Helio Castroneves IndyCar Series Preview - Nashville

July 10, 2008

Firestone Indy 200 Fast Facts:

  • Last year in Nashville, Castroneves started and finished sixth, marking his seventh of eleven top-ten finishes in 2007.  In his six starts at Nashville, he has finished in the top-five four times and never outside of the top ten.
  • Last weekend in Watkins Glen, Castroneves started last after he was unable to post a qualifying time when his throttle cable broke.  He was able to battle his way up ten spots to a 16th place finish despite a gearshift problem early in the race, which put him two laps down.
  • In the ten IndyCar Series events completed thus far, Castroneves has earned four podium and eight top-five finishes; completed 99.8% of laps run in competition; started in the top-five seven times; and led 14% of all laps run. 
  • Castroneves is currently in second place in the Championship point standings with 322 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.
  • 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 58 of the 105 (55%) races he’s run since joining the IndyCar Series full-time in 2002, including Miami, St. Petersburg, Japan, Kansas, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Texas and Richmond in 2008; he’s finished in the top-ten in 80 out of 105 races (76%).

Penske Racing at Nashville Superspeedway:

  • In their twelve starts at Nashville Superspeedway, Team Penske has earned six top-three finishes including a win by former driver Gil de Ferran in 2003, which marked the Team’s first victory at an IndyCar Series night race. Additionally, the Team has earned three second-place finishes (Hornish Jr. in ’05 and ’04; de Ferran in ’02), and two third place finishes (Castroneves in ’04 and ’03).

Did You Know?

  • While Castroneves has earned two top-three finishes and completed 99.9% of the laps in his six starts at Nashville Superspeedway, this is one of only four tracks on the 2008 IndyCar Series circuit where he has never led a lap (Sonoma and Australia are the other circuits at which Castroneves has competed and never led; and this year will mark the first time he will compete in Edmonton).

Castroneves on the Firestone Indy 200:

“Nashville is one of those tracks where I’ve been close to winning many times, but I’ve never been able to make it to Victory Lane. The concrete surface makes it very challenging to pass because the track is extremely abrasive on tires. This creates a lot of marbles, which makes passing outside of the main groove risky. With more cars on the track this year, the race is going to come down to the ability to work through traffic and knowing the right time to go for a pass.”