Team Penske Excited for 100th Anniversary Indy 500
May 27, 2011
Drivers: Helio Castroneves (No. 3 Shell V-Power Pennzoil Ultra Team Penske), Ryan Briscoe (No. 6 IZOD Team Penske) and Will Power (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske)
Event: Indianapolis 500
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway
When: Sunday, May 29 at 12:00 p.m. ET (Live on ABC-TV)
TV/Radio: ABC/IMS Radio Network and Sirius XM Radio Channel 94
Team Penske at Indy: Team Penske is the most successful team in the history of competition at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The team has earned a record 15 wins and 16 poles at the Indianapolis 500 and it holds virtually every performance-based record at the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" including laps led (1,925), winning drivers (10), wins from the pole (7), front-row starts (39) and race starts (84). Drivers Helio Castroneves, Ryan Briscoe and Will Power will try to add to those records on Sunday.
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 Sunday, it would mark five consecutive decades with an Indy 500 victory for Penske Racing.
Going Four It: Castroneves will try and tie the all-time record of four victories on Sunday. 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 one of the spotters for Castroneves at Indianapolis.
Helio's Home Away From Home: Castroneves continues to excel at Indianapolis. Not only is he a three-time winner of the Indy 500, the native of Sao Paulo, Brazil is also four-time pole winner at the Brickyard. Recently voted as the fifth-best driver in Indianapolis 500 history, Castroneves will start 16th Sunday in his worst starting spot in 11 races at Indianapolis. He won Indy from the 13th starting position in 2002.
Power-ed Up for Indy: Verizon Team Penske driver Will Power fell just short of winning his fifth consecutive pole position to start the season during Pole Day qualifying last Saturday. But Power, the current IZOD IndyCar Series points leader, did earn his second consecutive top-five starting spot as he qualified fifth to lead Team Penske. The winner of two out of the first four races this season, Power will be searching for his first Indy 500 victory and first oval track win of his career on Sunday.
Briscoe's Battles: It was an emotional roller coaster of a weekend for Ryan Briscoe last weekend. The fourth-year Team Penske driver had hoped to battle for the pole on Saturday but he made hard contact with the wall in the No. 6 IZOD car in morning practice, suffering bruised knees. His team rallied to prepare the backup car and Briscoe returned to the track just about an hour after the crash. The speed just wasn't the same in the "T" car, however, and he was unable to qualify among the top 24 cars. Briscoe and the team came back strong on Sunday, however, and he will start from the 26th position in the Indianapolis 500.
Pit Perfect: On Friday, May 27 - Carburetion Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Team Penske will try to extend its record and win its 13th title in the IZOD Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge. Helio Castroneves and the No. 3 Team Penske crew have won the last four consecutive pit stop competitions at Indianapolis.
Follow the Leaders: Entering the Indy 500, Team Penske leads the IZOD IndyCar Series standings. After winning the last race on the streets of Sao Paulo and qualifying fifth at Indy, Power holds an 18-point edge (178-160) over Dario Franchitti in the championship rankings. After back-to-back podium finishes, Ryan Briscoe is ranked fifth in points, while Castroneves is 17th in the standings after suffering contact in each of the first four races of the season,
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, Shell V-Power and Pennzoil Ultra will compete as a sponsor of the No. 3 car driven by Castroneves beginning with the Indy 500. IZOD will once again serve as the primary sponsor of the No. 6 car driven by Briscoe at Indy. Team Penske also welcomes Guidepoint Systems, AAA, PPG and Penske Truck Rental as primary sponsors in 2011 along with new associate sponsors Meijer, Coca-Cola and Comfort Revolution.
Meijer Men: All three Team Penske drivers will sign autographs for fans at the Meijer store located at 150 S. Marlin Dr. in Greenwood, Ind. on Friday, May 27 from 6-7 p.m. ET.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT THE INDIANAPOLIS 500
Roger Penske: "Our team has built its history around our success at the Indianapolis 500 and this is truly a special opportunity to celebrate the 100th anniversary of this great race. There is so much tradition and history at Indianapolis but that is just part of what makes this event so unique. Our teams have been working hard to prepare for the Indy 500 and we believe we have three cars and three drivers that are very capable of winning this race."
Helio Castroneves: "I am so excited about the opportunity to race in the 100th anniversary of the Indy 500 this Sunday. We didn't qualify the way we would've liked to for this race, but we certainly know that we have a fast car and it's a very long race and so many things can happen. The No. 3 Shell V-Power Pennzoil Ultra team has been working hard all month and we're ready to go for it when we see the green flag this weekend."
Ryan Briscoe: "It's a huge honor to be racing in the 100th anniversary of the world's biggest race. This is the most important race I've ever participated in - it could be the biggest of my career. With Roger calling the shots on Sunday, I know we have a good chance to win this historic race. I would love to give him his 16th Indianapolis 500 win on such a big day for IndyCar racing. And to do it while flying the IZOD colors - it'd be amazing."
Will Power: "I feel honored to be a part of this historic race. This race is very important to Roger and there is nothing I would like better than to bring him another victory here at the Brickyard. The Verizon crew has been working diligently preparing the car and practicing pit stops. I am ready to race, the double file restarts are going to make it very interesting. The competition is going to be tough out there and this should be a great race."