Team Penske Readies For Indy 500 Qualifying

May 15, 2015

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 15, 2015) – Team Penske warmed up for this weekend’s qualifying for the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 by posting four of the top-10 fastest laps during Fast Friday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS).
Simon Pagenaud, who has shown good speed all week in practice, led the way with a lap of 230.698 mph in the No. 22 Avaya Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet -- the fastest speed of the day among the 34 cars on the track for the Friday session.
“Today was a good day for the Avaya Chevy team,” stated Pagenaud. “The conditions were difficult. The conditions were finally hot and there are a lot of differences in how the body kits react depending on the weather. For Team Penske the biggest thing is we worked really well as a team to get different versions of aero levels for (qualifying) tomorrow and understanding that, so we can look at that information tonight and decide very precisely what we need. Really excited about that.”

Defending Verizon IndyCar Series champion Will Power had the fifth-fastest lap -- 230.206 mph -- in the No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet. Power, who has 38 Verizon P1 Pole Awards in his career, will be looking for his first on the IMS oval after winning from the pole in the Grand Prix of Indianapolis last weekend. 
"The Verizon Chevy ran well today, despite the heat as it took us a bit by surprise,” said Power. “We did a back track and have a better understanding of what to run. We'll take another good look at everything tonight for tomorrow. But overall, we feel comfortable with the way we ended the day."
Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves had the eighth-fastest speed -- 229.852 mph -- in the No. 3 Shell V-Power Nitro+ Chevrolet. Castroneves made the 300th start of his career Saturday in the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis, and will be going for his fifth Indy 500 pole position this weekend.
“The Shell V-Power Nitro+ Chevrolet was looking strong out there today,” stated Castroneves. “We really worked hard on the qualifying setup and feel that we have a very quick car. Now we just need to wait and see what the weather will be like tomorrow to help guide us in the direction we need to go. I’m really looking forward to qualifying. We played around with a few sidepod configurations, going from one extreme to the other with them. We just need to look at data to see what we are going to do tomorrow.”
Juan Pablo Montoya, who won the Indianapolis 500 in 2000 and is leading the Verizon IndyCar Series standings heading into the May 24 race, had the 10th-quickest lap of the day at 229.714 mph in the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet.
"We struggled a little with the balance of the car today,” said Montoya. “Nothing major but we just need to figure out why before qualifying tomorrow. I'm pretty confident that we'll have plenty of speed but we need to find just a bit more on the Verizon Chevy to where it can win the Verizon P1 Pole Award."
A final practice session before qualifying begins Saturday at 8 a.m. ET. Qualifying for the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 begins at 11 a.m. and runs until 5:50 p.m.
The nine fastest drivers will be locked in to Sunday’s Fast Nine Shootout, which determines the starting order for the first three rows of the race. Those who don’t qualify for the fast nine are relegated to Group 1, which determines the starting order for positions 10 through 30 on Sunday. Sunday’s Fast Nine session begins at 2 p.m. ET and coverage will start at 1 p.m. on ABC-TV.