Helio Castroneves Kentucky Speedway Preview

August 6, 2008

The Meijer Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway

Saturday, August 9, 6:30 p.m. EDT

ESPN2 (television), IMS Radio Network (radio)

Helio Castroneves, No. 3 Team Penske Dallara/Honda, Fast Facts:

  • Two weeks ago in Edmonton, Castroneves started second and led a race-high 35 laps before earning his sixth second-place finish of the season.  His starting position of second, coupled with teammate Ryan Briscoe’s pole marked the second consecutive front row sweep for the Team, its 50th in its history and the 14th since joining the Indy Racing League.
  • Castroneves is currently in second place in the Championship point standings with 440 points, 65 points behind Series leader Scott Dixon.
  • After leading 35 laps in Edmonton, Castroneves tied Sam Hornish Jr.’s Series record of 67 races in which he’s led laps.  In addition, Castroneves leads the Series this season in races led (9), laps completed (2,290), races running at finish (13); and is tied for the lead in top-five finishes (11) and top-ten finishes (11) with Dixon.
  • Earlier this season, Castroneves finished second, behind teammate Ryan Briscoe at Mid-Ohio, resulting in Team Penske’ eighth 1-2 finish in IndyCar Series competition and the 35th in its open-wheel history.  
  • In the thirteen IndyCar Series events this season, Castroneves has earned two poles, seven podium and eleven top-five finishes; completed 99.9% of laps run in competition; started in the top-five ten times; and led 16% of all laps run.  His pole in Nashville extended his IndyCar Series record for most consecutive seasons with a pole (7).
  • Castroneves earned seven poles last season, an IndyCar Series record.  In addition, Castroneves is the IndyCar Series leader in career pole positions with 23.
  • Castroneves has finished in the top-five in 61 of the 108 (56%) races he’s run since joining the IndyCar Series full-time in 2002 including Miami, St. Petersburg, Japan, Kansas, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Texas, Richmond, Nashville, Mid-Ohio and Edmonton in 2008; he’s finished in the top-ten in 83 out of 108 races (77%).

Team Penske at Kentucky Speedway:

  • In the six years (twelve starts) Team Penske has competed at Kentucky Speedway, the Team has started in the top-five seven times and in the top-ten in all but two appearances at the track.  In addition, the Team has earned eight top-ten finishes, including the Team’s first victory in The Bluegrass State when Hornish Jr. earned his fourth win of the 2006 season. 

Did You Know?

  • While Castroneves has finished in the top-five in four of six appearances at Kentucky Speedway and he’s completed 99.8% of all laps run; he has only led 3% of the laps and has never found Victory Circle.

Castroneves on the Meijer Indy 300:

“Kentucky is a tough track to master, because it’s very bumpy and very fast. There is hardly any banking, so it’s always a challenge to make sure we get the right set-up on the Team Penske car. The racing is extremely tight with a lot of side-by-side action, which makes for an exciting show for the fans. It seems that the race always comes down to the final laps, and I’m not expecting anything different this year. Historically, this hasn’t been one of my stronger tracks, but it’s my goal to turn that around this year.”