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Team Penske Verizon IndyCar Series Qualifying Report – Long Beach

Verizon IndyCar Series Qualifying Report
Track: Long Beach, Calif. (1.97, 11-turn temporary street circuit)
Race: Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach
Date: April 18, 2015

No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power
Position: 18th
Time: 1:08.8348
Speed: 102.925 mph

No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Juan Pablo Montoya
Position: 2nd
Time: 1:06.6587
Speed: 105.518 mph

No. 3 Automobile Club of Southern California Dallara/Chevrolet – Helio Castroneves
Position: Pole
Time: 1:06.6294
Speed: 106.331 mph

No. 22 Penske Truck Rental Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud
Position: Fifth
Time: 1:07.1433
Speed: 105.518 mph

Pole Winning Time: 1:06.6294 seconds (No. 3 – Helio Castroneves)

Recap: Helio Castroneves set a new Verizon IndyCar Series track record on Saturday with a lap of 1:06.6294 to win the Verizon P1 Pole Award for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. It marked the 42nd pole position won by Castroneves in his IndyCar career. Team Penske took three of the top five starting positions, including the front row of Castroneves and Juan Pablo Montoya. Simon Pagenaud will start fifth on Sunday. Will Power was caught out when Stefano Coletti crashed during the second round of the first qualifying session, bringing out a caution flag and preventing Power from posting a fast time. Team Penske has won four of the last six pole positions at Long Beach: three in a row by Power (2009-2011) and Ryan Briscoe in 2012. Power, who will start 18th on Sunday, won the race in 2008 and 2012, and finished second last year. Montoya, who finished fourth at Long Beach last year, also posted his first IndyCar win at the historic street circuit in 1999.

Coverage: The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will air live on Sunday afternoon, April 19 at 4:00 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports Network. The race will also be broadcast live on the IMS Radio Network, XM Channel 209 and Sirius Channel 213.

Team Penske Pre-Race Briefing – Long Beach

Penske Long Beach 2015

Team Penske Verizon IndyCar Series Race Report – NOLA

Verizon IndyCar Series Race Report
Track: NOLA Motorsports Park, Avondale. La.
Race: Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana
Date: April 12, 2015

No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet – Will Power
Start: 2
Finish: 7
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 47/47
Laps Led: 0
Points Position (behind leader): Third (-14)

Recap: Will Power chased Team Penske teammate Juan Pablo Montoya through much of the race before a handful of cars stayed out on track during the final round of pit stops to finish in front of the current series champion. The seventh-place finish dropped Power to third place in the Verizon IndyCar Series driver standings, 14 points behind Montoya, who maintained his lead by finishing in the fifth position. Power ran in the second position for 32 of the 47 laps of the timed race, but fell to the eighth position on Lap 32 when he pitted with the leaders while six drivers — James Hinchcliffe, Carlos Huertas, Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves, James Jakes, Tony Kanaan and Simona de Silvestro — stayed on track and occupied the first six positions when the race resumed on Lap 39. However, multiple caution periods during the final eight laps prevented Power from catching the new leaders and he settled for seventh.

Quote: “The Verizon Chevy boys did a great job despite the difficult conditions. It was frustrating that we couldn’t go green most of the time and those were difficult conditions when you’re on slicks (tires). Great battling when we went green for a few laps and it was a lot of fun, but it didn’t last long. So, disappointed for the fans that they didn’t get to see is at our absolute best. We’ll just look forward for even better results in Long Beach.”

No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Juan Pablo Montoya
Start: 1
Finish: 5
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 47/47
Laps Led: 31
Points Position: First
Recap: Juan Pablo Montoya led the first 32 laps of the race, but lost the lead when six cars stayed out on track while the leaders pitted on Lap 32. Two subsequent caution periods prevented Montoya from trying to chase down the leaders, but he did move up two positions in the final 15 laps to finish fifth and maintain his lead in the Verizon IndyCar Series driver standings. Montoya, who started first when qualifying was canceled Saturday because of inclement weather and the field was set by points, raced away from his competitors on a wet track at the start of the race and held the lead through four yellow flags during the caution-filled race. Team Penske teammate Will Power stalked Montoya through the first 32 laps as all four Team Penske drivers held down the top four spots early in the race.

Quote: “We definitely had a fast Verizon Chevy today and it’s good to come away from NOLA with a top five. I think it’s one of those deals where we kind of caught a break yesterday starting on pole with the weather but our luck went the other way today. The cool thing is two races in a row to start the season Team Penske has had the fastest cars and I am very excited about that. I’m looking forward to getting back to Long Beach next week. Hopefully we can keep the ball rolling there.”

No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Helio Castroneves
Start: 4
Finish: 2
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 47/47
Laps Led: 1
Points Position (behind leader): 2nd (-10)

Recap: Helio Castroneves rallied from an incident early in the race to finish second in the inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana at NOLA Motorsports Park on Sunday. The front wing of the No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet driven by Castroneves was damaged as a result of contact early on and it had to be replaced as the three-time Indy 500 winner fell to 20th in the running order, but the team kept fighting and through deft pit strategy Castroneves returned to finish second behind James Hinchcliffe. The result moved Castroneves up to second place, just 10 points behind Team Penske teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, in the Verizon IndyCar Series standings after two races of the 2015 season. Castroneves was running third when his car collided with one driven by Francesco Dracone on Lap 20 after Dracone cut across the nose of his Chevrolet in Turn 1. The contact damaged the left front wing on Castroneves car, and the subsequent pit stop for repairs on Lap 22 dropped him back in the field. However, with his strategy changed because of the unexpected pit stop, Castroneves was able to remain on track while the leaders pitted on Lap 32 of the timed race. He was able to restart in third on Lap 39 before passing James Jakes for second place on Lap 40. Unfortunately two late caution periods prevented Castroneves from trying to catch Hinchcliffe for the win. The finish marked the 120th top-five result in Castroneves in 397 career starts.

Quote: “First of all I have to give congratulations to the track, the entire Verizon IndyCar Series and all the fans for the first race here at NOLA. The track conditions were really difficult because there were areas where there was a stream of water on the race track and it was very difficult for us to keep the cars on there. But the Hitachi boys, man, they awesome. Roger (Penske), (engineer) Jonathan (Diuguid) and everybody never gave up…..I never gave up and at the end of the day to be taking second place – it’s a very happy day.”

No. 22 Team Penske Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud
Start: 5
Finish: 20
Status: Accident
Laps Completed: 43/47
Laps Led: 0
Points Position (behind leader): 10th (-43)

Recap: Simon Pagenaud ran among the top-four cars for 28 of the first 32 laps before he was shuffled back in the field after a late pit stop. While attempting to make his way back through the field he was involved in a three-car crash that dropped him to a disappointed 20th-place finish. Pagenaud, who started fifth, moved up to fourth on Lap 4 and stayed there until Lap 32, when he pitted with teammates Juan Pablo Montoya and Will Power under caution while six other drivers — including teammate Helio Castroneves — stayed on track. On Lap 43, while running eighth, Pagenaud was involved in a crash with Ryan Hunter-Reay and Sebastien Bourdais that knocked all three cars out of the race and dropped Pagenaud from fifth to 10th in driver points after the second race of the 2015 IndyCar season.

Quote: “Really too bad about the finish because the Penske Truck Rental Chevy was really fast. It handled great in traffic and we looked like we were heading toward a good result. I’m not sure what Hunter-Reay was thinking there. He just drove us off the track and I’m just glad everyone is OK. I want to thank the fans for staying with us this weekend despite the weather. I think the No. 22 Chevy team will be able to come back strong at Long Beach.”

Penske NOLA Infographic

Penske NOLA Infographic

Penske NOLA Infographic

 

Team Penske Infographic – New Orleans

Penske NOLA Infographic

Team Penske Verizon IndyCar Series Race Report – St. Pete

                                       

Verizon IndyCar Series Race Report

Track: Streets of St. Petersburg, Fla.
Race: Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
Date: March 29, 2015

No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power
Start: 1
Finish: 2
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 110/110
Laps Led: 75
Points Position (behind leader): 2nd (-7 points)

Recap: Will Power, who established a new single-lap track record on the way to winning his fifth Verizon P1 Pole Award at St. Petersburg on Saturday afternoon, led a race-high 75 laps in the No. 1 Verizon Chevrolet during Sunday’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. After relinquishing the race lead on pit road he closed to within 0.6147 seconds of teammate Juan Pablo Montoya on Lap 100 but he was unable to catch him. In attempting to overtake Montoya’s No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet on worn tires in the left-hand Turn 10 on Lap 101, the cars made slight contact and Power’s Chevrolet suffered wing damage and fell 1.5474 seconds back. The 2014 series champion was unable to mount a final charge and finished the race in the second position for his fourth top-two finish in eight career starts at St. Pete.

Quote: “If I hadn’t damaged my wing, maybe I would have had another shot to win. It is hard to close with these cars, it really is. But it is a great day for the Verizon Chevrolet, it really is going to be a battle between teammates for the championship.” (On the attempted pass of Montoya) “It was my only chance. He was very strong on the front straight and my exits weren’t very good. That was really my only chance. I thought maybe I would catch him off guard there. You don’t expect someone to pass there, so, yeah, I gave it a shot. It was tight, no doubt. I was surprised at how aggressively he turned, but he wanted to win the race and so did I.”

No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Juan Pablo Montoya
Start: 4
Finish: 1
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 110/110
Laps Led: 27
Points Position: 1st (54 points)

Recap: Juan Pablo Montoya led the final 27 laps of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Sunday, surviving late-race contact with teammate Will Power with 11 laps remaining to win. After beginning the 110-lap event from the fourth position, Montoya was a fixture in the top five all afternoon. It was Montoya’s first IndyCar victory on a road or street course since he won the CART Series race in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1999 before he went on to compete in Formula 1 and NASAR. Montoya moved past Power on Lap 82 when Power, who had led much of the race, came out of the pits behind Montoya. The two raced closely until the end of the race, but on Lap 101 of the 110-lap race, they made contact in Turn 10 when Power tried to pass Montoya on the inside. Power’s right front wing struck Montoya’s left rear bumper, but Montoya was able to pull away. It was the 13th victory of Montoya’s IndyCar career. It also was Team Penske’s seventh 1-2 finish in IndyCar racing, the last coming in August 2014 when Power led Montoya to the finish line at the Milwaukee Mile. In addition it was Team Penske’s landmark 175th IndyCar victory.

Quote: “It was a good day. I was pretty good on black tires, I think that was the key. The tires were not falling off and right there at the end I was just running slow to look after them. When I needed to push, I could push. Everybody with Verizon and Team Penske did an amazing job, Chevy as well. This aero kit is amazing to drive.” (On Power’s late pass attempt for the lead) “I saw him make the move, but he was way too far back and I wasn’t going to give him the position. If he was beside me, I would have said, ‘OK, go ahead.’ When I got to the turning point, he wasn’t even close. It is a shame we touched, but it’s all good. It’s racing.”

No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Helio Castroneves
Start: 3
Finish: 4
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 110/110
Laps Led: 1
Points Position (behind leader): 4th (-18)

Recap: Helio Castroneves posted the 119th top-five finish of his career on Sunday afternoon by finishing fourth in the No. 3 Hitachi Chevrolet in the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. After starting the race from the third position, Castroneves quickly moved into second place on the first lap of the race. On Lap 20, teammate Will Power led Castroneves by 3.5957 seconds. However, after pitting on Lap 22, Castroneves remained second behind Power as pit stops cycled through. On Lap 40, Castroneves trailed Power by 1.1401 seconds. In the second round of pit stops, Castroneves came out ahead of Power but trailed both Jack Hawksworth and Sage Karam, who were on different pit strategies. On a Lap 53 restart following a caution, Castroneves got pushed to the outside in Turn 1 and fell back to sixth place. Castroneves continued to work his way back to the front and by Lap 82, he took the lead briefly when Montoya pitted. After his final pit stop on Lap 83, Castroneves continued to run inside the top five and took the checkered flag in fourth place.

Quote: “Really proud of the Hitachi Chevy guys today. They did a great job and we battled hard throughout the race. The car was fast. We didn’t end up where we would have liked to be but overall we had a good day. Really happy for Juan and congratulations to him on the win and to Will on his podium finish. Great way to start the season for Roger (Penske) with a 1-2 finish.”

No. 22 Penske Truck Rental Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud
Start: 2
Finish: 5
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 110/110
Laps Led: 2
Points Position (behind leader): 5th (-20)
Recap: Simon Pagenaud qualified the No. 22 Penske Truck Rental Chevrolet in the second position for the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, his first race with Team Penske. After dropping to third place on the first lap, Pagenaud worked his way into a nice rhythm around the picturesque street circuit. Like his Team Penske brethren, Pagenaud maintained his position at the front of the field prior to making a pit stop on Lap 48 where he was blocked in his pit stall by other competitors entering pit road. As a result, he restarted the race from the eighth position at Lap 53. However, he worked his way back inside the top-five cars before the checkered flag to help Team Penske dominate the race and win for the 175th time in IndyCar racing — 97 on ovals and 78 on road/street courses. Pagenaud led briefly early in the race, for his first two laps led with Team Penske.

Quote: “The Penske Truck Rental boys did a great job today. I am happy and you have to take it step by step. You just can’t walk onto a team and push your teammates out of the way. I didn’t want create a mess at the start of the race, which I thought was a smart move but it was too cautious, which cost me a position during the race. P5 is a good start to the season and I’m excited about the next race already coming up in NOLA.”

Verizon IndyCar Series Qualifying Report

Will Power POLE NOTES

  • Today marks Power’s fifth career Verizon P1 Pole Award on the streets of St. Petersburg.
  • Power broke the 13-year-old track record with a lap of 1:00:6509 seconds in the second session
  • This is Power’s 15th career Verizon P1 Pole Award on a street course. The last one came on these same St. Petersburg streets in 2013.
  • Power’s last pole win was at Sonoma Raceway on August 24, 2014.
  • Power has now 37 Verizon P1 Pole Awards in his career. This places him in sixth place on the all-time list.
  • Power will be seeking his third career win at St. Petersburg.

Track: Streets of St. Petersburg, Fla.
Race: Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
Date: March 29, 2015

No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet – Will Power
Position: 1
Time: 1:00.6931
Speed: 106.767 mph

No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet – Juan Pablo Montoya
Position: 4
Time: 1:00.8532
Speed: 106.486 mph

No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet – Helio Castroneves
Position: 3
Time: 1:00.8356
Speed: 106.517 mph

No. 22 Penske Truck Rental Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud
Position: 2
Time: 1:00.7252
Speed: 106.710 mph

Pole Winning Time: 1:00.6931 (Will Power)

Recap: Will Power broke the 13-year-old St. Petersburg track record in the first qualifying session, then topped it again in Q2 as he led Team Penske to a sweep of the first four starting position for the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. New team member Simon Pagenaud will start third, followed by Helio Castroneves and Juan Pablo Montoya. With the move to a four-car team for the first time in the history of the organization, this is the first time Team Penske has swept the top four positions in a qualifying session.

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Team Penske Infographic – Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

 

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