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Grand Prix of Long Beach Preview

April 18, 2013




THE RACE

Race: Grand Prix of Long Beach
Track: Streets of Long Beach, 1.968-mile street circuit 

No. 2 Penske Automotive       Dallara/Chevrolet
Driven By AJ Allmendinger   

No. 3 Auto Club Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet
Driven By Helio Castroneves   

No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet
Driven By Will Power

THE BROADCAST   

Qualifying: Saturday, 5:00 pm ET (NBCSN)
(Broadcast on NBCSN at 6:00 pm ET)   

Race: Sunday, 4:00 pm ET (NBCSN)     
Radio Broadcast:  IMS Radio/SiriusXM 211


THE NEWS AND NOTES   

AJ Allmendinger
No. 2 Penske Automotive       Dallara/Chevrolet
 
IZOD IndyCar Series Championship Point Standing: 25th (-68)
   
· WELCOME TO THE CLUB:  Allmendinger made a promising return to open-wheel racing last race at Barber Motorsports Park as he qualified 10th and made his way up to seventh place by Lap 7 before trouble leaving his pits on a late stop resulted in a 19th-place finish.

· SHORELINE SAVVY:  Sunday’s race will not be the first time Allmendinger has raced on the Streets of Long Beach. He competed there from 2004-2006 while racing in CART/Champ Car World Series. He earned a top-10 starting spot in all three races and posted a top-10 result in 2005.

· LOTS OF INFORMATION:  Similar to the previous race at Barber, Allmendinger will have a wealth of successful data at his disposal at Long Beach. Team Penske has qualified first nine times and posted five race victories in its history at the popular southern California street circuit.   

THE Q & A

ON WHAT HE TOOK AWAY FROM BARBER 

“We showed that the No. 2 IZOD Team Penske Chevrolet can be fast but we need more work to put together a full race. I am coming into Long Beach ready to compete at a higher level.” – A.J. Allmendinger

THOUGHTS ON HIS RETURN TO LONG BEACH 

“I am looking forward to getting reacquainted with the circuit. I remember it well and shouldn’t take me very long to get comfortable with it again. It is going to be a lot of fun.” – A.J. Allmendinger


THE NEWS AND NOTES

Helio Castroneves
No. 3 Auto Club Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet

IZOD IndyCar Series Championship Points Standing: 1st   

· SUPER START:  Castroneves, the 2001 Long Beach race winner, has enjoyed a great start to the 2013 season. With a second-place finish in St. Petersburg and third-place result at Barber, the three-time Indy 500 champ leads the series.

· HIGH FIVE: With his podium result at Barber, Castroneves recorded his 108th top-five finish which broke the tie for 10th all-time with Tony Kanaan and Gordon Johncock.

· DEJA VU: Castroneves, who currently tops the IZOD IndyCar Championship standings, finds himself in the same place he was in 2012 when he was on top of the field going into Long Beach.

· TWIN TURBO: Similar to the race at Barber and courtesy of Team Penske sponsor AAA, Castroneves’ car this weekend will feature branding for the upcoming IndyCar-themed Turbo movie, which will be released in July.
 
THE Q & A

ON ENTERING THE RACE AS THE POINTS LEADER 

“The No. 3 Auto Club Team Penske Chevrolet comes in with a lot of momentum, which is a good thing, but we have to keep focusing on consistency. Long Beach can be tricky so it is important that we find a way to stay out front.” – Helio Castroneves

ON WHAT HE IS EXPECTING THIS WEEKEND 

“The overtake system should give us some more opportunities to make a move during the race. This is a race where strategy is very important so it will be interesting to see how things play out. I am expecting another very tight finish.” – Helio Castroneves
 

THE NEWS AND NOTES

Will Power
No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet

IZOD IndyCar Series Championship Point Standing: 8th (-32)   

· BARBER BATTLE:  After starting on the front row at for the ninth time in the last 12 road/street course races, the Australian driver powered through 85 consecutive green flag laps in a fuel-conserving strategy to post a top-five finish at Barber.

· WEST COAST REMEDY: In the middle of a 13-race streak without a win, his longest with Team Penske, the Streets of Long Beach may be just what Power needs to return to the top of the podium. The defending race winner at the venue, who also won in 2008 with KV Racing, he has led 38% of all possible laps in the five previous races on the way to posting four podium finishes.

· POLE PROGRESS: Power, whose next pole win will be his 31st and tie him for seventh all-time in IndyCar history, won three consecutive poles at Long Beach from 2009-2011 and qualified second in 2012.

 THE Q & A

ON HIS MINDSET GOING INTO LONG BEACH 

“I am looking forward to having a great weekend with the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet at Long Beach. We have been really close to putting together some great races but we’ve gotten some bad breaks. Hopefully this weekend it will all come together.” – Will Power

HOW HE IS PREPARING FOR THE RACE 

“Winning the pole hasn’t always led to race wins for us so we really want to focus on what we can do to have the best race strategy. We were able to win here from 12th last year, and hopefully we can start up further than that this year, but it shows that a great strategy can overcome a poor starting position.” – Will Power


LAST RACE RECAP – BARBER MOTORSPORTS PARK

Team Penske looked to have a promising day in store as all three drivers ran inside the top 10 in the first six laps. Power took over the race lead on Lap 27 and Castroneves passed him for the top spot on Lap 51. However, an unexpected run of 85 consecutive green flag laps negated the planned strategies as Castroneves was unable to hold on to the lead on Lap 76 with the slower black primary Firestone tires, and he wound up finishing third while Power finished behind him in fifth. In his first Indy car race in seven years, Allmendinger finished 19th for Team Penske.