TEAM PENSKE WRAPS UP SUCCESSFUL CARBURETION DAY WITH RECORD 15TH WIN
IN PIT STOP COMPETITION
SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 22, 2015) – Will Power led Team Penske — and the entire field – on Carb Day for the final practice before Sunday’s 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Power recorded a fast lap of 229.020 mph in the No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet, the fastest among the 33 cars that will take the green flag Sunday. Power will start second when the green flag waves at 12:12 p.m. ET.
“(Being fast today) means nothing, really,” said Power. “It’s just a big draft. It’s more about how you can get through traffic than anything. You know, we’ll see on Sunday. The further back you get in a train, the harder it is. But there’s quite a few good cars out there that are going to make their way to the front.”
Power wasn’t the only one to record a positive final session for Team Penske. Simon Pagenaud, who will start alongside Power on the front row in the third position on Sunday, had the fourth-fastest lap Friday — 228.458 mph in the No. 22 Avaya Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet.
“I can’t ask for anything more than what my Avaya guys have given me this month,” stated Pagenaud. “I feel as prepared as I have ever been for the Indy 500. This is the biggest race in the world and I want to win it more than anything.”
Three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves was 10th-quickest, recording a lap of 226.674 mph in the No. 3 Shell V-Power Nitro + Chevrolet. Castroneves will start fifth Sunday.
“We are very confident in the Shell V-Power Nitro+ Chevrolet,” said Castroneves. “Team Penske has shown that we are all going to be contenders in the race on Sunday. It would be great if it came down to a battle between the four of us – as long as I’m the one that crosses the finish line first.”
Verizon IndyCar Series point leader Juan Pablo Montoya, who will start 15th Sunday in the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet, was 15th-fastest Friday with a lap of 226.022 mph.
“We’ve had our ups and downs during the month, but we always seem to end the practice sessions on a positive note,” stated Montoya. “I’ve really been comfortable with the Verizon Chevy in race trim and I still feel that way going into the race on Sunday.”
Once the practice session was complete the teams began preparations for the Tag Heuer Pit Stop Competition. Representing Team Penske was the No. 1 Verizon Chevy team of Power and the No. 3 Shell V-Power Nitro+ Chevy team of Castroneves. Both teams advanced to the semifinals as Castroneves bested Power in the head-to-head matchup. Castroneves then beat the No. 83 Chevy team of Charlie Kimball to capture the team’s 15th win in the Pit Stop Competition for Team Penske, easily the most in the history of the popular event that began in 1977. It also marked the team’s ninth win in the last 14 years of the event.
“I love the Pit Stop Competition, especially winning it,” said Castroneves. “It’s a great way to build confidence in all of the guys as we head into the Indianapolis 500. It never hurts to have momentum on your side, that’s for sure.”
ABC’s broadcast coverage of the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 begins at 11 a.m. ET on Sunday morning.