154 race wins, 12 National Championships and 198 pole positions. In addition, Penske Racing has won the Indianapolis 500-mile race 15 times. Across all of its disciplines, Penske Racing teams have produced 333 major race wins, 397 pole positions and 23 National Championships.


WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT THE TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH

Helio Castroneves: "There is a lot of history in Long Beach and it is an incredible place, so full of energy and such great fans. The Automobile Club of Southern California car is looking good and the No. 3 crew is ready to go racing. We are looking to score points this weekend and certainly the streets of Long Beach is a perfect place to have a fantastic weekend. The track is awesome to drive and very challenging and that's what makes it so great for the fans. I can't wait to get there."

Ryan Briscoe: "I'm hoping for a very strong weekend in Long Beach. The No.6 Penske Truck Rental car has been fast and the team has been strong in the first two events. While the results don't show it, we have had fast race cars and fast pit stops. We just need to keep working hard and hope our luck will turn this weekend. I feel really good going into this event - it is a great place to race."

Will Power: "I'm looking forward to getting out to Long Beach. It's one of my favorite tracks. The No. 12 Verizon car has finished second and third there the last couple of years and I am pretty keen on getting to the top step of the podium this weekend. It is going to be another incredibly competitive qualification and race. The field seems to get tougher each event. We will just have to go through our process this weekend and see how it works out. It should be another race that is challenging for the drivers and great for the fans."