All Three Penske Cars in Top-7 in Monday's Practice
May 13, 2013INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.(May 13, 2013) – Team Penske continued to show why it is a favorite to win the 97th running of Indianapolis 500 by placing all three of its cars among the top seven on the timing chart during the third day of practice on Monday.
Three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves led the way for Team Penske with a fast lap of 225.075 mph in the No. 3 Shell V-Power Pennzoil Ultra Dallara/Chevrolet, the second-fastest lap of the day. He was one of two drivers to surpass 225 mph so far in practice as he only trailed Marco Andretti’s speed of 225.100 mph.
"Right now we're trying to follow the schedule and we're not worried about the result,” said Castroneves, who is competing in his 13th Indianapolis 500. “(Team Penske advisor and four-time Indy 500 winner) Rick Mears always says that (Indy) is two races and right now we're worried about the first race, which is qualifying. Plus there is the weather and things like that, so we're not thinking about the result. I dream about it – about becoming a four-time winner, but right now you have to work before you achieve your dreams. And that's what we're going to do."
Will Power was clocked at 223.784 mph in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet, good for fourth-fastest of the six-hour session. Power’s 56 laps led the Team Penske threesome.
"We had a good day in the Verizon car,” said Power, who had a crew from ESPN’s Sport Science in his pit box for an upcoming feature story. “Everything went according to plan as we worked through our process. Towards the end of the day we turned a decent lap and we will work to improve on what we learned today."
AJ Allmendinger was clocked at 223.264 mph – seventh-best overall – in the No. 2 IZOD Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet.
"The No. 2 IZOD car was good today. It was another day in the car and as more downforce was taken away from the car, the more comfortable it felt,” said Allmendinger, who recorded the fastest lap among all rookies on the day. “It's really about logging laps and becoming confident behind the wheel. We ended up seventh on the charts and were able to gain more information regarding the set-up of the car. I am looking forward to tomorrow and the rest of the week."
Castroneves will attempt to tie the record of four career Indy victories when the race gets underway May 26. He’s one of seven drivers to have won Indy three times; A.J. Foyt, Rick Mears and Al Unser share the record of four victories.
“We are kind of managing mileage on the engine as well, so yesterday we did not run in the Shell-Pennzoil car,” added Castroneves. “We are sticking to the plan. I didn’t want to run yesterday, but now Team Penske is working to make sure we hit the schedule and keep on track.”
Castroneves, Power and Allmendinger will attempt to help Team Penske extend its record of 15 Indy 500 wins. Practice resumes Tuesday at noon ET.
Pole qualifying is scheduled to begin Saturday at 11 a.m. ET. It will be televised live by NBC Sports Network. The 97th Indianapolis 500 will take place on Sunday, May 26 with the ABC race broadcast set to start at 12 p.m. ET.
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