Penske Racing

Team Penske Race Preview - Baltimore

August 29, 2013

THE RACE

Grand Prix of Baltimore (IZOD IndyCar Series)
Streets of Baltimore (two-mile street circuit)
Sunday, September 1, 2013

THE CARS

No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet
Helio Castroneves - @h3lio
IZOD IndyCar Series Championship Standing: 1st   

No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet
Will Power - @12WillPower
IZOD IndyCar Series Championship Standing: 8th (-123 pts.)


THE BROADCASTS

Qualifying: Saturday – 12 pm ET (tape-delayed on NBC Sports at 6 pm ET)
Race: Sunday  – 2 pm ET (live on NBC Sports)    

Radio Broadcast:  IMS Radio/ SiriusXM 211
 

THE NEWS AND NOTES


No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet

· HEAD OF THE CLASS: For the 12th time this season, Helio Castroneves enters a race weekend leading the IZOD IndyCar Series standings. He arrives in Baltimore with a 39-point lead in the title chase over rival Scott Dixon after Castroneves earned a seventh-place finish on Sunday at Sonoma. Castroneves has led the points for the last 10 consecutive races as he continues to pursue his first series title.

· NOT-SO-CHARMED CITY: In his first two series starts at Baltimore, Castroneves hasn’t enjoyed great results or luck. In the first year racing at the Inner Harbor street circuit in 2011, Castroneves qualified seventh but he was involved in a scary accident during the race day morning warmup when Tony Kanaan’s car experienced a mechanical failure and drove over top of Castroneves. He had to start from the back of the field after going to a backup car for the race and he wound up 17th. Last season, Castroneves qualified 14th and finished 10th.

· CONSISTENTLY CONSISTENT: Castroneves continues to be the only driver in the IZOD IndyCar Series to complete every lap of competition in 2013. He has completed all 1,928 laps and has posted top-10 results in 14 of 15 races, including the last 11 in a row dating back to the Indianapolis 500.

· NUMBERS DON’T LIE: Castroneves also ranks high in several other key statistical categories. He’s currently second in the series Road Course rankings as well and is tied with Ryan Hunter-Reay for the lead in the Oval Course standings. Castroneves also paces the series with 14 top-10 finishes in 15 races. His average finishing position of 5.8 tops all series drivers as well.

· PERFORMING FOR PPG: This weekend, Castroneves returns to the No. 3 PPG Automotive Refinish Dallara/Chevrolet. This marks the third race this season that the three-time Indy 500 winner has competed in the distinct blue and black PPG-branded IndyCar. At Milwaukee earlier this year, Castroneves finished second in the PPG machine while he earned a sixth-place finish at Mid-Ohio wearing the PPG colors.

THE Q & A


HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 PPG DALLARA/CHEVROLET

YOU HAVEN’T HAD GREAT LUCK IN THE FIRST TWO SERIES RACES IN BALTIMORE. CAN YOU TURN IT AROUND THIS WEEKEND?

“It’s true we haven’t had great results last season or the year before in Baltimore but I certainly think we can turn it around and have a good finish on Sunday. Baltimore is a tough and bumpy street circuit but I know it’s a place where we can find a good setup and score points in the PPG Chevrolet. I also think Baltimore provides a great city atmosphere for the race. The fans really seem to love it and it’s a really big deal in the city. I’m excited for this weekend.”

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE CHAMPIONSHIP BATTLE NOW WITH FOUR RACES REMAINING?
“I still feel it’s going to be a battle all the way to the end. We’ve been able to hold on to the lead in the points, and even add to it a little bit over the last couple of races, but I know how tough these guys are. No one is giving up and with four races left, there’s so many points still out there. We need to keep on it, keep doing what we’ve been doing and hopefully we can stay out in front with a strong weekend here at Baltimore in the PPG car.”



THE NEWS AND NOTES


No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet   

· POWER RESTORED: Will Power earned his first victory of the 2013 season on Sunday at Sonoma Raceway as he led the final 16 laps to claim his third career win on the Wine Country road course. The victory ended a 25-race winless streak – the longest of Power’s IndyCar career.  Now, the native of Toowoomba, Australia will be looking to string together back-to-back wins at a course where he’s experienced a good deal of success over the last two seasons.

· BRINGIN’ IT IN BALTIMORE: Power has been a force racing on the streets of Baltimore the last two years. He’s won the pole position for both series races on the inner harbor circuit, he won the race in 2011 and finished sixth last year. He’s led 92 of 150 laps at the venue and if it weren’t for changing track conditions from wet to dry in last year’s race, Power may have earned back-to-back victories at Baltimore.

· PASSING HIS ROAD TEST: The three-time defending series road course champion, Power has found his groove on road courses over the last few races, following a tough start to the season. Competing at the Mid-Ohio permanent road course, Power posted a strong fourth-place finish two races ago and he followed that up with his first victory of the year on the Sonoma road course. Now up to eighth in the championship standings, and just five points outside of seventh place, Power looks to improve his standing even further this weekend on a street circuit where he’s been dominant over the last two years.

· COMING AROUND: As they begin to rise up the series rankings, Power and the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske squad have continued to demonstrate good speed and the ability to run at the front of the challenging IndyCar field. Power has earned two poles and his averaging starting position is 4.5, which ranks second among all drivers in 2013. He has also led 11 of 15 races this season which is tops among all series competitors.


THE Q & A


WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON DALLARA/CHEVROLET

YOU’VE RUN WELL IN BALTIMORE THE LAST TWO YEARS. DO YOU THINK YOU CAN MAKE IT TWO WINS IN A ROW THIS WEEKEND?

“I hope we can build on the momentum from the win on Sunday in Sonoma and carry that confidence into Baltimore. I love racing on the streets of Baltimore. The event has great fan support and racing near the harbor just makes for a cool backdrop. We won at Baltimore in 2011 and it would be great to get the Verizon Chevy back in Victory Lane there on Sunday.”

HOW MUCH CONFIDENCE DID SUNDAY’S WIN GIVE THE TEAM?
“Man, it was just good to finally get a win and I was so happy for the Verizon guys – both the team and the guests from Verizon who were there with us in Sonoma. It was definitely a good feeling. Things haven’t gone our way a lot this year – it’s just been a strange season – and it really makes you appreciate how hard it is to win in the IndyCar Series. But I think we’ve continued to show that we have a fast car and can run up front so it was good to break through and get that first win of the year. Now, it would be good to take advantage of that momentum and make it two in a row.”



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