2009 IRL Team Reports: Team Penske

IRL Team reports for the 2009 IRL season

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Postby mlittle » Sat Jun 27, 2009 1:45 am

Iowa: Team Penske race report


Briscoe's Second-Place Finish Leads Team Penske at Iowa

NEWTON, Iowa (June 21, 2009) --Team Penske's Ryan Briscoe and Helio Castroneves battled to the end and recorded strong finishes and scored valuable points Sunday in the Iowa Corn Indy 250 at Iowa Speedway.

Briscoe, who led a race-high 85 laps in the No. 6 Team Penske Dallara/Honda, dueled with Dario Franchitti over the last 50 laps before earning a second-place finish. The result kept Briscoe in the lead in the IndyCar Series championship standings, three points ahead of Franchitti, the race winner.

Meanwhile, Castroneves held on to a car that was tough to tame, finishing seventh to keep himself and the No. 3 Team Penske Dallara/Honda team in the thick of series points races.

Briscoe's runner-up effort was his third consecutive second-place finish, but it was far from easy.

"It took me awhile to find out where the car needed to be, but once I did, it was lightning quick," said Briscoe. "I had a great battle with Dario. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough for him at the end. I thought with the lapped traffic coming up I was going to be able to catch him like I did during the previous stint, but he actually got the luckier draw with the traffic and was able to extend the lead. It was tough, but it was a pretty good day to come in second and keep the points lead."

Castroneves, who started from the pole after a washout of qualifying Saturday put him in the No. 1 starting position based on entrant points, thought he might have been too cautious late in the race.

"We were struggling quite a bit, and you could see it toward the end," said Castroneves. "It was one of those things. I should have gone with my instinct, but because I'd finally gotten comfortable with old tires, I decided not to touch them. That was a mistake."

Briscoe's finish was Team Penske's eighth podium result in the first seven races this season.

"I felt like I left a little on the table coming in on the backstretch," said Briscoe. "It was the first time I'd really had a chance to practice coming into the pits under green. We missed the first practice session yesterday, and that's when you usually practice in and out laps."

Ever the optimist, Castroneves noted that both Team Penske drivers look strong in the championship race - Briscoe is leading and Castroneves is fourth, 29 points behind - and the Team Penske cars are first and second in the season entrant standings, which determine pit positions and starting positions in the event of qualifying cancellations, like Saturday's at Iowa Speedway.

"There's a bright side to everything," said Castroneves. "It wasn't the result we wanted, but we were able to get positive finishes out of it. Now it's on to Richmond to get a good result there."

The IndyCar Series returns to action next Saturday night, June 27, with the SunTrust Indy Challenge at Richmond International Raceway.
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Postby mlittle » Sat Jun 27, 2009 6:30 am

Briscoe, Castroneves Race Ready for Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (June, 25, 2009) - Team Penske returns to a track where it's had a rich recent history of success when it competes in this weekend's SunTrust Indy Challenge at Richmond International Racway.

Drivers Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe will attack the shortest oval on the 2009 IndyCar Series schedule - three-quarters-of-a-mile - under the lights on Saturday night looking to add to the team's strong start to the season.

Competing in the back yard of its primary sponsor - Philip Morris USA - Team Penske has produced a strong record at Richmond. The team has earned two victories in the seven races its run at RIR, including one by Castroneves in 2005. And a Team Penske car has started from the pole position in three of the last five races at Richmond.

Briscoe enters this weekend as the series leader for the second consecutive week on the strength of three straight second-place finishes to go along with his season-opening win in St. Petersburg. The Sydney, Australia native saw his race end early last season at Richmond when handling issues forced a 15th-place finish. Briscoe will be looking to rebound in a big way on Saturday in the No. 6 Team Penske Dallara/Honda.

"Richmond is a very challenging track, not only is it the smallest oval on which we run, but it's very physically demanding as well," said Briscoe. "I haven't had the best luck at the track, so we will definitely be looking to turn that around this year. Team Penske has been solid the past few events, so hopefully that will bode well for us next Saturday night. We've been able to finish second at the last three events, which means we're doing a lot of things correctly. Hopefully this weekend, we'll be able to move up a spot and notch our second win of the year."

After winning his third Indianapolis 500 in May and his third career Texas victory earlier this month, Castroneves, driver of the No. 3 Team Penske Dallara/Honda, will strive to add to his year of "threes" with Team Penske's third Richmond win this weekend. The popular Brazilian racer finished second last season at RIR.

"Richmond is one of my favorite tracks on the IndyCar Series circuit," said Castroneves, ranked fourth in the IndyCar Series standings, just 29 points behind his teammate. "It's one of the smallest circuits we run at, which means we're able to turn laps in about 15 seconds. Because of the speeds and the track size, it feels like you're constantly turning. As a result, Richmond is very physically demanding. Team Penske has been running really well this season and hopefully we'll see more of the same this weekend. We're coming off a tough race in Iowa (Castroneves finished seventh), so hopefully we'll be able to turn things around a bit this weekend and have a solid showing at Richmond."

A testament to its hard work and preparation all season long, Team Penske owns the top two positions in entrants points heading into Richmond, which gives the team the all-important first two positions on pit lane. That could make a big difference in pit stops late in the race on Saturday.

Qualifying for the SunTrust Indy Challenge will take place on Friday and coverage will be televised on Versus beginning at 6 p.m. ET. Saturday night's 300-lap race will also be televised on Versus with live coverage beginning at 8 p.m. ET
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Postby mlittle » Sun Jun 28, 2009 8:33 am

Team Penske To Start Third and Fourth at Richmond Saturday

RICHMOND, Va. -- Team Penske's Helio Castroneves survived a scary moment on the third lap of his qualifying attempt Friday evening and the No. 3 Team Penske Dallara/Honda secured the third-place starting position for the SunTrust Indy Challenge at Richmond International Raceway..

Castroneves will start next to teammate Ryan Briscoe, who has finished second in three consecutive IndyCar Series events, when Saturday's race begins at 8:30 p.m. ET.

After the near spin during his qualifying run, Castroneves asked reporters their opinion of the anxious moment on the track.

"Did you see that?" he asked those gathered in the media bullpen shortly after he climbed from the car. "On TV it didn't look like much, but in the car I was like, 'Whoa!'"

Castroneves got the No. 3 Team Penske car under control and completed the third and fourth laps to record an average speed of 165.931 mph, just a fraction better than Briscoe, who was clocked at 165.749 mph in the No. 6 Team Penske machine.

"That was too close," Catsroneves said, noting his crash last month during qualifying at Milwaukee. "I was just glued to the steering wheel, trying to steer as little as possible. We lost a little bit of time because of it. Milwaukee came into my mind a little bit. I just thought, 'Man, let's just finish the thing.'"

Briscoe, the IndyCar Series points leader, said his primary goal as the championship comes into focus is to maintain consistency.

"We've been in contention everywhere, and that's got to be our goal in a championship," he said. "It's not easy to get the wins. Circumstances haven't worked out perfectly, but I don't think we need to do anything differently."

Penske Racing has had four pole positions in eight races this season. Castroneves has won once (2005) and finished second twice at Richmond's 0.75-mile oval. Briscoe now holds a slim two-point lead in the standings over Friday's polewinner, Dario Franchitti.

Saturday's 300-lap race will be televised live by Versus with coverage beginning at 8 p.m. ET.
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Postby mlittle » Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:05 am

Incidents Hurt Team Penske Results at Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (June 27, 2009) - A promising start for Team Penske turned into a disappointing finish Saturday night during the SunTrust Indy Challenge at Richmond International Raceway. After starting on the second row, both Team Penske cars exited the race early due to on-track incidents. The results hurt both Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe in the IndyCar Series championship standings, but both drivers
were uninjured and they are still very much in the thick of the title chase

Briscoe, who led the championship coming into the race, lost control of the Team Penske No. 6 Dallara/Honda on the 27th lap of the 300-lap event and finished 19th in the 20-car field. Castroneves, who entered the race fourth in the drivers' standings, made contact with the wall in the No. 3 Team Penske Dallara/Honda while trying to avoid a slowing car in front of him on the 248th lap and finished 17th.

Briscoe's sudden crash happened as he was running third in the early laps.

"It was totally unexpected," Briscoe said. "I am not sure exactly what happened. I was fighting some understeer, and I was just coming back to throttle when it snapped on me. It took me totally by surprise."

The crash dropped Briscoe to third in the championship chase, 26 points behind series leader Dario Franchitti.

Castroneves ran among the top-10 throughout the race, but as he tried to avoid a slowing competitor, his car slid high on the exit of Turn 2 and he hit the wall late in the event. Like Briscoe, Castroneves wasn't sure what happened.

"Things were going very well, but the guy in front of me slowed down very suddenly, and I didn't have anywhere to go," Castroneves said. "I avoided him, but unfortunately I ended up hitting the wall. I did not have much room. I don't know what happened, but everyone slowed down real suddenly."

Castroneves remained fourth in the drivers' standings despite the result, but he is now 54 points off the leader's pace.

Team Penske will look to get back on track with a return to road racing next weekend at Watkins Glen International. The Camping World Grand Prix at the Glen will be televised live by ABC-TV on Sunday, July 5 at 1 p.m. ET.
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Postby mlittle » Sat Jul 04, 2009 9:46 am

WILL POWER TO DRIVE PENSKE TRUCK RENTAL ENTRY IN FIVE UPCOMING INDYCAR SERIES EVENTS

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (July 3, 2009) -- Penske Racing announced today that driver Will Power will compete in five upcoming IndyCar Series races behind the wheel of the No. 12 Penske Truck Rental Dallara/Honda.

Power is scheduled to drive for Penske Racing at IndyCar Series events in Toronto (July 12), Edmonton (July 26), Kentucky (August 1), Sonoma (August 23) and Miami (October 10).

Upon joining Penske Racing prior to the start of the 2009 season, Power drove for the team throughout pre-season testing and in three of the first four events on the IndyCar Series schedule. He produced solid results, earning a pole position, two top-five and three top-10 finishes.

"Will has done a terrific job for Penske Racing and he has earned the opportunity to compete in more races," said Roger Penske. "Will is a great asset to the team and we are excited to have him compete at these additional five races in the Penske Truck Rental Indy car."

Filling in for three-time Indianapolis 500 champion Helio Castroneves in the No. 3 Team Penske Dallara/Honda, Power earned a sixth-place finish in the season opener on the streets of St. Petersburg.

After Castroneves returned to the team in April, Power remained with Penske Racing and drove the No. 12 Team Verizon Wireless car. He won the pole position and finished second in Long Beach and enjoyed a strong month of May at the Indianapolis 500, earning a ninth-place starting position and running up front all race en route to a fifth-place finish.

"I am really looking forward to getting back on the track and driving for Penske Racing," said Power. "I have learned so much working with everyone on the team this season and I plan to make the most of this opportunity to drive the Penske Truck Rental car at these five upcoming races and help the team however I can."

Power, 28, will join Castroneves, driver of the No. 3 Team Penske Dallara/Honda, and Ryan Briscoe, driver of the No. 6 Team Penske entry, in the Penske stable at these five select events.

"We help hundreds of thousand of families move ahead every year," said Jim Feenstra, Senior Vice President of Marketing
for Penske Truck Rental. "The similarity in quality of product, people and dedication at every turn between Penske Truck Rental and Penske Racing creates great brand-building opportunities. We're excited about seeing a proven success like Will Power drive the bright yellow Penske Truck Rental No. 12 in the IndyCar Series."

A native of Toowoomba, Australia, Power was named the Champ Car World Series Rookie of the Year in 2006 and he produced three wins and six pole positions in two plus seasons in Champ Car. In 2008, Power won on the streets of Long Beach in Champ Car's final race, and after joining the IndyCar Series, he earned his first series pole in front of his home crowd at Surfers Paradise, Australia. Power joined Penske Racing in January of 2009.

Penske Truck Rental is a service of Penske Truck Leasing. With one of the newest fleets, Penske Truck Rental provides do-it-yourself moves with clean, safe and reliable trucks as well as moving equipment, packing supplies and accessories.

Penske Truck Leasing Co., L.P., headquartered in Reading, Pa., is a joint venture of Penske Corporation, Penske Automotive Group and General Electric. A leading global transportation services provider, Penske operates more than 200,000 vehicles and serves customers from more than 1,000 locations in North America, South America, Europe and Asia. Product lines include full-service truck leasing, contract maintenance, commercial and consumer truck rentals, transportation and warehousing management, and supply chain management solutions. Visit www.GoPenske.com to learn more about the company and its products and services.

Penske Racing is one of the most successful teams in the history of professional sports. Competing in a variety of disciplines, cars owned and prepared by Penske Racing have produced 310 major race wins, 367 pole positions and 22 National Championships. The team has also earned 15 Indianapolis 500 victories. For more information about Penske Racing, please visit www.penskeracing.com.
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Postby mlittle » Tue Jul 07, 2009 8:04 pm

Briscoe Wins Team Penske's Fifth Straight Pole at The Glen

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. - Team Penske's Ryan Briscoe won the pole position Saturday for the Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen, continuing the team's remarkable run in record style.

Briscoe recorded a track-record lap of 1:28.5970 seconds -- 136.935 mph - in the No. 6 Team Penske Dallara/Honda during the 10-minute Firestone Fast Six session around the famous 3.37-mile, 11-turn road course. It is the fifth consecutive pole at Watkins Glen for Team Penske.

"I'm excited for Team Penske," said Briscoe, who also won the pole position at Watkins Glen last year. "I love this place. I came in after (qualifying session) 2 and had the run on the new red tires, then posted the (fast lap). It's unbelievable the speeds you can carry through the turns out there today."

Teammate Helio Castroneves, who won the pole at Watkins Glen in 2005, 2006 and 2007, will start 14th Sunday after he was bumped out of the first 20-minute qualifying session.

"Needless to say, qualifying was a bit frustrating because the Team Penske car is better than where we qualified," Castroneves said. "It took us a little longer to get up to speed than we thought it would and we just didn't have enough time to get a fast lap in there at the end of the session. I was hoping we'd be able to get one more lap before the end, but we just didn't have the chance."

For Briscoe, Saturday's performance represented his second pole of the year - he also led qualifying in May at Milwaukee. It was his first road course pole since Edmonton in 2008 and the sixth of his IndyCar Series career.

"Qualifying was a bit circumstantial at the end, but it's hard to break away," Briscoe said. "There are long straights here, and there's a lot of stiff competition."

Briscoe's blistering time broke the previous qualifying record at the Glen, set by Castroneves in 2007.

"It's a long race, and a lot can happen," Briscoe said. "We'll probably get a couple of cautions and it will just pack the field up again. That's usually the case whenever someone gets away a little bit. It's going to be a tough one tomorrow, but first we'll just go try to get a good start and then go from there."

This marks the 45th IndyCar Series pole for Team Penske/Penske Racing.

Sunday's 60-lap race is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. ET and will be televised live by ABC-TV.
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Postby mlittle » Tue Jul 07, 2009 8:05 pm

Briscoe Finishes Second, Castroneves Fourth at The Glen

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. -- Team Penske delivered the results it needed to get back in the thick of the IndyCar Series championship chase Sunday, recording a pair of top-four finishes in the Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen at Watkins Glen International.

Ryan Briscoe of Team Penske worked hard to earn a second-place finish behind surprise winner Justin Wilson, while Helio Castroneves drove from the 13th starting position to a fourth-place finish for the team.

The runner-up result moved Briscoe, driver of the No. 6 Team Penske Dallara/Honda, into second place in the championship standings, just 19 points behind leader Scott Dixon after nine of 17 races this season. Castroneves remains fourth in the title chase, now 56 points out of the lead.

After a tough weekend on the Richmond oval one week earlier that saw both drivers fail to finish the race due to contact, Sunday's performance at the 3.37-mile road course came at the perfect time for Team Penske. Briscoe, who won his second consecutive pole at Watkins Glen on Saturday and the fifth straight pole at the venue for Team Penske overall, said the difference in Sunday's race came down to tires. Wilson was using the Firestone red tires - a softer compound that's usually faster than the black tires - while Briscoe was on the typically longer-lasting black tires in the final stint of the race.

"We opted for the black tires at the end, and we knew from qualifying that Justin had another set of reds," Briscoe said. "It looked like I had the advantage as the tires got older, because I was definitely catching him. I was trying to line him up to pass him when we got that last yellow (flag), and when that happened, the tires cooled off. We definitely saw the difference between them on the last restart."

Wilson was able to pull away in the final stages, winning by nearly five seconds to claim the first-ever Indy car victory for longtime team owner Dale Coyne.

Driving the No. 3 Team Penske entry, Castroneves worked his way through the field for a solid finish that keeps him in contention in the points race, despite missing the first race of the season.

"I have to thank Team Penske and my boys," Castroneves said. "They did an incredible job with strategy and giving me a good car. They kept me calm during the rough moments. If you would have told me before the race that I was going to finish fourth, I would have said you were crazy."

Briscoe was engaged in a tough battle with Dixon at the end of the race, holding off the defending series champion over the tense final laps for the second-place result. "I had my hands full defending my position against Scott, who was also on the softer tires," Briscoe said. "But it was a great day. It was very hard-fought."

The series resumes next weekend with the Honda Indy Toronto, a street-course race in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Penske Racing will add driver Will Power to the Toronto field in the team's No. 12 Penske Truck Rental Dallara/Honda.

The Toronto race is one of five in which Power will compete this season. He's also scheduled to race at Edmonton (July 26), Kentucky Speedway (Aug. 1), Infineon Raceway (August 23) and Homestead-Miami Speedway (Oct. 10), joining Briscoe and Castroneves to create a formidable three-car lineup. Next weekend's Honda Indy Toronto will be televised live on ABC-TV, with coverage beginning at 1 p.m. ET
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Postby mlittle » Sat Jul 11, 2009 8:15 am

Toronto: Team Penske preview


Penske Racing Trio Ready To Tacklet Toronto Streets

TORONTO, Ont., Canada (July 9. 2009) - Penske Racing is hoping its trio of IndyCar Series stars will help it conquer the streets of downtown Toronto this weekend.

For the first time since the Indianapolis 500 in May, Penske Racing will field a three-car effort for this weekend's Honda Indy Toronto, and the team is hoping for a similar result when it won its 15th Indy 500 and produced a pair of top-five finishes. Ryan Briscoe, tied for second in th eIndyCar Series championship, will compete in the No. 6 Team Penske Dallara/Honda while Helio Castoneves returns to Toronto in the No. 3 Team Penske Dallara/Honda.

This marks the first visit to Toronto for the IndyCar Series and Penske Racing's first race in the city since 2001 when it competed in CART.

Though it's been awhile since the Penske cars raced on the 1.721-mile street course around Toronto's Exhibition Place, the team does have some history at the venue. In five of its 16 events run at the circuit, Penske Racing has won the pole - including 2000, when Helio Castroneves claimed his third career pole position.
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Postby mlittle » Mon Jul 13, 2009 8:23 am

Three Penske Drivers Among Top-Seven in Toronto Practice

TORONTO, Ont., Canada -- All three members of the Penske stable had reason for optimism Friday after the first day of practice for the Honda Indy Toronto on the streets around Exhibition Place.

Will Power, who returns to competition this weekend for the team in the No. 12 Penske Truck Rental Dallara/Honda, had the third-fastest lap of the day around the 1.755-mile, 11-turn circuit at 1:01.7722 (102.279 mph). Power, who led the morning practice, turned his quick lap in the afternoon session Friday.

Team Penske teammates Ryan Briscoe and Helio Castroneves weren't far behind, with Briscoe recording the fifth-fastest lap of the day - 1:01.8420 in the No. 6 Team Penske Dallara/Honda - and Castroneves posting the seventh-best lap at 1:01.9364 in the No. 3 Team Penske Dallara/Honda.

Power's effort wasn't surprising, despite his time away from the cockpit. He won at Toronto in th last race held at Exhibition Place in 2007. In his previous street race with Penske Racing, Power won the pole position and finished second in the Grand Prix of Long Beach in April.

"We were reasonably satisfied with third in the Penske Truck Rental car today while trying to find the right combination for qualifying tomorrow," Power said. "I was struggling a bit under braking as I caught slower traffic and also while catching cars exiting the pits, but this should be better tomorrow with fewer cars on track. With rain potentially coming tomorrow, it could make things interesting."

Briscoe, who is tied for second in the IndyCar Series standings, missed about half of the morning practice as the team dealt with some gearbox issues. In the afternoon, Briscoe settled in as he felt more comfortable on the course in his first visit to the Toronto street circuit.

"I've really been learning the track today," said Briscoe. "I think we have a competitive car for Team Penske this weekend. The track is definitely bumpy and it's a challenging, very technical street circuit. I think it's going to be a difficult race for everyone to be consistent, but we still have some time in practice and qualifying to get to where we want to be. We're really excited to be back here racing in Toronto."

Castroneves, who is racing at Toronto for the first time since 2001, had a run-in with the wall late in the second practice session, but the damage was minor.

"The Team Penske car was good today and we had a good lap going there in practice, but unfortunately when I downshifted, the car kept pushing and pushing and it wouldn't turn in and I hit the wall (in turn 5)," Castroneves said. "Fortunately, there isn't too much damage. We still have practice tomorrow and qualifying as well and I think we can be strong there."

The Penske Racing cars return for another morning practice session on Saturday. Qualifying from Toronto is scheduled for 2:05 p.m. ET. The Honda Indy Toronto is set to start at 1 p.m. ET Sunday. It will be televised live by ABC-TV.
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Postby mlittle » Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:50 am

Briscoe, Power Finish Second and Third in Toronto

TORONTO Ont., Canada (July 12, 2009) - Penske Racing emerged from a wild race in Toronto with two podium finishes at the Honda Indy Toronto on the streets of Exhibition Place on Sunday.

Ryan Briscoe scored his fifth second-place finish in the last six races and held steady in the IndyCar Series championship standings by finishing 1.6745 seconds behind race winner Dario Franchitti. Briscoe's No. 6 Team Penske Dallara/Honda took the checkered flag just ahead of Penske Racing's Will Power, who finished on the podium in his first race with the team since the Indianapolis 500 in May.

Helio Castroneves was involved in an accident with popular Canadian driver Paul Tracy on the 65th lap of the 85-lap race and Castroneves finished 18th in the No. 3 Team Penske Dallara/Honda.

Briscoe remains third in the point standings following his effort. "Team Penske will definitely take a second on a day like this," said Briscoe, who started 11th. "We struggled in qualifying. It's just so competitive at the moment on these road and street courses. I was learning the track."

While Briscoe was battling for the lead, Power rallied after falling to the back of the field after going off course on the opening lap from his second-place starting position. It marked the third top-five finish in Power's four races with Penske Racing this season and the first while driving the No. 12 yellow and blue Penske Truck Rental Dallara/Honda.

"I was very happy to get back to third after being almost a lap down," Power said. "I love coming here. It's great racing, great fans. It's awesome to come back after having not driven since May and start here."

After starting 10th, Castroneves patiently worked his way into the race lead and was running among the lead group when the No. 3 Team Penske Honda/Dallara tangled withTracy's car, sending both to the sidelines.

"Unfortunately it was a tough way for us to end our weekend in Toronto," said Castroneves. "We had good race strategy and were running really well. I thought I had given (Paul Tracy) enough room to get by but we got together and that was it. It's too bad. If there's one guy that I didn't want that to happen with, it's 'PT,' especially here in Canada. I feel bad for the fans. They were great and I still love Toronto. Team Penske will be back and hopefully we can turn things around and get a good result in Edmonton."

While Castroneves lost some points in the drivers' standings, he remained in fourth place, 78 points out of the lead. Briscoe, on the other hand, is just 13 points behind the leader Franchitti.

"The car felt really good today," Briscoe said. "We were able to make some good passes and come through the field. I had a cut tire at the beginning, which set us way back, but we had some good strategy. Second place is definitely good on a day like this."

Sunday's result marked the second time this season that Penske Racing posted a pair of top-three finishes in an IndyCar Series race. Power impressed team owner Roger Penske with the finish, his second podium in his four races. Power has not finished outside the top-six for the team this season, earning post-race congratulations from team owner Roger Penske.

"He just said, Good job,'" Power said. "I'm sure he's going to say more when I get back to the bus. It was a good job for Ryan to get up to second. That's what we want for the championship for him, and it was really good for me."

The IndyCar Series will be idle next weekend before resuming July 26 with the Rexall Edmonton Indy at Edmonton City Centre Airport in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
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Postby mlittle » Thu Jul 23, 2009 10:41 am

Helio Castroneves Meets President of Brazil

BRASILIA, Brazil (July 20, 2009) - It was a triumphant homecoming for Team Penske driver Helio Castroneves this week as he returned to his native country for the first time since winning the Indianapolis 500 this past May.

Castroneves, the three-time Indy 500 winner and IndyCar Series star was in Brasilia Monday to meet with the President of Brazil, Luiz Inacio "Lula" da Silva. The President met with Castroneves in recognition of his victory at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May.

Castroneves presented President da Silva with one of his historic autographed racing helmets.

"It was an amazing experience to meet the President of my native country and I am truly honored to have been granted the audience," said Castroneves. "After everything I've been able to accomplish this year, it was fantastic to get the opportunity to shake President da Silva's hand. Now, the next order of business is to get my pit crew to the White House to meet their President. The guys on the team would really like to meet President Obama, and after all they've done for me, I would love to be able to give them the opportunity to meet him."
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Postby mlittle » Sat Jul 25, 2009 1:27 am

Edmonton: Team Penske preview


Penske Racing IndyCar Drivers Excited to Return to Edmonton

EDMONTON, Alb., Canada (July 23, 2009) - All three Penske Racing drivers enter this weekend's Rexall Edmonton Indy with some unfinished business at the Edmonton City Centre Airport street circuit. Helio Castroneves, Ryan Briscoe and Will Power will all be looking to close the deal with maximum results Sunday in the 10th round of the 2009 IndyCar Series.

Castroneves, Briscoe and Power have all had their taste of success on the challenging and fast airport course, but none of the Penske trio has been able to score a win in the Canadian city.

Castroneves has come the closest, leading a race-high 35 laps last season in the IndyCar Series' first race at City Centre Airport before finishing second behind Scott Dixon. Castroneves, who's currently ranked fourth in the series championship chase, ran well throughout last year's event, qualifying second. The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner also enters this weekend eager to race in front of the Canadian fans after last time out in Toronto when his No. 3 Team Penske Dallara/Honda collided with the car driven by local favorite Paul Tracy and the crowd roundly booed Castroneves after both drivers exited the race early after the contact.

"I'm excited to head back to Edmonton this season," said Castroneves. "I've always enjoyed the Canadian races; and despite what the fans may think of me after Toronto, I still love racing there and think they are some of the best fans in the world. Last year's event was a great experience, as I led the most laps and finished second. I think we will have a solid weekend, as Team Penske has proven that we're tough at this circuit. This track is great and it has been known to be very challenging, so I think this will make for a competitive race on Sunday."

Last season, Ryan Briscoe won the pole at Edmonton for Team Penske, establishing a track record average speed of 116.955 mph. An incident in the race dropped him back in the field, however, and Briscoe wound up finishing sixth in the No. 6 Team Penske Dallara/Honda. After producing second-place finishes in five of the last six races - including last time out on the Toronto street circuit - Briscoe knows this weekend's race would be an ideal time to conquer the tough track and reach top step of the podium. Considering he's ranked third in the championship standings, just 13 points outside of first place, a strong finish this weekend is also essential for the big picture.

"I'm definitely looking forward to this weekend and having the opportunity to race again in Edmonton," said Briscoe. "It's an exciting circuit to say the least - it's bumpy with a lot of fast corners. The track is pretty technical and there's a lot of room for error, which always makes for good competition. I hope I can carry the momentum from my streak of second-place finishes into this weekend and continue to battle toward the Championship title. I earned my second pole of the 2008 season at this track last year, and I feel confident going into this race with Team Penske's strong history on street courses."

Will Power also enters this weekend as a former polewinner at Edmonton. The 28-year-old captured the top spot in qualifying in 2007 while competing in the Champ Car World Series event at City Centre Airport. In the race that season, Power experienced mechanical issues and finished 15th. He didn't produce the result he wanted last season either, finishing 22nd after early contact forced him to the garage for repairs while competing for the KV Racing Technology team.

Power has certainly been productive in his limited schedule for Penske Racing this season. He has posted top-six results in all four of his starts for the team and he qualified second and finished third in Toronto after returning to the cockpit for the first time in over six weeks. Power will look to continue his solid streak this weekend, driving the No. 12 Penske Truck Rental Dallara/Honda.

"We had a good weekend at Toronto in the Penske Truck Rental car and it was great to get back on track and race for the team," said Power. "Now, we're looking forward to Edmonton. I really enjoy racing at the airport circuit; it's one of my favorite tracks. I've had some good runs there in the past but just haven't been able to get the results I was hoping for. With the experience of the Penske Racing team behind me, I'm confident we'll have a good car and will have another strong weekend."

The Penske Racing trio will have two practice sessions on Friday before returning for practice and qualifying on Saturday afternoon. Sunday's 95-lap Rexall Edmonton Indy will be televised live on Versus beginning at 6 p.m. ET.
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Postby mlittle » Sun Jul 26, 2009 10:24 am

Penske Racing Sweeps Top Three Edmonton Practice Times

EDMONTON Alb., Canada - Penske Racing's drivers certainly seem to like Edmonton.

The three drivers in the Penske Racing IndyCar Series stable - Helio Castroneves, Ryan Briscoe and Will Power - emerged with the three top times during the first day of practice Friday for Sunday's Rexall Edmonton Indy at Edmonton City Centre Airport.

Castroneves led the way with a lap of 1:01.5467 in the No. 3 Team Penske Dallara/Honda around the 1.9773-mile, 14-turn street circuit. Briscoe followed at 1:01.9820 in the No. 6 Team Penske Dallara/Honda. Power, who topped all morning practice times, was third-fastest overall on the day at 1:02.0853 in the No. 12 Penske Truck Rental Dallara/Honda.

Castoneves warned against making too much of the sweep of the speed chart, noting that all three drivers still had much work to do with qualifying set for Saturday and then the race on Sunday.

"It's not over," he said. "It's just Friday. We need to keep it up for qualifying and the race. It's great to have a healthy competition inside the team. We're working on keeping it inside the team for the weekend."

Briscoe said the team's decision to come into the pits and stop a bit early before completion of the second practice session was a decision made with tire allotment in mind.

"It's just one of those weekends where we feel like we need to take care of the tires," Briscoe said. "We need to save them for the race. That's why we stopped early today. But it's a good start for Team Penske and with Will looking strong as well, it's a great start to the race weekend."

Power had the fastest lap of the morning session, then went off course on the wide-open airport circuit in the second practice before getting back up to speed near the end of the day.

"We had a bit of an up and down day, but overall it was a solid first day for the Penske Truck Rental team," said Power. "I really like this circuit and it's great for the team to finish the day with the top three practice times. We need to keep working hard to make sure we keep those positions for qualifying on Saturday."

All three drivers have shown in the past they have the speed in Edmonton. Briscoe and Castroneves started first and second in last year's IndyCar Series debut on the City Centre Airport course, while Power won the pole for the 2007 Champ Car event in Edmonton.

"This place is amazing," Castroneves said. "You learn something every time you go out on the track. It's a great start for Team Penske. It shows what we can do as a three-car team with Will, and it shows that it helps everybody. "

Qualifying begins Saturday at 5:20 p.m. ET. Sunday's race is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. ET.

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Postby mlittle » Tue Jul 28, 2009 1:12 pm

Power's Win Paces Penske Racing 1-2 Finish in Edmonton

EDMONTON, Alb., Canada -- Will Power and Helio Castroneves completed a productive weekend for Penske Racing, earning a 1-2 finish at the Rexall Edmonton Indy on Sunday afternoon, with Power scoring his first IndyCar Series victory.

Power cruised to the finish line of the 95-lap race under caution in the No. 12 Penske Truck Rental Dallara/Honda ahead of his teammate. Meanwhile, Team Penske's Ryan Briscoe finished fourth, keeping him in third place in the tight series championship standings. Briscoe is now 14 points behind new leader Scott Dixon, who finished third on Sunday.

Since filling in for Castroneves at the season opener in St. Petersburg, Power has performed well for the team, earning additional races after posting solid results at St. Pete, Long Beach and the Indianapolis 500. He has now scored top-five finishes in four of his five races for the team, including back-to-back podium results at Toronto and Sunday's win at Edmonton's City Centre Airport circuit.

"I'm very happy," Power said. "The Penske Racing crew did an incredible job. I'm really enjoying being a part of this team. I'm not stressed, I'm just taking it one race at a time and doing my best. I've got to thank Roger (Penske) for the opportunity. Today was a great day."

Power led 90 of the 95 laps in the race to complete a near perfect race weekend which also saw him win his second IndyCar Series pole position. With Briscoe and Castoneves running in second and third place for the early part of the race, it looked a podium sweep was possible for the Penske trio. But Dixon was able to work his way into second place after the second series of pit stops before Briscoe was able to reclaim second place.

As the race wore on, Briscoe experienced some handling issues on the No. 6 Team Penske Dallara/Honda and he fell back to fourth place. Castroneves then got by Dixon for the second spot and ran strong to the finish for his best road/street course result of the season.

Castroneves praised Power for his effort, though he was disappointed that the Penske teammates didn't get a 1-2-3 finish to match their 1-2-3 start in the race.

"I feel great. It's a shame that a 1-2-3 team finish slipped away," said Castroneves. "But our goal was to stop the Ganassi guys and we were able to do that with Will's win. When Will came on board, we never had a doubt that he would be a top race contender and it's great that his win keeps championship points from our opponents. It was a well-deserved win. Second place was a solid finish in the Team Penske car. Penske Racing did an incredible job today. I'm very happy."

The race was difficult for many drivers, who nearly went the distance without a caution period. Ironically, the race's first caution came with just one lap remaining, forcing the race to conclude under the first yellow flag of the day. While Briscoe and others felt the effects of the physical race, he still managed to finish fourth.

"It was a tough race, I'll tell you what, without any yellow flags," said Briscoe. "It was tough out there. Luckily, I'd taken my fluids before the race. That's probably one of the tougher races I've done but the Team Penske guys did a great job. We were hoping to finish on the podium but we had a few issues so we'll take the fourth-place result. Congratulations to Will and the guys on the 12 car team."

For Power, the result marks his fourth major open-wheel racing win - the 28-year-old Australian racer posted three victories in two plus seasons competing in the Champ Car World Series.

Penske Racing will once again field three entries next weekend when the IndyCar Series season continues on Saturday night, August 1, with the Meijer Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway. The race is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. ET.

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Postby mlittle » Sat Aug 01, 2009 2:14 pm

Oval Return: Penske Racing Heads to Kentucky

SPARTA, Ken. (July 31, 2009) - For the first time in over a month, the Penske Racing IndyCar Series team will compete on an oval circuit this weekend when it visits Kentucky Speedway for Saturday night's Meijer Indy 300.

After a successful run on the road and street courses over the past several weeks that saw the team produce two poles, five podiums and a win in three races, the Penske Racing cars will come full circle - literally - this weekend at the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway.

Team Penske has produced one victory at Kentucky, in 2006 with Sam Hornish Jr., but the team will be looking for win No. 2 on Saturday night.

All three Penske drivers enter this weekend's action on a roll and they hope to keep it going in Kentucky.

Ryan Briscoe remains third in the championship standings, trailing Dario Franchitti by just 11 points for second place and series leader Scott Dixon by 14 points. The driver of the No. 6 Team Penske Dallara/Honda owns five second-place finishes and a win in St. Petersburg this season and he's coming off a fourth-place run in Edmonton that kept him in the thick of the championship chase.

Briscoe started fifth and finished seventh for Team Penske last year in Kentucky and he'll need a strong run Saturday to keep his his title hopes in focus.

"Kentucky Speedway is a challenging circuit that I enjoy very much," said Briscoe. "I think night races add a whole different dimension and I'm anticipating a great show for the fans. We've had a solid season thus far and have been able to bring the Team Penske car home in second five times. Hopefully this will be the weekend that we move up one spot and we can earn the win."

Driving the No. 3 Team Penske car, Castroneves owns a pair of oval race wins this season - at Texas and his third career victory at the Indianapolis 500. He's coming off a second-place finish at Edmonton - his top road course result of the year - and he remains fourth in the driver standings, 71 points out of first, despite missing the first race of the season. After finishing second at Kentucky last season, Castroneves owns five top-five finishes at the venue in his distinguished career.

"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," said Castroneves. "The racing is extremely tight with a lot of side-by-side action, which makes for an exciting show for the fans. I've finished in the top-five there five times, but have never found Victory Circle - hopefully this is the year we lead the final lap in Kentucky!"

The newest winner in the IndyCar Series also is excited to return to oval racing action this weekend. Will Power was dominant last weekend in Edmonton in the No. 12 Penske Truck Rental Dallara/Honda. He won the pole, led 90 of 95 laps and scored his first series victory and the fourth win this season for Penske Racing.

Power has finished sixth or better in each of his five starts this season and he will be competing in his first oval event since the Indy 500, where he finished fifth in an impressive performance. With back-to-back podium results, Power hopes to continue his momentum and wash away the bad memories of last year's race at Kentucky when he retired after just five laps with mechanical problems while competing for KV Racing Technology.

"It was great to get my first win for Penske Racing in Edmonton," said Power. "Now I want to build on that. I'm excited to get back out there and compete on the oval at Kentucky Speedway. It's a tough track but I know the Penske Truck Rental team will help me figure it out this weekend. I've also got two great teammates to work with and having all those resources definitely adds to my confidence heading into the race weekend."
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