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Team Penske Looks to Build on Winning Mid-Ohio Ways

August 4, 2011

Photo courtesy of Steve Swope



FAST FACTS

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

Event: Honda Indy 200
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio
(2.4-mile permanent road course)

When: Qualifying -Saturday, August 6 at 12:55 p.m. ET (6 p.m. ET on Versus)
Race (85 laps) - Sunday, August 7 at 2:50 p.m. ET (Coverage begins at 2 p.m. ET live on Versus)

TV/Radio: Versus/IMS Radio Network and Sirius XM Channel 94


Mid-O Memories: Team Penske has a remarkable history at Mid-Ohio. In the 26 open-wheel races that have been held at the course since 1980, Team Penske has won seven times, including four in a row from 1992-95 when Emerson Fittipaldi and Al Unser Jr. each won two races in a row at the venue. A Team Penske driver has won the pole in each of the last four races run at Mid-Ohio (Will Power - 2010, Ryan Briscoe - 2009 and Helio Castroneves - 2008 and 2007).

Sweepin': In the majority of its victories at Mid-Ohio, Team Penske has demonstrated an uncanny ability to sweep the top spots in the finishing order. In five of its seven wins at the track, Team Penske has finished first and second. The team claimed the top two positions in 1992 (Emerson Fittipaldi followed by Paul Tracy), 2000-2001 (Castroneves followed by Gil de Ferran) and 2008 (Briscoe followed by Castroneves). In 1994, the team scored an impressive 1-2-3 result as Unser Jr. captured the checkered flag followed by Tracy and Fittipaldi. That result stands as the team's last 1-2-3 finish at a road circuit. Team Penske swept the top two spots last round in Edmonton as Power won followed by Castroneves at City Centre Airport.

On a Roll: Power heads into this weekend's event coming off his fourth IZOD IndyCar Series win of the season last round in Edmonton and he is ranked second in the series standings, now 38 points behind Dario Franchitti. Power, the defending Mario Andretti Road Course Champion of the series, trails Franchitti by just four points in the 2011 road course point standings.

Power Play: In his two career IZOD IndyCar Series starts at Mid-Ohio, Power owns a pair of top-four finishes. He started 12th and finished fourth for KV Racing Technology in 2008 for the top result of his rookie campaign in the series and last season he won the pole and went on to finish second in the race at Mid-Ohio

Liking Lexington: Briscoe has had his share of success at Mid-Ohio. He captured the pole for this event in 2009 and he also won at Mid-Ohio driving for Team Penske in 2008. Last season, Briscoe earned a sixth-place finish in the Honda Indy 200. He enters this event ranked sixth in the championship point standings, but he stands just 43 points behind third-place driver Scott Dixon.

Awesome in Ohio: Castroneves owns two wins and two poles at Mid-Ohio in his distinguished open-wheel racing career. He topped qualifying at the circuit in both 2007 and 2008 and captured the checkered flag at the venue in the CART Series in both 2000 and 2001. Overall, he owns five podium (top-three) results in eight career races at Mid-Ohio and finished third here last season. Following a tough start to 2011, but coming off his top finish of the year with a runner-up result in Edmonton, Castroneves has improved his position to ninth in the championship standings.

Helio at Honda: Castroneves, along with several other IndyCar Series drivers, will visit the Honda of America Manufacturing Plant in Marysville, Ohio on Thursday, August 4. Castroneves will tour the facility, meet plant employees and sign autographs that afternoon for Honda, the exclusive engine manufacturer and sponsor of the IZOD IndyCar Series.

Meet Us at Meijer: All three Team Penske drivers will appear at the Meijer store in Mansfield, Ohio on Thursday night, August 4. Castroneves, Power and Briscoe will all meet with fans and sign autographs at the Meijer store located at 1355 N Lexington-Springmill Road in Mansfield from 6-7 p.m. ET on Thursday.

Verizon Visit: Power will visit the Verizon Wireless store located at 851 Lexington Springmilll Road in Mansfield, Ohio on Saturday evening, August 6. Power will meet with fans and sign autographs at the store from 5-6 pm ET.

Tweet, Tweet: Following the Verizon store appearance, Power will host a Twitter party online for fans from 6:15-6:45 pm ET on Saturday evening. Visit Power's Twitter page at @12WillPower or @PenskeRacing to participate and Tweet with Power live.

Prime Partners: Team Penske has proudly welcomed 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, Penske Truck Rental will compete as the primary sponsor of both the No. 3 car driven by Castroneves and the No. 6 car driven by Briscoe at Mid-Ohio. Team Penske also welcomes Shell-Pennzoil, IZOD, Guidepoint Systems, AAA, PPG and Transitions Adaptive Lenses as primary sponsors in 2011 along with new associate sponsors Meijer, Coca-Cola and Comfort Revolution.

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT THE HONDA INDY 200

Helio Castroneves: "I am excited to be returning to Mid-Ohio as it has a great road racing tradition. We are really hoping to carry the momentum we found from our last race to this weekend's event. The Penske Truck Rental car is really fast right now and I can't wait to take a shot at winning this race. It will also be good to see all the great Mid-Ohio fans - they really seem to appreciate IZOD IndyCar Series racing."

Ryan Briscoe: "I love the track at Mid-Ohio. The No. 6 car has historically been fast there and I have had a lot of success there as well. We have been making steady gains in our qualifying performance on the Penske Truck Rental team and we are racing much better than our results have shown. I feel very good going into this weekend and we should be able to come home with a strong result."

Will Power: "Mid-Ohio is a great track and I'm thinking it is going to provide some intense competition. In general, it's a tough place to pass, but the side-by-side restarts will give us the opportunity to make some passes. Our Verizon car has been really quick on the road courses this year and the guys have been solid in the pits. As usual, it will be all about flawless execution to win and that is what we are going to have to do to this weekend."