Birmingham: Team Penske preview

TEAM PENSKE TRIES FOR THREE STRAIGHT WINS TO START THE SEASON AT INDY GRAND PRIX OF ALABAMA First Time Around: This marks the first race for the IZOD IndyCar Series at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. Team Penske has already...

TEAM PENSKE TRIES FOR THREE STRAIGHT WINS TO START THE SEASON AT INDY GRAND PRIX OF ALABAMA

First Time Around: This marks the first race for the IZOD IndyCar Series at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. Team Penske has already fared well at the other first-time venue on the 2010 schedule as Will Power won the series season opener on the streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil on March 14.

Quest for Three Straight: Power will be looking to grab a piece of history this weekend in his bid to become the first driver in IndyCar Series history to win the first three events of the season. With his win on the streets of St. Petersburg on March 28, Power became the first series driver since former Team Penske standout Sam Hornish Jr. (2001) to start the season with consecutive race wins. Power has three victories for the team in just eight races dating back to last season and he carries a 44-point lead (103-59) in the standings entering this weekend.

Beasts of Barber: Though this is the first race at Barber, Team Penske has had its share of success in its two previous visits to the picturesque road course. During the recent pre-season open test at the venue, Feb. 24-25, Team Penske topped the timing chart on both days of testing. The first day saw the fastest overall time posted by Briscoe in the No. 6 Team Penske Dallara/Honda. Castroneves was second quickest on day one in the No. 3 Team Penske entry and Power posted the fourth quickest time of the day in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Honda. The second day saw the Team Penske drivers sweep the top three positions on the time charts, with Power setting fast time, followed by Castroneves and Briscoe. Last season, Power topped all times at the pre-season open test at Barber for Team Penske.

Hitting Their Stride: Both Briscoe and Castroneves are coming off their best results of the season. Briscoe rallied from a 19th-place starting spot to capture third place in St. Petersburg, while Castroneves earned a fourth-place result. Castroneves is now ranked sixth in the standings with 54 points while Briscoe is seventh with 51 points.

Road Warriors: Team Penske has an impressive record at permanent road circuits over the last several seasons. In the nine previous series races run on permanent road courses since 2007, Team Penske has earned two wins, seven pole positions and eight podium finishes.

Powerful Profile: Versus will televise a profile on Power in the pre-race show this Sunday, beginning at 3 p.m. ET. The Versus cameras traveled to Indianapolis last week to capture footage of Power working out, relaxing at home and playing drums in a band.

Back to Where It Started: Barber Motorsports Park is where Team Penske unveiled the new look of its cars at the series open test in February. For 2010, the No. 3 and No. 6 Team Penske cars, and the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske machine, will all carry a sleek black and white color scheme. This marks the first time since 1990 that the team will not race its iconic red and white livery. This is also the first time since 1996 that the team has entered the season intending to run three cars full-time. In 1994, Team Penske fielded three cars and finished 1-2-3 in the CART Series championship, winning a record-setting 12 races in one season.

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT THE INDY GRAND PRIX OF ALABAMA

Helio Castroneves: "This is our first time racing at Barber Motorsports Park and I'm very excited about it. Barber is a beautiful facility and a first-class operation. Team Penske did very well at the recent open test finishing 1-2-3 on the time charts the last day. Going into the race weekend, I feel good about our chances and I hope the No. 3 Team Penske car will come out on top."

Ryan Briscoe: "I am looking forward to Barber. It's going to be an exciting and challenging race weekend. I think that qualifying is going to be very important. We learned in St. Pete that we need to be strong in qualifying and that will be a big focal point for us this weekend. All three of the Team Penske cars ran very well at the Barber test and I think that bodes well for the upcoming event."

Will Power: "I am excited about going back to Barber. We were very strong there at the open test, although the weather and the track conditions were much different than what we will see this weekend. Going into the weekend, the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car should be in good shape. We just need to execute and have a mistake-free weekend. My goal going in is to do my best and walk away with as many points as possible."

-source: penske

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Ryan Briscoe , Will Power , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Team Penske