Castroneves and Power Record Top-10 Speeds at Pocono
July 4, 2013LONG POND, Penn. (July 4, 2013) – Team Penske celebrated Independence Day with a few fireworks of its own Thursday at the IZOD IndyCar Series open test session for all teams at Pocono Raceway. Both Team Penske drivers Helio Castroneves and Will Power were among the fastest of the 24 competitors that tested all day Thursday in advance of Sunday’s Pocono INDYCAR 400.
As IndyCar prepares to race at the 2.5-mile Pocono tri-oval for the first time since 1989, both Castroneves and Power proved that they could be contenders to bring home Team Penske’s eighth open-wheel win at the “Tricky Triangle” this weekend. After carding the second-fastest lap of the morning session in the No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet, Castroneves picked up the pace throughout the afternoon and wound posting a top speed of 219.123 mph to finish third in the final testing rundown.
“The Hitachi Team Penske boys did a hell of a job today,” said Castroneves, who enters the weekend as the current IZOD IndyCar Series point leader. “We got a lot accomplished over the full day of testing and, I have to say, the car is fast and really smooth. It feels good.”
Power also ran strong in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car as he owned the fifth-fastest lap in the morning and recorded a top speed of 218.171 mph in the afternoon to finish ninth on the testing chart.
“Overall, I thought it was good day of testing. We focused on improving the Verizon Chevy and at the end of the day we felt good about what we got accomplished,” said Power. ” I’m really looking for a good result this weekend. We’ve run well on the ovals this year and it would be great to come out of Pocono with a solid finish and some good points before we shift back to the road and street circuits. It was a good job overall by the Verizon team today and now we’ll turn our attention to Saturday and get ready for practice and qualifying.”
Both Team Penske drivers topped the 100-lap mark on the unique Pocono track Thursday. Castroneves and Power both turned 111 laps on the day.
A number of fans were in attendance to witness the test, celebrate the holiday and whet their appetite for Saturday and Sunday’s action at Pocono and Castroneves believes they will see a good show this weekend.
“It’s great to be back here racing at Pocono and it was awesome to see some fans out here today just watching testing,” said the three-time Indianapolis 500 winner. “Hopefully we’ll have a good crowd for the race. I think we will be in good shape for qualifying on Saturday. The Hitachi car is ready to go. Now, I hope everyone enjoys the rest of their Fourth of July!”
No on-track activity is scheduled for Friday but practice and qualifying will take place Saturday with single-car qualifying set to begin at 1:15 pm ET. Sunday’s 400-mile race will be televised live on ABC with coverage beginning at 12 pm ET.
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