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Juan Pablo Montoya and Will Power Quotes on ESPY Best Driver Nomination

Team Penske drivers Will Power (No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet) and Juan Pablo Montoya (No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet) have both been nominated for an ESPY award in the “Best Driver” category. Power was nominated as the reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion, while Montoya received his nomination after winning the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 in May. Please see the below quotes from each.

-Will Power, Driver of the No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet

“I am honored that ESPN has nominated me for the ‘Best Driver’ category at this year’s ESPYs. Racing is all I ever wanted to do. To be acknowledged by one of the leaders in the sports world is something that means a lot to me. Ryan Hunter-Reay brought the award back to INDYCAR for the last two years and I hope I can keep it here.”

-Juan Pablo Montoya, Driver of the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet

“Look at the list of former winners of the ‘Best Driver’ category and you can see that it is quite an honor just to be nominated. What’s amazing is that I have raced against almost everyone on that list of former ESPY winners. I love the Verizon IndyCar Series and I think we have the best racing in the world. It’s important for us to have ESPN acknowledge our accomplishments. Hopefully we can make it three straight Verizon IndyCar Series winners for ‘Best Driver.’”

 

Verizon IndyCar Series Race Report – Penske Racing

Verizon IndyCar Series Race Report

Track:​Exhibition Place street circuit – Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Race: ​Honda Indy Toronto
Date: ​June 14, 2015

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

Start: 1st
Finish: 4th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 85/85
Laps Led: 30
Points Position (behind leader): Second (-27 pts)

Recap: Will Power led the early stages of Sunday’s rain-soaked Honda Indy Toronto, but settled for a fourth-place finish that kept him second in the Verizon IndyCar Series championship standings. Sunday’s result marked Power’s sixth top-five finish in 10 races of the 2015 season. Power led the first 30 laps of the race that included a green-flag pit stop on lap 12. After the stop he continued to lead Team Penske teammate Simon Pagenaud, who gave the reigning series champion a thrilling fight for the lead. On lap 30, Power pitted under caution from the lead as teammate Helio Castroneves and others stayed out on track and Castroneves took over the top spot. Power was the first of the leaders to leave the pits, emerging back on track in fifth place. He worked his way into the third position by lap 42, but eventually lost several spots while battling Pagenaud for position. A strong drive over the final laps resulted in Power crossing the finish line in the fourth position to maintain second in the series standings while closing the gap in points to teammate Juan Pablo Montoya.

Quote: “I was surprised at how quickly the race moved along. They said it was the end and I was like, ‘Really, that’s it?’ But, yeah, I was happy with the result. We went with a low risk strategy – we didn’t want to get caught out by the yellow. I felt like if we’d had five more laps our car was pretty strong because we had black (tires) and Helio had reds on. We gained some points back with a solid top four (finish). It was a championship type day for the Verizon Chevy team.”

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

Start: 3rd
Finish: 7th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 85/85
Laps Led: 0
Points Position (behind leader): First (374 pts)

Recap: Juan Pablo Montoya maintained his lead in the Verizon IndyCar Series championship standings with a seventh-place finish in Sunday’s Honda Indy Toronto. He now leads Team Penske teammate Will Power by 27 points, with Penske’s Helio Castroneves in fourth place, 52 points off the lead. While trying to settle into an early rhythm on the wet Exhibition Place circuit, Montoya went slightly off course while racing with the No. 9 Chevy of Scott Dixon, dropping the PPG Automotive Refinish Chevrolet from third to eighth in the running order. He “short pitted” a few laps later on lap 10 to swap out his Firestone rain tires for the “red” alternate rubber. As a result he dropped back to 16th place, but was back up to seventh position by lap 15. On a Lap 46 restart, Montoya maintained his eighth place position, but he was passed by Takuma Sato and Graham Rahal a short time later. The 2015 Indianapolis 500 winner methodically worked his way back through the field over the remaining laps to secure his series-leading ninth top-10 finish of the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season.

Quote: “The PPG Automotive Refinish boys did a great job today despite the changing conditions. We sort of struggled when the track was wet and I made a couple small mistakes on track, but we recovered pretty quickly from those. After that it was a good race and we were really good on black tires from that point on. It was a nice, solid finish that allowed us to keep the points lead going into three straight oval races. I’m excited about that.”

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

Start: 7th
Finish: 3rd
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 85/85
Laps Led: 15
Points Position (behind leader): Fourth (-52 pts)

Recap: Helio Castroneves recovered from unfortunate luck on his second pit stop of the day to finish third Sunday in the Honda Indy Toronto for his fourth podium finish of the season. Castroneves made his first stop of the day on lap 11 to remove his Firestone rain tires in favor of the “red” alternate racing slicks. This move placed him on a different strategy than many of the other competitors, one that saw him take the lead in the race for the first time on lap 31. Race strategist Roger Penske made the call to bring Castroneves down pit road at lap 42 as the three-time Indianapolis 500 winner had built up a large lead that presented the possibility that he would receive tires and fuel before returning to the track in the lead. However, a caution flag was displayed before he could enter pit road. This resulted in Castroneves having to make his pit stop under caution, and he returned to the track in the 18th position. The fact that he was off-strategy from most of the field again played a big role in Castroneves taking the lead again at lap 63. After laying down a few blistering laps, he made his way down pit road for the final time at lap 66. A fast stop by his team, coupled with the significant lead he had built up, saw Castroneves return to action in the fourth position and he improved one spot to finish on the podium.

Quote: “After all the circumstances today – what a great job from the Hitachi boys. Roger (Penske) made a great call. I had no idea how they put me up there, but we were running really strong laps. The car was on rails. It’s a shame, certainly, it was crazy. I was pushing like I stole it. But in the end it was great. It was a shame with the weather a little bit, but thank God we were able to put some dry laps out there for the fans. The Canadian fans are always awesome. This is a great event and I hope when we come here next year we get a win.”

No. 22 Avaya Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud

Start: 2nd
Finish: 11th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 85/85
Laps Led: 0
Points Position (behind leader): 10th (-142 pts)

Recap: Simon Pagenaud battled among the leaders early in the Honda Indy Toronto before a troublesome restart on lap 46 dropped him from the fourth position to eighth. Pagenaud chased his Team Penske teammate, Will Power, for the lead early in the race to give the fans that braved the wet conditions a great show. After he pitted from second place on lap 30, Pagenaud restarted in the sixth position as teammate Helio Castroneves stayed on track and assumed the lead. Pagenaud moved up to fifth when he passed Rodolfo Gonzalez on lap 40, then moved up to fourth when Castroneves pitted under caution on the next lap. On the Lap 46 restart, however, Pagenaud lost four spots while battling Power for position before he pitted under the green flag on lap 55, dropping the No. 22 Avaya Chevrolet further back into the field. By Lap 69, Pagenaud was scored in 12th place before he gained another position on lap 72 to cross the finish line in the 11th place.
Quote: “Tough day today for the No. 22 Avaya Chevy team. We had a car that showed great potential to fight for the win today. Unfortunately, I lost a lot of positions on the restart trying to go around Will. I knew I had a good car and it was time to go to contend for the win. Toronto is a place where track position is very important. Once we got back in traffic our day became more difficult. I’m excited to go to California and continue our strong form on ovals at the Auto Club Speedway in two weeks.”

TEAM PENSKE IS QUICK ON A WET FRIDAY IN TORONTO

TEAM PENSKE IS QUICK ON A WET FRIDAY IN TORONTO

TORONTO, ONT (June 12, 2015) – Team Penske’s Juan Pablo Montoya got an early jump on the competition by recording the fastest lap during the first practice session Friday for the Honda Indy Toronto.

Montoya, the current Verizon IndyCar Series points leader and the reigning Indy 500 winner, was clocked at 1:00.6343 in the No. 2 PPG Automotive Refinish Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet for his fastest lap around the 11-turn, 1.755-mile Exhibition Place street circuit.

All four Team Penske drivers recorded laps among the top seven Friday. INDYCAR canceled the second practice session after rain showers moved through the area.

“We went out, didn’t get in many laps because we had a problem with the brakes on the PPG Chevy, but the speed was there,” said Montoya, who owns two victories this season. “It’s encouraging, but with the rain it just makes it hard because it washes away any rubber we put down and tomorrow we have to start from zero.”

Team Penske teammate Simon Pagenaud had the second-fastest lap — 1:00.7922 — in the No. 22 Avaya Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet.

“I love racing in Toronto and it’s clear that the Avaya Chevy boys have brought another fast car to the track this weekend,” stated Pagenaud. “You would like to have as much track time as possible because this is such a demanding racetrack, so the rain was a bit of a bummer. It’s something we all have to deal with, though, and I’m ready to get back on the track tomorrow.”

Will Power recorded the sixth-fastest lap — 1:00.8656 in the No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet — among the 23-car field.

“I felt like we had a pretty good Verizon Chevy, so we’re not too far out of the window,” said Power. “We’re not changing much. We’ll just go into tomorrow and see what we’ve got. I’m hoping it’s going to be dry. Otherwise we should have been running in the second session.”

Helio Castroneves had the seventh-best lap — 1:00.8788 in the No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet.

“Toronto’s always a great town to race in,” stated Castroneves. “It’s one of the spots I recommend to a lot of people not only because it’s a great race but also because it’s a great town. The Hitachi Chevrolet seems to be pretty good, and it’s a very tight field as you can see from third to eighth or ninth near where I’m at. It’s like in the same tenth which is amazing. So it’s definitely going to be competitive.”

Montoya leads Power by 35 points in the standings after nine of 16 races this season. Castroneves is third and Pagenaud is 11th entering this weekend’s event.

After another practice session Saturday at 10:40 a.m. ET, qualifying is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. NBCSN’s live broadcast of Sunday’s race will start at 3 p.m. ET.

Team Penske – Verizon IndyCar Series Race Report – Texas

Verizon IndyCar Series Race Report

Track: Texas Motor Speedway

Race:​  Firestone 600

Date:   ​June 6, 2015

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

Start:  1st

Finish: 13th

Status: Running

Laps Completed:  244/248

Laps Led:  7

Points Position (behind leader):  2nd (-35 pts)

Recap: Will Power led early in Saturday night’s Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway, but the handling on the No. 1 Verizon Chevy gradually deteriorated over the course of the event. The reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion paced the field for the first seven laps of the race before turning the lead over to his teammate, Simon Pagenaud. From there Power managed to keep the Verizon Chevy inside the top five throughout the first 97 laps, but it eventually fell out of the top 10 due to an ill-handling condition. Power ultimately finished four laps down to the race leaders in 13th position.

Quote:  “It was tough day for the Verizon Chevy team. We got a bit blindsided there and chose the wrong downforce level fortonight but I think our problems were deeper than that. We just need to take a good look at what we missed. We’ll go back and look towards better results in Toronto.”

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

Start:  5th

Finish: 4th

Status: Running

Laps Completed:  248/248

Laps Led:  16

Points Position:  Leader (348 pts)

Recap: Juan Pablo Montoya recovered from handling issues early on to finish fourth in Saturday night’s Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway, retaining his lead in the Verizon IndyCar Series championship standings. It marked Montoya’s series-leading sixth top-five finish of the season. After briefly losing several positions over the opening laps of the race, Montoya climbed back inside the top five prior to a lap 84 caution period. After bringing the No. 2 Verizon Chevrolet down pit road for service he returned to the track in the lead. He held the top spot until lap 182 when Tony Kanaan was able to get around both he and teammate Helio Castroneves, who was running in the second position. As he overcame some handling challenges with the car, Montoya was able to keep his Chevy positioned in the top five for most of the remaining laps.

Quote:  “Not a bad day for the Verizon Chevy team. The setup we had in the car was kind of temperamental. Small adjustments had a big effect. On our second stop we went the wrong way on a front wing adjustment and it was a handful to drive after that. But a decent finish and a decent points day. I had a lot of confidence coming into this weekend – I thought we could win the race. We finished fourth so it’s not terrible.”

No. 3 AAA Insurance Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Helio Castroneves

Start:  3rd

Finish: 3rd

Status: Running

Laps Completed:  248/248

Laps Led:  7

Points Position (behind leader):  4th (-62 pts)

Recap: Helio Castroneves maintained his fourth-place position in the Verizon IndyCar Series point standings with the third podium finish of the 2015 season and the 84th of his career in Saturday’s Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway. It also marked his fourth top-five result of the season and 10th career top-five at Texas. Castroneves, who has won at Texas three times, battled among the leaders throughout the race. After his first pit stop on lap 48 of the 248-lap race, Castroneves and the No. 3 AAA Insurance Chevrolet returned to the track in fourth place. At Lap 70, he was still in fourth place, trailing leader Tony Kanaan and Team Penske teammates Simon Pagenaud and Juan Pablo Montoya. Castroneves claimed his only lead of the race on lap 187 and maintained his position at the front of the field for the remainder of the event to secure the strong podium finish.

 

Quote:  “It was an interesting race. There were a lot of scenarios between the high downforce, low downforce. I think I was the only one with the middle downforce. So it wasn’t bad. The AAA Insurance Chevrolet was running very good, especially in the beginning. The only issue for me was towards the end of the runs, I was getting a little too neutral, to be honest, for my taste. We had good battles out there, really intense, really tough.  Any time you are running with guys like that that respect each other, it’s great.”

No. 22 Avaya Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud

Start:  2nd

Finish: 11th

Status: Running

Laps Completed:  246/248

Laps Led:  59

Points Position (behind leader):  11th (-135 pts)

Recap: After a strong start that saw him lead 59 laps – the second-highest total of the race – Simon Pagenaud battled handling problems with the No. 22 Avaya Chevrolet for an 11th-place finish Saturday. Pagenaud, who started second, surged into the lead on Lap 8 and held the top spot through the first round of pit stops before Tony Kanaan seized the lead at lap 67. After a yellow flag waved on Lap 83 and Pagenaud pitted under caution, his crew attempted to fix a problem with the car’s weight jacker. The car had to be restarted, and Pagenaud returned to the track in ninth place. The Avaya Chevrolet struggled to maintain consistent balance from that point on, and Pagenaud worked hard to secure a finish just outside of the top 10.

Quote:  “An up and down night for sure for the Avaya Chevrolet team. The car was really good out front with the downforce setup we had on the car. Unfortunately we had an electrical issue with our weight jacker, which threw the balance of the car off until we got a chance to reset the system under the second caution. But when we did that the engine shut down all the way into the pit stall and we lost several spots. An unfortunate situation for sure, but the guys continued to work on the car to make it better. With our downforce setup it was just not the best in traffic. Now we go to Toronto – which is a place that I love – to try to get this team to Victory Lane.”

Chevrolet Dual in Detroit Presented by Quicken Loans, Race 1

Verizon IndyCar Series Race Report

Track: Streets of Belle Isle, Detroit, Mich.
Race: Chevrolet Dual in Detroit Presented by Quicken Loans, Race 1
Date: May 30, 2015

No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet – Will Power

Start: 1st
Finish: 4th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 47/47
Laps Led: 4
Points Position (behind leader): 2nd (-11 pts.)

Recap: Will Power started on the pole position and brought the No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet home in fourth place during a rain-shortened race on the streets of Belle Isle in Detroit. He’ll get another chance Sunday during the second race of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans. On Saturday, Power recovered from a mishap on his first pit stop of the race in which his car’s left rear tire was hung on a piece of suspension. The long pit stop on lap 15 dropped him out of the top 10, but Power battled back to fourth and maintained his second-place position in the Verizon IndyCar Series drivers’ standings. Power is now 11 points behind series leader and Team Penske teammate, Juan Pablo Montoya.

Quote: “Obviously the rain throws your strategy off quite a bit. As one of the front-running cars we didn’t want to give up the track position to put on primary or ‘red’ Firestone tires once the track began to dry. After other teams started to do that we had to do it too. That’s what put us back in the pack a bit, but we were able to work our way back through the field for a top-five finish. The rain actually helped us because we were about to pit in a couple of laps. But I’m proud of my Verizon Chevy guys. They worked their tails off today.”

No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet – Juan Pablo Montoya

Start: 3rd
Finish: 10th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 47/47
Laps Led: 0
Points Position (ahead of second): 1st (+11)
Recap: Juan Pablo Montoya finished the first race following his second Indianapolis 500 victory last Sunday afternoon with a somewhat disappointing result. Montoya finished 10th in the rain-shortened first race of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit Presented by Quicken Loans after having to stop twice for rain tires late in the event. Montoya started on the second row and was in fourth place when Charlie Kimball’s accident brought out a yellow flag on lap 15. Montoya pitted to take on slick tires, dropping him back to 10th. Later, after pitting for rain tires on lap 35, Montoya dropped back in the field but was able to pass several cars before the race was eventually called on lap 48. With the finish Montoya, maintains an 11-point lead over his Team Penske teammate, Will Power.

Quote: “It is what it is. As a driver you really like to have consistency with the weather. Unfortunately today we didn’t have it and that makes the race a bit of an unknown. We didn’t want to see the rain come back because we had already made our stop. We needed it to stay green so that we would get our track position back when the leaders pitted. That’s racing though. We know we have a good Verizon Chevy for tomorrow.”

No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet – Helio Castroneves

Start: 2nd
Finish: 6th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 47/47
Laps Led: 0
Points Position (behind leader): 4th (-58 pts.)

Recap: Helio Castroneves came through an unusual, rain-delayed and rain-shortened race on Saturday with a sixth-place effort in the first race of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans. Castroneves, who has won three times on the Belle Isle circuit, came back on track after the first round of pit stops in the ninth position. He moved up to seventh-place before pitting for rain tires on lap 32, dropping him back before rallying to finish sixth as the race was called because of severe weather. Castroneves has finished outside the top seven only one time in seven races this season.

Quote: “Man, we had everything thrown at the Hitachi Chevrolet today. You never like to see that much rain at a racetrack. I hate it for Roger (Penske), Bud (Denker) and everyone that puts on this great race. They control everything they can, but the weather has a mind of its own. Our goal now is to come back tomorrow and make sure the trophy for the second race comes back to Team Penske.”

No. 22 PPG Automotive Finishing Team Penske Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud

Start: 5th
Finish: 3rd
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 47/47
Laps Led: 0
Points Position (behind leader): 8th (-115 pts.)

Recap: Simon Pagenaud used great team strategy to finish on the podium in an unusual race that started in the wet before moving to dry conditions and ending after a deluge of rain and lightning that finished the race after 47 laps completed. Pagenaud started fifth and drove to his best finish in his first season with Team Penske thanks to some timely strategy. Pagenaud stayed out on slicks as long as possible while other teams came in to get wet tires, eventually building up enough of a lead to come out among the leaders when he pitted for rain tires on lap 40. With slick tires nearly 10 seconds faster than wets, Pagenaud was able to build up a cushion on the rest of the field. When he got wets, Pagenaud was able to hold onto his third-place position before the race was eventually called early due to lightening. Pagenaud, who led the second-most laps in the Indianapolis 500 last weekend, had a best previous 2015 finish of fourth in April on the streets of Long Beach, Calif.

Quote: “Today was all about team effort and I can’t thank the PPG crew enough for a good strategy and a great call. It was very dicey. We never knew when the rain was going to come. We could only look at the radar, but on the race track it wasn’t raining when they called me in so we had a few communications exchanges. We stayed out a bit longer and then made the call at the perfect time to jump to third and then get a first podium with Team Penske.”

Coverage: The second race of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans will air tomorrow afternoon at 3:30 pm ET on ABC. Qualifying will take place at 11:25 am ET, but will not be televised.

Team Penske Verizon IndyCar Series Race Report – Indianapolis 500

Verizon IndyCar Series Race Report

Track: Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Race: 99th Indianapolis 500
Date: May 24, 2015

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

Start: 2nd
Finish: 2nd
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 200/200
Laps Led: 23
Points Position (behind leader): 2nd (-25)

Recap: Will Power’s effort to win the Indy 500 for the first time fell just 0.1046 seconds short Sunday as Team Penske teammate Juan Pablo Montoya got past him for the race lead with four laps remaining. Never one to give up, Power made a final charge to pass Montoya but came up short by just a fraction of a second. Power had to work hard to get back to the front as he was in sixth place after a crash by Tony Kanaan on lap 152 of the 200-lap race. After the race resumed, Power quickly moved forward. He passed Charlie Kimball for third place and ran behind Scott Dixon and Montoya on lap 163. Power continued to run inside the top-three positions for the rest of the event, leading 20 of the final 26 laps before being passed by his teammate with four laps to go. The runner-up finish – his best-ever at Indy – keeps Power in the thick of the Verizon IndyCar Series championship battle, where he’s second behind Montoya after six of the 16 races in the 2015 season.

Quote: “I was trying to keep the lead because I knew with the heat, the tires were degrading and eventually they wouldn’t be able to get runs. Montoya got one last run into Turn One and I lifted. After that – I had set my Verizon Chevy up to run up front – I got behind and had a lot of push. I got really close to him after Turn 2 but washed out and had to lift. That was the race. It was serious racing and a lot of fun. Full credit to the team for finishing 1-2. They’ve done an amazing job all month. But man… just too much push. That’s all I had. Congrats to Juan. He was very strong all day and had to come through the field.”

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

Start: 15th
Finish: 1st
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 200/200
Laps Led: 9
Points Position (behind leader): 1st

Recap: Juan Pablo Montoya took the lead from Team Penske teammate with four laps remaining in the 99th Indianapolis 500 and went on to win the race. It represented the second Indy 500 victory of Montoya’s career and a record 16th for Team Penske. It also marks the second time the Colombian has won the famous race in three tries. He won it previously in 2000 before moving to Formula One and later to NASCAR. Montoya returned to the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2014. He won despite making three more pit stops than the rest of the leaders and dropping to the rear of the field after the right rear wheel guard on his No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet was damaged by contact with another car early on. By lap 106, Montoya had worked his way through the field into third place, and he remained a contender through the remainder of the 200-lap event. When Tony Kanaan accident forced a caution flag on lap 152, Montoya was sixth, but by lap 163 he was second, and by lap 165 he was in the lead. From there, he exchanged the lead with Power and Scott Dixon in an entertaining duel to the finish. On lap 196, he passed Power on the outside in Turn 1. He held the lead to the finish in spite of Power’s tenacious challenge, winning by 0.1046 seconds after starting 15th. The victory kept Montoya in the Verizon IndyCar Series points lead over both Power and Dixon.

Quote: “It was fun. Our Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet was good all day. These guys at Team Penske did an amazing job. When I came through the field, I knew I had a good car. That fight there at the end… that was awesome. This is what racing in IndyCar is all about – awesome racing all the way down to the wire. It was just awesome.”

No. 3 Shell V-Power Nitro + Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Helio Castroneves

Start: 5th
Finish: 7th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 200/200
Laps Led: 2
Points Position (behind leader): Fourth (-66)

Recap: Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves led two laps on Sunday and attempted to mount a late-race charge for a fourth Indy victory after briefly falling outside the top 10 with only 10 laps remaining. Castroneves was able to race his way back into the seventh position before the checkered flag. After starting the race from the fifth position, Castroneves fell back in the running order as his Shell V-Power Nitro+ Chevrolet developed a slight understeer. After a front wing adjustment on the third pit stop of the day, Castroneves began to make his way back through the field. At lap 100, he was able to claim the lead for the first time. Castroneves found himself running seventh following a caution period on lap 152, but was shuffled back on the subsequent restart. A valiant effort allowed him to finish in the top 10 for the fifth time this season and also kept his 7.1 average finishing position in the race intact.

Quote: “We had several issues today. One was the restarts. Somehow we weren’t able to pull away. I don’t understand because as soon as everyone was like a freight train behind me. I have to go back and look at the timing. That was really a shame. After that, the car was actually not bad. Now we have to move on. The Shell V-Power Nitro+ Chevrolet guys did an amazing job of putting me up front. Unfortunately seventh is the best we could do.”

No. 22 Avaya Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud

Start: 3rd
Finish: 10th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 200/200
Laps Led: 35
Points Position (behind leader): 11th (-130)

Recap: Simon Pagenaud – who appeared to have the best car and led the most laps among the four Team Penske drivers – fell back in the running order after contact near the end of the race and finished in the 10th position. The hard-luck finish dropped Pagenaud to 11th in the point standings, 130 points behind teammate and race winner Juan Pablo Montoya. Pagenaud led the second-most laps in the event and rarely dropped outside of the top-five positions. He, Scott Dixon and Will Power put on a thrilling show at the front of the field, routinely swapping the lead among the three quick drivers. With 50 laps remaining, Pagenaud held the lead and appeared on his way to challenge for the win, but he made contact with Dixon at lap 170 and damaged the front wing of his Avaya Chevrolet, which forced him to pit for repairs. Upon returning to the track at lap 176 in the 21st position, Pagenaud showed the strength of his Chevrolet by climbing back into the 10th position by the time the checkered flag fell.

Quote: “The car was amazing. I thank Team Penske for all their hard work. It was a great day. The Avaya crew was on it, fantastic pit stops. What a race – we led, we were just cruising behind Dixon, saving fuel. At Lap 170, we knocked our front wing on Dixon and we had to come back in and we were last. We came back up to 10th in 10 laps. That just shows you how good the car was. I’m disappointed, too, but I’m really happy for Juan Pablo and Team Penske. It’s amazing. This team’s incredible.”

TEAM PENSKE WRAPS UP SUCCESSFUL CARBURETION DAY WITH RECORD 15TH WIN IN PIT STOP COMPETITION

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.

Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis Race Reports

Verizon IndyCar Series Race Report

Verizon IndyCar Series Race Report
Track: Indianapolis Motor Speedway (2.439-mile, 14-turn road course)
Race: Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis
Date: May 9, 2015

No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power
Start: 1st
Finish: 1st
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 82/82
Laps Led: 65
Points Position (behind leader): 2nd (-5)

Recap: Will Power won from the pole position Saturday for the 25th victory of his Verizon IndyCar Series career and first at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. Power won by 1.5023 seconds over Graham Rahal and moved into second place in the Verizon IndyCar Series drivers’ standings, just five points behind Team Penske teammate Juan Pablo Montoya. Power maintained the lead despite an incident involving teammate Helio Castroneves on the first turn of the first lap. Power pitted from the lead on Lap 22, but quickly worked his way back into the lead again. From there, it turned into a compelling battle with Graham Rahal for first place. As Power entered the pits on Lap 40, Rahal assumed the lead. However, Power worked back into the top spot on Lap 48. In nine short laps, Power pitted once again, giving the lead to Rahal. Rahal gave up the point when he pitted on the next lap. On Lap 63, Power returned to the lead when Charlie Kimball drove to the pits. At the time, Power held a 4.4805-second lead over Rahal, who tried to catch Power for the next 19 laps but he couldn’t catch the series champ. Saturday marked Power’s first victory of the 2015 season in a race that was slowed by just one caution period
Quote: “That’s the most physical race I think I’ve ever done. It never stopped. I was so determined to win that I didn’t want anything to go wrong. I didn’t want to get caught out by a yellow and wanted a clean race, and that’s exactly what we got. I’m really happy for the guys on the Verizon car. It’s pretty special to win here.”

No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Juan Pablo Montoya
Start: 4th
Finish: 3rd
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 82/82
Laps Led: 0
Points Position: 1st

Recap: Juan Pablo Montoya maintained his lead in the Verizon IndyCar Series drivers’ standings with his third podium finish in five races this season. It also was his 21st podium in 64 career series races. He narrowly escaped damage to the No. 2 Verizon Chevy early in the race after an incident involving Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves on the opening lap. On lap 39, he pitted for alternate “red” Firestone tires, and began to work his way back through the field. In just nine laps he moved into third place. He valiantly tried to track down second-place Graham Rahal for the remainder of the race, but ultimately ran out of laps. Montoya is now five points ahead of race winner Will Power in the standings and 10 points ahead of Castroneves, giving Team Penske the top three spots in the series standings.

Quote: “We ran well all day in the Verizon Chevrolet. We raced hard all day too. I saw them go eight-wide on lap one and I knew that that wasn’t going to work. (Scott) Dixon got in line and we got to the breaking zone and I knew some were going to dive bomb and that wouldn’t work. We had really good pit stops and everyone on the No. 2 Verizon Chevy did a really great job today. It’s a shame that we lost touch with Will (Power) there at the end but I’ll take third place at a road course any day.”

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

Start: 3rd
Finish: 6th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 82/82
Laps Led: 0
Points Position (behind leader): 3rd (-10)
Recap: Helio Castroneves rallied from an incident in the first turn of the first lap to finish in the sixth position to keep himself in the heat of the points battle with Team Penske teammates Juan Pablo Montoya and Will Power. Castroneves started third but upon entering the first corner his No. 3 Verizon Chevrolet made contact with the right rear of Scott Dixon’s car. Castroneves was able to continue, but pitted a short time later for fresh tires and fell to 17th in the running order. From there, he steadily fought back by using a fast Verizon Chevrolet combined with great fuel mileage. By lap 48, he was running ninth. From there Castroneves gained three more positions over the remaining laps. Saturday marked the 300th start of Castroneves’ illustrious career, making him one of only seven drivers to have started 300 races in IndyCar history.

Quote: “I was just trying to make sure I didn’t hit anyone – and that I didn’t get hit – in that first corner. Just wanted to put the No. 3 Verizon Chevy in a good position there. Unfortunately I clipped (Scott) Dixon in the right rear when he turned into the corner. Obviously him spinning out put me into the grass and we lost many spots. From there it was a great comeback for the team. The Verizon Chevy was really fast, but that first lap hurt us quite a bit. We were able to recover by having a fast car and by getting great fuel mileage. We learned a lot about our fuel mileage at Barber two weeks ago. Today that paid off big time.”

No. 22 DeVilbiss Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud

Start: 5th
Finish: 25th
Status: Retired (mechanical)
Laps Completed: 57/82
Laps Led: 0
Points Position (behind leader): 10th (-70)
Recap: Simon Pagenaud raced competitively until an electrical Issue sidelined him on lap 57 of the 82-lap race. After starting fifth, Pagenaud moved up to third early by avoiding the first-lap incident involving Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves. After pitting on lap 40, Pagenaud moved up to the sixth position by lap 48. On lap 57, he came into the pits because of issues with the car’s electronic control unit, which eventually forced the retirement of the No. 22 machine. The 25th-place finish was the worst of the season for Pagenaud.

Quote: “We had a really tough day today. Our DeVillbiss Chevrolet was very competitive early on, but with the issue we had toward the end of the race we couldn’t get back out there. The GCU, which controls the shifting, had a malfunction. It’s a bummer to not put things together again, but I know with our speed we’ll get there soon. We’re going to keep our heads down and be there at the end next time.”

HELIO CASTRONEVES – 300TH START NOTES

HELIO CASTRONEVES

3 HITACHI/AAA/SHELL-PENNZOIL/VERIZON TEAM PENSKE DALLARA/CHEVROLET        

  • The Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indy will mark Helio Castroneves 300thcareer Verizon IndyCar Series start, which is the seventh-most in series history.
  • It will be his 261st career start as a member of Team Penske.
  • Castroneves’ 29 career series wins are tied with Team Penske legend and current consultant, Rick Mears, for 11th place on the all-time list.
  • Castroneves’ 43 career Verizon P1 Pole Awards place him fourth on the all-time list
  • The first series start for Castroneves came at Homestead-Miami Speedway on March 15, 1998. He qualified 22nd and finished 24th.
  • Castroneves’ first Verizon IndyCar Series win came on June 18, 2000 in the Tenneco Grand Prix of Detroit at Belle Isle Park while driving for Team Penske. It was his 46th career start and seventh start with the team.
  • Castroneves’ first Verizon P1 Pole Award came in the 1999 Miller Lite 225 at The Milwaukee Mile. It was his 26th career series start.

“Congratulations to Helio on making his 300th career start in the Verizon IndyCar Series this weekend. I could not think of a better place for him to celebrate this achievement than at than at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Helio really exemplifies what it means to be a member of Team Penske – both on and off the racetrack – since joining our team in 2000. His record speaks for itself and he continues to be one of the most productive drivers competing in the series. I know he will be doing everything he can to join Rick Mears as a four-time Team Penske winner of the Indianapolis 500 in a couple of weeks.”

–       Roger Penske

Verizon IndyCar Series Qualifying Report

Verizon IndyCar Series Qualifying Report

Track: Indianapolis Motor Speedway (2.439-mile, 14-turn road course)
Race: Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis
Date: May 8, 2015

No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power
Position:​ 1st
Time: 1:09.4886
Speed: 126.357 mph

No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Juan Pablo Montoya
Position: ​4th
Time: ​1:09.8072
Speed: ​125.781 mph

No. 3 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Helio Castroneves
Position: ​3rd
Time: 1:09.7388
Speed: ​125.904 mph

No. 22 DeVilbiss Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud
Position: ​5th
Time: ​1:09.8715
Speed: 125.665 mph

Pole Winning Time: 1:09.4886 (No. 1 – Will Power)

Recap: Will Power won the pole position Friday for Saturday’s second annual Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis by setting a track record on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in the No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet with a lap of 1:09:4886 seconds. All four Team Penske drivers will start among the top five when the race begins at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday afternoon. The pole was Power’s second of the season, 38th of his career and 227th in Team Penske’s IndyCar history. It marked the eighth consecutive pole position for Team Penske dating back to the race at The Milwaukee Mile last season. All four Team Penske drivers advanced out of the first two rounds of qualifying, led by Power, who was fastest in the second qualifying session at 1:09.6443. Helio Castroneves led the first round with a lap of 1:09.8917 in the No. 3 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet. Castroneves led Team Penske with a third-place finish in the inaugural Indy GP last year.

Coverage: Coverage of the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis will begin at 3:00 pm ET Saturday on ABC, IMS Radio, XM Radio Channel 209 and Sirius Channel 213.

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