Team Penske Carries Speed For Indy Road Course Practice

May 8, 2015

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 7, 2015) – The Team Penske quartet of drivers began their preparations for Saturday’s Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis (ALGPI) by recording four of the six fastest times on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course during the Friday practice session. 

Verizon IndyCar Series champion Will Power finished the day with the second-fastest overall time in the No. 1 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet. He toured the 2.434-mile, 14-tour circuit in 1:10:8118 seconds. Power finished eighth in the inaugural ALGPI in 2014. 

“Whenever you get (to Indianapolis), you realize that this is one of the nicest places we come,” said Power. “It’s smooth and it’s like a European-style track. I like it and it’s a lot of fun. It’s very technical. We’re in a reasonable window, but it’s certainly hard to tell. We struggled a little bit in the end with the Verizon Chevy and we went in the wrong direction. We still have another practice session and we can look at the data overnight to see what we come up with.”

Juan Pablo Montoya, the 2000 Indianapolis 500 champion, recorded the third-fastest time of the session in the No. 2 Verizon Chevy with a time of 1:10:8560 seconds. Montoya finished 16th in last year’s event. 

“I am happy with the way we ended practice with the Verizon Chevy, but we had our fair share of struggles today,” stated Montoya. “We had some brake issues that took a while to overcome, but we made them better over the course of the day. The handling of the car improved during the day as well. Really comfortable with the way we ended practice and I’m happy with our direction for tomorrow.”

Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves finished the day with the fifth-fastest time in the No. 3 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet. Castroneves led 15 laps in the inaugural race last year before finishing third. 

“The Verizon Chevrolet was running very smooth today,” said Castroneves, who will make his 300th Verizon IndyCar Series start on Saturday. “We had an opportunity to try quite a lot of things, to be honest. We had a lot of practice today and actually had more practice time than we had Firestone tires. (Engineer) Jonathan (Diuguid) and I were able to work in the right direction. We are still going to make some changes tomorrow, but at this point we are happy. With a day under our belts here there is no question that we are on the right path.”

The defending winner of the ALGPI, Simon Pagenaud, recorded the sixth-fastest time on Thursday in his first trip to Indianapolis with Team Penske. After the session he was presented his champions ring in a surprise ceremony in the media center. 

"When I won this race last year they fitted me for the ring right on victory circle,” stated Pagenaud. “So I was starting to wonder where it went! It's truly an honor to receive something so special from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I always said that if I got one of these I would go to sleep with it, so we'll see if that's true! The champion's ring for the Indy 500 is so important, and it's really cool to see IMS continue that tradition with the Grand Prix of Indianapolis."
A third practice session will be held Friday at 11 am ET before ALGPI qualifying begins at 3:00 pm ET.
The Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis will air this Saturday on ABC. Coverage will begin at 3:30 pm ET.