Archives for Team Penske PR

Team Penske to Celebrate 50th Anniversary in 2016

MOORESVILLE, NC (January 4, 2016) – Team Penske unveiled its plans today for the year-long celebration of its 50th Anniversary in motorsports during 2016. The team will wave the green flag on the commemorative activities by displaying an exhibit at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, NC in January. “Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Team Penske”…

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Team Penske Driver Quotes On 2016 INDYCAR Schedule

2016 INDYCAR Schedule Quotes

Team Penske Logo

Helio Castroneves – Driver of the No. 3 Hitachi Chevrolet

“The new schedule not only gives us an opportunity to expand the reach of the Verizon IndyCar Series into new markets like Boston and Phoenix, but we’re also lengthening it by a few weeks. I think that is really important for the teams. It allows the crew members time to rest and recharge. What often gets overlooked is that, unlike NASCAR, we race the same cars every week. You don’t have the ability to work ahead because you only have two, prepared racecars per team. It’s really a great step by INDYCAR to spread the season out a bit more. It’s going to make next year an even better season because of it.”

Juan Pablo Montoya – Driver of the No. 2 Verizon Chevrolet

“When you look at the schedule for 2016 there is a lot to be excited about. We are adding a great oval in Phoenix. The new banking they put in a few years ago is really going to play into the strengths of our cars. We’ve all had the opportunity to see what our cars will do at Road America and it’s clear that we will put on a great race there. There is just a lot of momentum in the Verizon IndyCar Series right now and the new schedule just reinforces that.”

Will Power – Driver of the No. 1 Verizon Chevrolet

“The diversity of the new schedule is what I love the most about it with five ovals, five road courses and six street circuits. To me, that diversity crowns a true champion of the Verizon IndyCar Series because you have to be very solid on every type of track. Of course, everyone is circling May 29 and the 100th Indianapolis 500 this year. A win in that race would put you in the history books. We were so close last year at Indy. I know that win there is going to come and it would be a dream come true for it to happen in the 100th race.”

Simon Pagenaud – No. 22 Avaya Chevrolet

“The Verizon IndyCar Series has a lot of momentum at the moment, which is evident by the addition of three new racetracks on the 2016 schedule. As a driver new venues a very exciting and I welcome new challenges. The Boston race is very important because it’s a brand new market that is full of potential for drivers, teams and our partners at Team Penske. I believe we will put on a great show there and I’m excited for the people of Boston to get behind the event. Phoenix and Road America are traditional tracks that have a lot of history and it’s great to have them back on the Verizon IndyCar schedule.”

Verizon IndyCar Series Race Report

Verizon IndyCar Series Race Report

Track: Sonoma Raceway, Sonoma, Calif. (12-turn, 2.385-mile road course)
Race: GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma
Date: Aug. 30, 2015

No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power
Start: First
Finish: Seventh
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 85/85
Laps Led: 26
Final Points Position (behind leader): Third (-63 pts.)

Recap: Will Power recovered from mid-race contact with Team Penske teammate Juan Pablo Montoya to finish seventh in Sunday’s GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma. With the result, the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series champion finished third in this season’s final series standings. Power started from the pole position – his series-leading sixth Verizon P1 Pole Award this season – and led 26 laps before the incident with Montoya on lap 38 sent him to 24th in the running order. By the checkered flag he raced back to seventh place, which allowed him to move up one position to third in the Verizon IndyCar Series standings. It marked the sixth consecutive top-10 finish for Power at Sonoma, where he has won three times in his career. Power has finished among the top four in the final standings for six consecutive seasons. He closed the year with one win in the Grand Prix of Indianapolis to go along with seven top-five finishes.

Quote: “Unfortunately, the yellow (flags) came at the wrong time for the Verizon Chevy. I feel horrible for Juan. Josef (Newgarden) went up on the inside and I went to switch back off of him and I damaged Juan’s wing. Then the yellow started and that set the day there. Before that we were all in good shape there. But I want to say congratulations to Scott (Dixon) and obviously a very close finish there. Most importantly, I want to say that the Verizon Chevy boys did a great job this year and we’ll look forward to coming back next year and going for the championship again.”

No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Juan Pablo Montoya
Start: Fifth
Finish: Sixth
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 85/85
Laps Led: 0
Final Points Position (behind leader): Second (556 pts., tied for the most points as title was decided on a tiebreaker)

Recap: Juan Pablo Montoya’s bid to win the Verizon IndyCar Series championship came up barely short Sunday. Following a lap 38 incident with teammate Will Power, Montoya battled back to finish sixth in the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway on Sunday afternoon. Montoya, the series leader all season, entered the race with a 34-point lead over Graham Rahal and a 47-point lead over Scott Dixon, but Dixon won the championship by winning the race. Montoya and Dixon tied with 556 points earned on the year, but Dixon was awarded the championship based on the tiebreak — number of race wins during the 2015 season. The race started well for Montoya, who qualified the No. 2 Verizon Chevrolet in the fifth position before moving up to fourth place on the first lap. When he pitted with the leaders on lap 15, Montoya emerged in 10th place as several other drivers ran longer in their fuel window. However, by the time the yellow flag of the race waved on lap 33, Montoya was back up to fifth place and in command of the championship. Unfortunately, shortly after a restart on lap 38, Montoya collided with Power in one of the tight Sonoma corners. Power spun off track, while Montoya’s car suffered a broken front wing in the incident. The ensuing pit stop left Montoya in 24th place when the race resumed. He eventually worked his way to seventh, but needed to finish fifth to wrest the championship from Dixon. Montoya got past Sebastien Bourdais and Rahal over the final 15 laps of the race, but he wasn’t able to pass Ryan Briscoe for the necessary fifth-place finish. For the season, Montoya scored two wins – including the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 – and nine top-five finishes.

Quote: “The No. 2 Verizon Chevy team had a great season. We just had a disappointing finale. There was a lot to be proud of this year, from winning the season opener to giving Roger Penske another Indianapolis 500 title. Unfortunately, today we gave one away but we will come back stronger next year. I have to thank everyone at Verizon, Chevrolet, Hawk Performance and PPG for their great support. I’m looking forward to even more success with them.”

No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Helio Castroneves
Start: 15th
Finish: 15th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 85/85
Laps Led: 0
Points Position (behind leader): Fifth (-103 pts.)

Recap: After qualifying in the 15th position on Saturday afternoon, Helio Castroneves suffered a broken front wing early in Sunday’s GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway that virtually ended his chances to win his first Verizon IndyCar Series championship. When the race began, Castroneves quickly moved up three positions in the first two laps, but was forced to pit on the third lap to fix damage to the front wing on his No. 3 Hitachi Chevrolet. He made a valiant drive back through the field, eventually moving into the top 10. However, he was unable to gain further ground and ultimately settled for a 15th-place result. Castroneves finished fifth in the final standings and showed remarkable consistency with five podium finishes and four Verizon P1 Pole Awards in 2015.

Quote: “First of all, it was a good season for the No. 3 Team Penske Chevy team. We finished in the top five in the championship and to battle down to the last race of the year was great. We know we did have a fast Hitachi Chevy today but because of a bad qualifying we put ourselves in a tough position. I’m disappointed for everyone at Team Penske and especially for Juan Pablo (Montoya) and the No. 2 car team, leading the championship up until the end. To have the team finish second just doesn’t seem right. But this team is strong. We’ll come back even stronger next year. A big thanks to Hitachi, AAA, Shell-Pennzoil and Chevrolet for all their support this year.”

No. 22 Avaya Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud
Start: Fourth
Finish: 16th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 85/85
Laps Led: 0
Points Position (behind leader): 11th (-172 pts.)

Recap: Simon Pagenaud raced among the leaders for part of Sunday’s GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway before posting a 16th-place finish that placed him 11th in the final Verizon IndyCar Series championship standings. After starting fourth, Pagenaud remained in the top 10 for the opening segment of the race. On his first pit stop, however, Pagenaud stopped short of his pit stall to avoid contact with teammate Will Power and Josef Newgarden, who were both making stops as well. As a result of the extra time on pit lane, Pagenaud fell from sixth to 20th in the running order. After another stop on lap 48, Pagenaud dropped from third to 19th place. Upon returning to the track, Pagenaud began to turn some of his fastest laps of the race in an attempt to carve his way back through the field and salvage a top-10 finish. He maneuvered his back to the 16th position before crossing the finish line. In his first season with Team Penske, Pagenaud finished on the podium twice — at Detroit and Mid-Ohio – and won the Verizon P1 Pole Award at Auto Club Speedway in July.

Quote: “With the season we’ve had, I’m disappointed for the team. Team Penske did win the Indy 500 and that’s obviously the biggest race of the year and we had three cars in the championship, so we should feel good about that. Our guys do such a good job on the cars and we tried with the Avaya Chevy today, but it wasn’t meant to be as we just had too many issues. Congratulations to Scott Dixon on the championship. I also want to thank Avaya, HP, Hawk, Carlisle and Devilbiss, PPG, Chevy and Penske Truck Rental for everything. We’ll be working hard in testing this offseason and build on what we started this year for 2016.”

FREIGHTLINER AND TEAM PENSKE EXTEND LONGSTANDING PARTNERSHIP

 

Company Features Team Penske’s Racing Programs Through Its Marketing Efforts

 MOORESVILLE, N.C. (DATE) – Team Penske announced today that it has extended its partnership with Freightliner Trucks, the largest division of Daimler Trucks North America and one of the most recognizable and respected names in the trucking industry. A Team Penske partner for over 10 years, Freightliner has announced a five-year extension that will continue to see the team utilize Freightliner Trucks and equipment for all of its NASCAR and IndyCar racing programs.

“Freightliner continues to be one of our strongest partners at Team Penske,” said Roger Penske. “We rely on their support and their transportation capabilities in getting our race teams around the country each and every week. We appreciate the continued support of Freightliner as we build on this established partnership. They do a fantastic job marketing our team to their vendors and customers and Team Penske is proud to continue to partner with Freightliner.”

While Team Penske transporter drivers will remain behind the wheel of Freightliner trucks for all their transportation needs, Freightliner will continue to maximize Team Penske assets for its marketing programs. Freightliner regularly hosts customers, vendors and distributors at races throughout the year, highlighting the experience with appearances from Team Penske drivers.

“We want to align with the best in the motorsports world and Team Penske certainly sets the standard,” said Stacey Premo, Motorsports Marketing Manager for Freightliner Trucks. “During the course of our relationship, our association with Team Penske and their drivers has provided a lot of great experiences for our dealers and customers, and we are excited to continue that partnership.”

Freightliner also participates in several other racing initiatives, including the NASCAR Hauler Challenge Game app and the NASCAR Run Smart Hauler Challenge, a timed skills obstacle course challenge for transporter drivers in the Sprint Cup and XFINITY Series. The Challenge consists of five events throughout the year with drivers being eliminated at every round. Last season, Team Penske’s drivers swept the top two spots, with Greg Sorber, the transporter driver of the No. 22 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team, claiming the top honor.

“I’ve driven a lot of trucks over the years, but the Freightliner Cascadia® we have now is one of the best trucks that I’ve ever seen,” said Sorber. “We put between 60,000 to 70,000 miles on these trucks taking our cars from track to track every weekend and that’s a lot of wear and tear on them. And rarely do we have an issue. In fact, in the two years I’ve had the truck I’m driving now, not once have I had to do anything with it other than routine maintenance. I’m definitely excited to continue working with Freightliner for years to come.”

About Team Penske

Team Penske 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 more than 400 major race wins, over 450 pole positions and 27 National Championships. The team has also earned 16 Indianapolis 500 victories in its storied history. Team Penske was also recently recognized by the Sports Business Journal as a finalist for the publication’s prestigious annual Professional Sports Team of the Year award. For more information about Team Penske, please visit www.teampenske.com.

 

About Freightliner Trucks

Freightliner Trucks is a division of Daimler Trucks North America LLC, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, and is the leading heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America. Daimler Trucks North America produces and markets Class 5-8 trucks and is a Daimler company, the world’s leading commercial vehicle manufacturer. For more information go to www.freightlinertrucks.com.

Team Penske Verizon IndyCar Series Race Report – Mid-Ohio

Verizon IndyCar Series Race Report
Track: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, Ohio (2.258-mile, 12-turn road course)
Race: Honda Indy 200
Date: Aug. 2, 2015

No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power

Start: 2nd
Finish: 14th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 90/90
Laps Led: 0
Points Position (behind leader): 5th (-59)

Recap: In Sunday’s Honda Indy 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Will Power encountered the same issue that plagued two of his teammates – an untimely caution period at lap 65. The 14th-place finish kept Power in fifth place in the Verizon IndyCar Series standings, now 59 points behind series leader and Team Penske teammate Juan Pablo Montoya. After starting second, Power went off course briefly on the third lap and dropped to sixth place before settling in at lap 11. He pitted early to replace his front wing, which was damaged during the opening laps of the race, and he dropped to 18th place on lap 16, but Power gradually began to work his way back through the field. When Montoya pitted from the lead on lap 41, Power moved into the second spot, his race-high running position. Power was in fifth place and strongly contending when he was caught out by a yellow flag after Sage Karam spun on lap 65. Several drivers behind the lead pack had pitted moments before the caution brought about the closing of the pits. Once the leaders came down pit road, they were caught up in traffic as they tried to get back to the front. It was a rare tough result at Mid-Ohio for Power, who finished second in 2012 and 2010 at the circuit after winning the pole position both years.

Quote: “The Verizon Chevy didn’t have a great start today as we had some contact there in the early laps and did some damage to the front wing. We had to come in early and had a long pit stop that put us way behind. It put us at the back of the field, but we had a really fast car. We were able to push ourselves up a few spots and we got lucky with that first caution, which put us in the top five. We had a pretty good shot for a podium finish there from that point until that last caution. If it had just stayed green we would have had a good recovery on our hands. Things just didn’t go our way in the end. We’ll just keep our heads up and look forward to Pocono.”

No. 2 Hawk Performance Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Juan Pablo Montoya

Start: 10th
Finish: 11th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 90/90
Laps Led: 21
Points Position: Leader (465 pts)

Recap: Juan Pablo Montoya overcame numerous obstacles to have a shot to win Sunday’s Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, but he saw his chance slip away with a bit of bad luck. Montoya was pacing the field just as a yellow flag flew on lap 65, one lap before he was to come down pit road for his final service of the day. After pitting during the caution period, Montoya and several other lead cars were mired deep in the field with laps winding down. He was able to cross the finish line in the 11th position and maintain his lead in the Verizon IndyCar Series standings, but that lead is now just nine points over race winner, Graham Rahal. Only an oval race at Pocono Raceway — where Montoya won last year — and the season finale at Sonoma Raceway remain on the 2015 series schedule. After starting from the 10th position on Sunday, Montoya moved up to the sixth position by lap 16. The 2015 Indianapolis 500 winner took the lead for the first time at lap 39. After surrendering the lead for pit service at lap 41, Montoya was able to move back into the top spot by lap 49. However, when Sage Karam spun on Lap 65 and brought out another yellow flag, Montoya was caught in an unfortunate situation. He was able to salvage an 11th-place finish before the checkered flag and he will continue to carry the points lead into the penultimate race of the season, at Pocono Raceway in two weeks.

Quote: “Everyone on the Hawk Performance Chevy did an amazing job today. From where we were on Friday to today was a huge difference. We did everything we were supposed to do today and the race was playing out perfectly for us. Unfortunately, we got a caution with about 25 laps to go that we didn’t need. It worked out for some and didn’t work out for others. But we had a great car and we still have the points lead. Ready for Pocono, where we won last year.”

No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Helio Castroneves

Start: 4th
Finish: 15th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 90/90
Laps Led: 6
Points Position (behind leader): 4th (-58)

Recap: Helio Castroneves led the race and ran among the leaders before an untimely caution period cost him a shot at victory and relegated him to a 15th-place finish in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Sunday afternoon. Castroneves is now fourth in the Verizon IndyCar Series drivers’ standings, 59 points behind teammate Juan Pablo Montoya and just one point ahead of Will Power. Castroneves started Sunday’s race in the fourth position and quickly moved up to third after the first lap. He maintained that position for the first stint, but after pitting during the second caution period on lap 23, he emerged in 14th place after a restart on lap 26. Castroneves fought back inside the top five before moving into the lead on lap 43. However on lap 65, a caution period benefited a group of drivers who made it into the pits moments before they were closed for the full-course caution. Castroneves was positioned in 16th place after the stop under yellow and he was unable to work his way back to the front on the tight Mid-Ohio circuit, as he secured a 15th-place result.

Quote: “We had a great race today. The Hitachi Chevy guys did one heck of a job for me and (race strategist) Roger (Penske) put us in great position to capitalize. There was a lot going on out there today, a lot of traffic. We had a great Hitachi Chevy but, unfortunately, the strategy didn’t play out for us. I wish there wasn’t two weeks off before we go to Pocono because I really want to get back on the track soon.”

No. 22 PPG Automotive Refinish Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud

Start: 15th
Finish: 3rd
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 90/90
Laps Led: 0
Points Position (behind leader): 10th (-136 pts)

Recap: Simon Pagenaud took advantage of a caution period and timely pit stop on lap 65 to jump up among the leaders, where he ran strong to finish third in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The effort matched his best finish this season, his first with Team Penske. Pagenaud also finished third in May at the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans at Belle Isle Park. Pagenaud started Sunday’s race in the 15th position but used deft strategy to move up to fifth place by lap 33. He kept the PPG Automotive Refinish Chevy near the middle of the pack when he entered the pits just before they were closed because of a spin by Sage Karam on the 65th lap. When the leaders — including Team Penske teammates Juan Pablo Montoya, Helio Castroneves and Will Power — were forced to make their stops after the pits were opened, Pagenaud and others found themselves at the front of the pack. The third-consecutive podium finish for Pagenaud at Mid-Ohio kept him ranked 10th in the Verizon IndyCar Series drivers’ standings, now 136 points behind Montoya.

Quote: “It was a great day for the PPG Automotive Refinish Chevy, really. We had the roughest weekend of all. We had some mechanical issues earlier in the weekend, and Chevy and the whole team put a new engine in the back of the car for qualifying and then it was good. It’s funny how it works. We qualified badly and then we have a podium (finish). Good day, good day for the guys, it’s uplifting. We bounced back and congratulations to (race winner) Graham Rahal.”

Verizon IndyCar Series Race Report – Iowa Speedway

Verizon IndyCar Series Race Report

Track: Iowa Speedway
Race: Iowa Corn 300
Date: July 18, 2015

No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power

Start: 6th
Finish: 10th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 300/300
Laps Led: 2
Points Position (behind leader): 5th (-55)

Recap: Will Power’s 10th-place finish in the Indy Iowa Corn 300 on Saturday night was Team Penske’s best result of the evening and it left him in fifth place in the Verizon IndyCar Series championship standings. After starting the race from the sixth position, the reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion ran inside the top five for the majority of the first 100 laps of the 300-lap event. He briefly assumed the lead at lap 81 while the field began making green-flag pit stops, but he lost several positions when he came to pit road at lap 83. Power spent the rest of the event working his way back to the front of the field to secure his eighth top-10 finish of the year.

Quote: “The Verizon Chevy was really good from the middle to the end of stints, but we struggled to get going there on restarts and so we lost some track positions and we weren’t able to make that back up. We need to have a better car when the field is bunched up and the traffic is heavy. But we’ll take this and just focus on better results in Mid-Ohio.”
No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Juan Pablo Montoya

Start: 3rd
Finish: 24th
Status: Contact
Laps Completed: 9/300
Laps Led: 0
Points Position (behind leader): 1st (445 pts)

Recap: Juan Pablo Montoya saw his race at Iowa Speedway come to an abrupt and early ending as a suspension malfunction resulted in a heavy collision with the outside retaining wall in Turn 2 on the ninth lap of competition. The 2015 Indianapolis 500 winner escaped injury in the incident. He only lost 12 points in the series standings as many of the other point leaders also encountered difficulties on the shortest track on the Verizon IndyCar Series schedule. Saturday’s result marked the first time in 18 races that Montoya failed to finish a race, dating back to the 2014 Iowa race.

Quote: “It’s just disappointing. Our Verizon Chevy was really good tonight. It was a little loose the first couple of laps, but I was just really taking it easy and biding my time. Something broke. As soon as I loaded up the right front going into the corner something gave up.”

No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Helio Castroneves

Start: 1st
Finish: 11th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 300/300
Laps Led: 50
Points Position (behind leader): 4th (-54)

Recap: Helio Castroneves started on the pole position for the Indy Iowa Corn 300 and led four times for 50 laps in the No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet as he looked to be one of the favorites to win the event. However, on lap 158, Castroneves nearly made heavy contact with the outside wall but was able to save his Chevrolet from incident. Unfortunately the slip let the No. 67 car of Josef Newgarden past him for the lead. With the loose-handling condition, race strategist Roger Penske called for a significant front-wing adjustment and an air pressure change on the following pit stop. As the sun began to set and the temperatures cooled, the chassis swung massively to a tight-handling condition and Castroneves eventually dropped down to 11th in the running order. He was able to cross the finish line in that same spot, narrowly missing out on his 200th career top-10 finish in Verizon IndyCar Series competition.

Quote: “The Hitachi Chevy was unbelievable the first half of the race until we had a huge moment on the exit of turn three while leading the race. I’m still not sure how I was able to catch it. After that it was all downhill because we adjusted the car for the oversteer, but then it really cooled off and we developed an understeer. Then we lost a lot of positions on restarts after I felt we got chopped off numerous times. We were able to minimize the damage a bit over the last few laps but, man, I really thought we had a Chevy that could win the race.”

No. 22 Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud

Start: 5th
Finish: 14th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 299/300
Laps Led: 0
Points Position (behind leader): 10th (-151)

Recap: Simon Pagenaud started fifth in Saturday night’s Indy Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway, his 11th top-five starting position of the season. As the race began, however, he had to deal with a chassis that was handling too loose for his liking. The No. 22 Penske Truck Rental Chevrolet pit crew made adjustments to the front wing on the first two tops of the night, but Pagenaud still had trouble keeping pace with the race leaders. As the race moved into the final 100-lap segment and the track conditions cooled, Pagenaud was happy with the handling of his Chevrolet and he was able to maneuver his way back into the 14th position before crossing the finish line.

Quote: “We’re not quite sure what happened with the Penske Truck Rental Chevrolet. We practiced really well yesterday. At the end of the race we had the exact same car that we had in practice. But at the beginning it was just really, really loose and I could barely hang on to it. It was all about survival at that point. We made some adjustments on the first pit stop but it was still too loose. By that point we were really behind in having any chance at winning the race. The Penske Truck Rental Chevy was good on the last two stints. That is the positive that we can take away from tonight and go to Mid-Ohio.”

AUTOZONE TO SPONSOR JUAN PABLO MONTOYA AND AUSTIN CINDRIC IN INDYCAR/ARCA DOUBLEHEADER AT IOWA

AUTOZONE TO SPONSOR JUAN PABLO MONTOYA AND AUSTIN CINDRIC IN INDYCAR/ARCA DOUBLEHEADER AT IOWA

16-Year-Old Cindric Will Make ARCA Debut at the 7/8-Mile Speedway

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (July 13, 2015) – AutoZone, the leading retailer and a leading distributor of automotive parts and accessories, announced today it will be an associate sponsor of Team Penske’s reigning Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya in the Verizon IndyCar Series race at the 7/8-mile Iowa Speedway on July 18. In addition, AutoZone will serve as the primary sponsor for 16-year-old Austin Cindric in his ARCA Racing Series debut with Cunningham Motorsports on Friday, July 17.

AutoZone, which serves as an associate sponsor of Team Penske’s NASCAR Cup Series program, will have an expanded presence on the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet driven by Montoya. Montoya has already earned two victories this season, along with eight top-five and 11 top-10 finishes in 12 starts. He became a two-time Indy 500 champion after winning the 99th running of the historic event in May. Montoya currently leads the Verizon IndyCar Series championship standings by 54 points over Scott Dixon.

Cindric, the son of Team Penske President Tim Cindric, will make his ARCA debut driving the No. 99 AutoZone Ford for long-time ARCA competitors Cunningham Motorsports. The Cunningham Motorsports team has worked with Team Penske in the past, providing opportunities for young up-and-coming drivers. Cunningham Motorsports has already earned three ARCA victories this season.

Despite his young age, Cindric has already amassed an impressive racing resume. He currently competes full-time in the Red Bull Global Rallycross Lites and IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Series.  Cindric is a two-time Lites winner this season and a former X-Games medalist. In February, he became the youngest driver to ever compete in the prestigious Bathurst 12 Hour race in Australia where he raced an A-Class Mercedes SLS AMG for the Erebus Motorsport team. This past weekend, Cindric piloted the Multimatic Ford Shelby Mustang GT350R-C to victory in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race at Canadian Tire Motorspots Park.

“I’m very excited to get the opportunity to race in the ARCA Series. Representing AutoZone in my first race is really special,” said Cindric, who just finished his sophomore year at Cannon School in Concord, North Carolina. “I’ve grown up around some of the most respected names in the sport, and I really appreciate all of those who have supported me.”

The ARCA Racing Series Iowa 150 is scheduled to start at 9:00 p.m. ET on Friday, July 17 and will be televised live on FoxSports1. The Verizon IndyCar Series Iowa Corn 300 is set to begin at 8:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 18 and will be televised live on NBC Sports Network.

Verizon IndyCar Series Race Report

Verizon IndyCar Series Race Report

Track: The Milwaukee Mile – West Allis, Wis. (one-mile oval)
Race: ABC Supply Wisconsin 250
Date: July 12, 2015

No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power

Start: 14th
Finish: 22nd
Status: Accident
Laps Completed: 130/250
Laps Led: 0
Points Position (behind leader): Fifth (-70 pts)

Recap: Verizon IndyCar Series reigning champion Will Power raced among the top 10 for the first half of the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at the historic Milwaukee Mile before an incident with the No. 5 car driven by Ryan Briscoe took him out of the event on lap 132. The resulting 22nd-place finish dropped Power from second to fifth in the Verizon IndyCar Series standings. Power started from the 14th position but moved the No. 1 Verizon Chevy into the top 10 by lap 50. Power – the 2014 winner of this event – was able to maintain his position at the front of the field following pit stops on laps 51 and 97. After restarting in eighth place on a lap 132 restart, Power and Briscoe made contact while racing for position in the center of Turns 3 and 4 of the Milwaukee Mile circuit. As Briscoe began to spin, Power was on his outside and nearly avoided the No. 5 car as it headed for the wall, but Power was ultimately collected in the incident. He is now in the fifth position in the Verizon IndyCar Series standings, 70 points behind leader and teammate Juan Pablo Montoya..

Quote: “I saw Ryan start to spin there so I went out wide to try and miss him, and he clipped me and I went up into the wall. There is no question it is going to make (the championship battle) tough, but we will keep focused and go on to the next one. You kind of get frustrated but you just have to keep moving on. Eventually it will change and we will have one go right for the Verizon Chevy team. Just got to keep focused and move on to the next one.”

No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/sChevrolet – Juan Pablo Montoya

Start: 8th
Finish: 4th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 250/250
Laps Led: 0
Points Position: First (439 pts)

Recap: Juan Pablo Montoya recovered from an early pit road speeding penalty to finish fourth in the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at The Milwaukee Mile and maintain his Verizon IndyCar Series championship lead. Montoya started eighth and held that position for the first 50 laps of the 250-lap event. He steadily began to make his way forward, eventually claiming the third position by lap 61. On Lap 98, he piloted the No. 2 Verizon Chevy down pit road for a green-flag pit stop, but was clocked going too fast on pit road entry and he had to serve a drive-through penalty that dropped him to 20th place in lap 101. Again using a fast Chevy and smart pit strategy, Montoya began to work his way through the field. On lap 192 he was scored in the third position before coming down pit road for the final time at lap 198. He returned to the track in 14th place, but began making his way back to the front of the pack, following pit stops by the leaders. On the final restart of the day at lap 232, Montoya was scored in the second position but he didn’t have enough Firestone tires left to hold off the advancements of teammate Helio Castroneves and Graham Rahal, who both had newer rubber in the closing stages. After a spirited battle with one of his chief opponents to the championship, Scott Dixon, for the fourth position, Montoya crossed the finish line there to preserve his series-leading eighth top-five finish of the season.

Quote: “It was completely my mistake on the pit road speeding penalty. I had my finger on the (pit road speed) button but it’s really bumpy getting onto pit road so I don’t know if I didn’t hit it, or if I hit it twice. That put us behind a bit. With about 120 laps to go I told the guys that I think we can make it on one more stop and we did it! It’s great. Our Verizon Chevy was really good today. We grew our points lead with only four races to go. The crowd was fantastic. We always want to see the stands full when we race. It was a solid crowd today and that made it more fun behind the wheel.”

No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Helio Castroneves

Start: 24th
Finish: 2nd
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 250/250
Laps Led: 0
Points Position (behind leader): Third (tied, -69 pts)

Recap: After he started last in the 24-car field, Helio Castroneves drove from the back to a second-place finish Sunday in the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at The Milwaukee Mile. The impressive performance moved him from fifth to a tie for third in the Verizon IndyCar Series championship standings. Castroneves had to start of the rear of the field when the team was late to technical inspection prior to qualifying, but he quickly moved No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet through the field after the start of the race. By lap 27 of the 250-lap race, Castroneves was up to the 17th position. He kept the Hitachi Chevy on the fringe of the top 10 throughout much of the event to set himself up to take advantage of some good fortune. He received his break when a caution flag flew at lap 222, just a handful of laps before he was scheduled to make his final pit stop of the day. A great stop by his No.3 team resulted in Castroneves being the first car off pit road – and fourth in line – when the race resumed at lap 232. He was able to get around his teammate, Juan Pablo Montoya, and he held off Graham Rahal over the final laps to secure his 86th career top-three finish. Castroneves is now tied for third in the standings with Rahal, 69 points behind Montoya.

Quote: “I was pushing to the limit, no question (about it.) I knew the Hitachi Chevrolet would be very good, but the 11 car (race winner Sebastien Bourdais) was very fast. That seemed to be the key here. That was a hell of a job by the guys. We had a little miscue with qualifying, but we never lost faith. We focused on the race. I’m just so proud and honored to be part of this team. ”

No. 22 Penske Truck Rental Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud

Start: 17th
Finish: 9th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 250/250
Laps Led: 0
Points Position (behind leader): 10th (-161 pts)

Recap: A ninth-place finish helped Simon Pagenaud maintain 10th place in the Verizon IndyCar Series driver standings. After starting the race from the 17th-position, Pagenaud lost a few spots as the handling on his Penske Truck Rental Chevy was not to his liking in the early portions of the ABC Supply 250 at the Milwaukee Mile. Following two pits stops – including one for a wing adjustment on Lap 95 – Pagenaud briefly moved up to the fifth position on lap 150. A green-flag pit stop on lap 163 dropped him back to 15th but the Frenchman never gave up on the day. Timely pit strategy allowed Pagenaud to gain valuable track position late in the event as he worked his way back into the fifth position at lap 199 before having to come down pit road for his final pit stop of the day. He returned to the track in the 15th position at lap 200 but battled back up to ninth place. He’s currently 161 points behind series leader and Team Penske teammate Juan Pablo Montoya.

Quote: “It was a good run for the Penske Truck Rental Chevy team. We started 17th because we missed the balance a little bit in qualifying. Milwaukee isn’t an easy place to pass, but I’m pretty happy with the result. It was a really good performance but again, the results don’t exactly show the performance. I think we made a good improvement on the setup for the car and the way I want it. Now, we are working for the future really and we are just starting to scratch the surface. It just takes time to get a team to fully come together. The guys were amazing during pit stops today. It is just details to work on.”

Verizon IndyCar Series Race Report

Track: Auto Club Speedway – Fontana, Calif. (two-mile oval)
Race: MAVTV 500
Date: June 27, 2015

No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power

Start: 8th
Finish: 19th
Status: Accident
Laps Completed: 241/250
Laps Led: 62
Points Position (behind leader): Second (-46 pts)

Recap: Will Power was racing for the lead late in Saturday’s MAVTV 500 when he was involved in an accident with Takuma Sato on lap 241 of the 250-lap race at Auto Club Speedway, resulting in a 19th-place finish. Power, who won at the track in 2013 and clinched the Verizon IndyCar Series championship last year at the Fontana, Calif., venue, maintained his second-place standing in the series standings, now 46 points behind Team Penske teammate Juan Pablo Montoya. Power briefly took the lead on lap 36 and maintained a position at the front of the field for a majority of the race. Power was involved in several battles for the lead with Marco Andretti and teammate, Helio Castroneves, in what proved to be one of the most-thrilling Verizon IndyCar Series races of the season. After Castroneves was involved in an incident on lap 136, Power emerged from the pits in the lead on lap 139. On lap 175, he returned to the lead, which he still held when the yellow flag flew on lap 191. On the restart on lap 200, Power was scored in the third position, but je quickly regained the lead during pit stops and restarted in the lead on lap 227. Fourteen laps later, he was caught up in an incident as Sato’s car bounced off Scott Dixon’s machine and sent Power into the wall, bringing an early end to a promising day that saw him lead a race-high 21 times in all for 62 laps.

Quote: “The Verizon Chevy team did a great job today, despite how tough of a day it was. When you have a pack race like what we had today, you have to take a lot of risks to gain track position. As exciting as it is, it’s intense at the same time. I’m just glad that no one got hurt out there and that everybody is okay. Now we move onto Milwaukee, which I’m really looking forward to after how well we ran there in our win last year.”

No. 2 PPG Automotive Refinish Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Juan Pablo Montoya

Start: 5th
Finish: 4th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 250/250
Laps Led: 5
Points Position (points): First (407 pts)

Recap: Juan Pablo Montoya held on through a series of accidents near the end of an exciting MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway on Saturday afternoon to finish fourth and maintain his lead in the Verizon IndyCar Series championship standings. After starting the race from the eighth position, Montoya roared to the second spot on the fourth lap and looked to have a PPG Chevy that could contend for the second leg of the 500-mile “Triple Crown” after winning the Indianapolis 500 in May. After an accident involving teammate Helio Castroneves on lap 136, Montoya emerged from pit road in third place behind leader and teammate Will Power on lap 138. The current Verizon IndyCar Series point leader led for the final time on lap 188 while preparing himself for a strong finish to the event. On a restart on lap 200, Montoya was in second place, but when the yellow flag flew for debris on lap 220, he had fallen to sixth place. When the race was red flagged on lap 245, Montoya was positioned fifth in the running order. He was able to secure one more spot before crossing the finish line and earn his seventh top-five finish of the season.
Quote: “Honestly, I was not a fan of the racing we put on today. What I told INDYCAR yesterday was that we shouldn’t be racing like this. This is full pack racing and sooner or later somebody is going to get hurt. We don’t need to be doing this. It was a hell of a show and we did what we needed to do. We had a good PPG Chevy. When Will (Power) crashed and Helio (Castroneves) crashed, for me the goal was to finish ahead of (Scott) Dixon and we did that. So it’s all good and everybody did a great job again.”
No. 3 Auto Club of Southern California Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Helio Castroneves

Start: 2nd
Finish: 23rd
Status: Accident
Laps Completed: 136/250
Laps Led: 43
Points Position (behind leader): Fifth (-77 pts)

Recap: Helio Castroneves led 43 laps and appeared to be in contention to challenge for victory Saturday when an accident ended his day early at the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway. Finishing in 23rd-place after the accident, Castroneves went from fourth to fifth in the Verizon IndyCar Series point standings. Castroneves moved into the race lead on lap five and stayed near the front of the field until the incident on lap 136, which involved teammate Will Power and former teammate, Ryan Briscoe. On lap 115, after being passed by eventual race winner Graham Rahal, Castroneves was caught between the cars of Power and Briscoe and spun. Briscoe received a penalty for the incident. The damage to the Auto Club Chevy was too severe for Castroneves to finish the event.

Quote: “Unfortunately (Graham) Rahal was coming up on me, and then kind of like, he really squeezed on me at the top. So, as soon as I come into position that I think I was going to, that I was about to push, I started lifting because I didn’t want to crash. I think we touched, and one lap before he was already squeezing me. And I’m like, ‘Dude, you don’t need to do that.’ So I’m kind of like lifting, and all of the sudden people are coming and start chopping, and (Ryan) Briscoe and Will (Power), they just closed it up. Briscoe didn’t have to do that. He just turned into me and as soon as he turned into me I was like, ‘This is a tough one.’ I’ll tell you what, there was a long ride of sideways. The Auto Club Chevy was unbelievable. We had a fantastic car. It’s a shame we have to finish like this.”

No. 22 Penske Truck Rental Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud

Start: 1st
Finish: 9th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 250/250
Laps Led: 3
Points Position (behind leader): 10th (-151 pts)

Recap: Simon Pagenaud won the Verizon P1 Pole Award – his first on an oval – and raced among the leaders throughout the race before eventually producing a ninth-place finish in Saturday’s MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway. After leading the field to the green flag, Pagenaud fell back several positions in the running order as he preferred to let the race play out for him rather than take risky maneuvers at the front of the pack. Gradually over the course of the race he began to regain the lost track position as the feel for the setup came around to his liking. After teammate Helio Castroneves’ accident on lap 136, Pagenaud emerged from the pits in seventh place, but 20 laps later had raced his way back into the lead. During the red flag at lap 245 to allow for cleanup after a two-car incident which caused a lot of debris, Pagenaud was positioned in fifth place. He pitted under caution for tires before the restart, and raced back to ninth place before the race ended under a caution flag.

Quote: “The car was fantastic. We had great Chevy power to help us on this big track. But I’ll be honest, I am not a fan of this kind of racing. We don’t need to run in a pack at over 220 mph. There is so much drafting in those cars, you get lucky if there is a hole. You slice through the hole and you push people out of the draft. It is just not safe racing. That is my personal opinion. The Penske Truck Rental car was good, but today you couldn’t tell who had the best car. It doesn’t matter when you race in a pack.”

Team Penske Auto Club Speedway Infographic

Penske Fontana 2015

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