Castroneves Ready To Race Under The Lights In Texas

June 5, 2008

Fast Facts:

  • Last year in Texas, Castroneves started fifth and was placed 16th after contact with a loose tire in an on-track incident on lap 197.
  • In Milwaukee last weekend, Castroneves started and finished fifth.  He has now finished in the top-five in every race this season and is the only driver in the IndyCar Series to achieve this.  He has also started in the top five in five of the six races to date. 
  • Castroneves is currently in second place in the Championship point standings with 206 points, 28 points behind Series leader Scott Dixon.  
  • In 2007’s seventeen races, Castroneves finished in the top-three five times and the top-ten 11 times. In addition, Castroneves led laps in nine races, including leading most laps three times (St. Petersburg, Milwaukee and Mid-Ohio).
  • Castroneves earned seven poles last season, an IndyCar Series record.  In addition, Castroneves is the IndyCar Series leader in career pole positions with 23; more than double that of any active driver. 
  • With his 2007 win in St. Petersburg, Castroneves broke Rick Mears’ Penske Racing record of consecutive years with a win for the Team. Mears won at least one race for seven consecutive seasons from 1979-1985; Castroneves has won at least one race every year since 2000. He has earned 18 victories in eight seasons with the Team.
  • Castroneves has finished in the top-five in 56 of the 101 (55%) races he’s run since joining the IndyCar Series full-time in 2002 including Miami, St. Petersburg, Japan, Kansas, Indianapolis and Milwaukee in 2008; he’s finished in the top-ten in 78 out of 101 races (78%). 
  • In 2002, Castroneves scored his second consecutive Indianapolis 500 victory and at age 27, became the youngest driver in history to win the Indianapolis 500 twice and the only driver to win the race in his first two starts.

Penske Racing at Texas Motor Speedway:

  • In nine races at Texas Motor Speedway, Team Penske has accumulated four wins (Sam Hornish Jr. – ’07, Castroneves - ’06 and 10/17/04, Gil de Ferran - 10/12/03); and three pole positions (Hornish Jr. – ‘06, Castroneves – 10/15/04, de Ferran – 10/10/03).
  • In addition, de Ferran and Castroneves both won from the pole in the season-finale races of 2003 and 2004. Castroneves’ victory in 2006 marked the first time that the Team had won under the lights at Texas Motor Speedway. Since 2002, the Team has scored five night race victories; other wins under the lights include: Richmond ’06 (Hornish Jr.) and ’05 (Castroneves); and Nashville – ’03 (de Ferran).
  • Penske Racing drivers hold both the qualifying and race speed records at Texas Motor Speedway. Former driver de Ferran holds the single-lap record of 222.864 mph, set on 10/10/03; while Castroneves and former driver Sam Hornish Jr. set the 200 and 228-lap race speed records during their victories in 2006 and 2007 (respectively).

Castroneves on the Bombardier Learjet 550k:

“I always look forward to going to Texas because the crowd for our race is the second largest of the season, and racing under the lights is always a lot of fun. The high banking and smooth racing surface allows us to go full throttle all the way around the track and provides some great side-by-side racing for the fans. I’ve been fortunate enough to win at Texas twice, and I must say that it’s one of the best victory lanes anywhere with the cowboy hat and pistol presentation. Last year’s race didn’t turn out the way we hoped, as I made contact with a loose tire from an accident. However, given our past success at the track, I expect this season’s visit to the Lone Star State to turn out differently.”