SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 17, 2014) – After a strong weekend of qualifying, all three of Team Penske’s drivers will start among the top 10 next weekend in the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500. Will Power led the team's efforts on Sunday as he earned a front-row starting position for the "greatest spectacle in racing." Power, the Verizon IndyCar Series points leader, will start third in next Sunday's race, while three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves will start fourth and 2000 Indy 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya will line up 10th in the 33-car field.
Power recorded a four-lap average of 230.697 mph Sunday in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet, coming up one position short of matching his best Indy 500 starting spot, which came in 2010 when he started second.
Power's effort marked Team Penske's 41st front row start in the Indianapolis 500.
“It would have been nice to put the No. 12 Verizon Chevy on the top of the board today, but we did what we needed to do,” said Power, who has earned four top-five starting positions in seven career Indy 500s. “A front row starting spot is great. All the Team Penske cars were really quick today. Now it’s time to start preparing for the race. It should be a good one.”
Castroneves, who has won the Indy 500 pole position four times, was clocked at 230.649 for four laps in the No. 3 Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet. He’ll start fourth in the May 25 race.
“All of us have been working really well together since we got to Indianapolis,” stated Castroneves. “It definitely showed today. We had three of the top-five speeds on the day. Unfortunately, Juan Pablo (Montoya) wasn't in the (Firestone) Fast Nine. The weather was perfect out there today. Everyone was running really low downforce and just going for the pole. Like Rick Mears used to say, there are two races, qualifying and the (Indianapolis) 500. The No. 3 Pennzoil Chevy is very fast and we are in good shape for next weekend.”
Montoya, returning to Indy 500 for the first time since he won the 2000 race, was Sunday’s fastest driver outside the Firestone Fast Nine from the first round of Saturday’s initial qualifying session. His four-lap average of 231.007 mph in the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet earned him a 10th-place starting spot.
“Being with Team Penske and Verizon here at Indianapolis is very special,” said Montoya. “I hate that we couldn’t run for the pole position today because we, obviously, had a really fast Chevy. But knowing that I’ll be starting the Indy 500 with Roger Penske, you can’t ask for anything more than that. Hopefully I can give him win No. 16 next weekend.”
Power went out on track before Castroneves and secured the front-row start with a consistent run that only Ed Carpenter, who won the Verizon P1 Award with a four-lap run of 231.067 mph, and second-place starter James Hinchcliffe could surpass.
“We were close,” continued Power. “Carpenter and Hinchcliffe had to put down two great laps to beat us. I really want to win a Verizon P1 pole award here.”
Castroneves came up just 0.048 mph behind Power over the 10-mile qualifying run. In his 14 Indy 500s, Castroneves has started in the first two rows nine times.
“It’s a long race, but it’s nice to be able to see the front row when the green flag drops,” said Castroneves.
The Verizon IndyCar Series will have another practice session starting Monday at 12 pm ET. Friday’s Carb Day practice will serve as the final warmup before Sunday’s race. ABC-TV’s live broadcast of the Indianapolis 500 will begin at 11 a.m. ET.