Helio Castroneves Team Penske Richmond Preview

June 26, 2008

Fast Facts:

  • Last year in Richmond, Castroneves started sixth (qualifying was rained out and the starting grid was based on Championship point standings) and was running in the top-five for most of the race before a mid-race black flag penalty for a blend line infraction caused him to fall a lap down, leaving him with an 11th-place finish.
  • At Richmond, Castroneves has six starts, including four from the front row; two pole positions (2004 and 2006) and one win (2005).
  • Last weekend, Castroneves started second and led a race-high 92 laps before a tire puncture forced him to the pits late in the race.  As a result, he dropped back in the field and finished 14th.  Iowa marked the second consecutive race he’s led the most laps; he led a race-high 85 laps three weeks ago in Texas.
  • In the eight IndyCar Series events completed thus far, Castroneves has earned seven top-five finishes, completed 99.9% of laps run in competition, started in the top-five seven times, and led nearly 20% of all laps run.  Castroneves is currently in second place in the Championship point standings with 265 points, 48 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.
  • Castroneves has finished in the top-five in 57 of the 103 (55%) races he’s run since joining the IndyCar Series full-time in 2002 including Miami, St. Petersburg, Japan, Kansas, Indianapolis, Milwaukee and Texas in 2008; he’s finished in the top-ten in 79 out of 103 races (77%).

Penske Racing on Short Ovals:

  • Team Penske has earned 25 of its 135 Indy car race wins (19%) on tracks that are a distance of one mile or shorter, including two of the last three races in Richmond (Castroneves in 2005 and Hornish Jr. in 2006). In addition, the Team has led a total of 404 of 750 laps (54%) at the track over the past three seasons.
  • Team Penske has won five of the last eleven, and eight of the last 24 IndyCar Series events on short ovals.

Did You Know?

  • Helio Castroneves has earned three of his 18 career wins (18%) and 9 of his 30 career poles (30%) on tracks that are one mile or shorter.

Castroneves on the Suntrust Indy Challenge:

“Richmond is one of my favorite tracks on the IndyCar Series circuit. It’s one of the smallest circuits we run at, which means we’re able to turn laps in about 15 seconds. Because of the speeds and the track size, it feels like you’re constantly turning. As a result, Richmond is very physically demanding.  When you add in the increased car count this season, I think we will see some really exciting action on the track.  With more cars in the field, it’ll be tougher to move through traffic, which adds another challenge to this circuit. 

"Team Penske has been historically strong on short ovals, so hopefully we’ll be able to compete for the win.”