Castroneves Leads Team Penske Thursday at Indianapolis

May 16, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 16, 2013) – It was another busy day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for Team Penske as Helio Castroneves once again paced the team during the sixth day of practice for the Indianapolis 500.

The three-time Indy 500 winner posted a fast lap of 224.457 mph in the No. 3 Shell V-Power Pennzoil Ultra Dallara/Chevrolet, which emerged as the fifth-fastest lap of the day. Castroneves completed 87 laps on Thursday, highest among all the Team Penske drivers and the most he has completed in one day as the team prepares for the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500.

“We really worked hard today to find something new in the Shell Pennzoil Chevrolet,” said Castroneves, who is one of only four drivers who have surpassed 225 mph in the six practice sessions to date. “We are really digging and the guys have done a great job so far finding the small bits here and there. Now we turn all of our attention tomorrow to qualifying and seeing what kind of speed we can find.”

AJ Allmendinger was clocked at 223.660 mph – 11th-best overall – in the No. 2 IZOD Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet.

"The IZOD Chevrolet ended up 11th today in terms of speed but I feel like we are gaining on the set up,” said Allmendinger, whose total of 294 laps completed in practice leads Team Penske and ranks third among rookies. “I was able to gain more experience in race traffic which you can never get enough of. The car is good and I'm interested to see how the car will handle with the extra boost of power we get tomorrow. Another day of experience behind the wheel and we're learning more and more."

Will Power recorded a fast lap 222.383 mph in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet, which slotted in at 16th-fastest of the six-hour session. The Australian used his 60 laps on track to continue to fine tune the Verizon Chevrolet’s race set-up.

"It was great to be able to get the Verizon Chevrolet on track today as we were planning for rain,” said Power, who is competing in his fourth Indy 500 for Team Penske. “We are still working our way through our list - it is a process of continual adaptation to the conditions. I feel as though we did find something today that will help us during the race. Looking at the times you can tell it is going to be tough."

All three Team Penske drivers logged a large number of laps with 209 total on the day, the second most productive day behind Wednesday’s mark of 247 among the three cars.

Castroneves will attempt to tie the record of four career Indy victories when the race gets underway May 26. He’s one of seven drivers to have won Indy three times; A.J. Foyt, Rick Mears and Al Unser share the record of four.

Practice resumes Friday at noon ET with pole qualifying scheduled to begin Saturday at 11 a.m. ET. It will be televised live by NBC Sports Network, which also will air a special Indy 500 preview Friday at 3:30 p.m.

ABC’s race broadcast of the Indianapolis 500 is set to begin at noon on May 26.

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