CHAMPCAR/CART: Marlboro Team Penske pit notes

PIT NOTES August 22, 2001 Castroneves leaves Elkhart Lake leading the Cart FedEx Series Championship After scoring seven points (6 for his seventh place finish and one for most laps led) at this past weekend's Motorola 220, Helio Castroneves...

PIT NOTES
August 22, 2001

Castroneves leaves Elkhart Lake leading the Cart FedEx Series Championship

After scoring seven points (6 for his seventh place finish and one for most laps led) at this past weekend's Motorola 220, Helio Castroneves is the new leader in the CART FedEx Series Championship. For the first time in his Champ Car career, Castroneves leads the field of 26 drivers in their quest for the prestigious Vanderbilt Cup.

Castroneves' seventh place finish gave him a five-point lead over Kenny Brack (who scored only one point for the pole) in the title chase. Marlboro Team Penske teammate de Ferran sits in third place just six points behind Brack.

This marks the first time Marlboro Team Penske has led the Championship since Gil de Ferran captured the 2000 title at last year's season-ending Marlboro 500 presented by Toyota.

Here's a look at what it took for Castroneves to retake the lead for Marlboro Team Penske:


Number of races: 13
Number of laps: 1,757
Number of miles: 2,878
Number of wins: 3
Number of fences climbed: 3
Number of poles: 3
Number of laps led: 389
Number of podium finishes: 4
Number of points-paying finishes: 10

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES...

While Marlboro Team Penske leads the Championship after 13 races this season, it took 16 races last season to accomplish this. De Ferran took over the lead of the FedEx Series Championship after the race at Laguna Seca last year and managed to maintain it through the season-ending Marlboro 500 where he was crowned the Champion and awarded the Vanderbilt Cup.

Here's a look at where both drivers currently stand as opposed to last year at this point in the season.

CASTRONEVES 2000 2001
Position in the points: 8th 1st
# of points out of first: 48 0
Wins: 2 3
Poles: 2 3
Laps Led: 249 389
Times Led: 16 12
Podium Finishes: 7 10

DE FERRAN 2000 2001
Position in the points: 2nd 3rd
# of points out of first: 19 11
Wins: 2 0
Poles: 3 2
Laps Led: 192 77
Times Led: 7 2
Podium Finishes: 4 4
Points-paying finishes: 10 9

CASTRONEVES TO BE FEATURED IN COSMOPOLITAN

Cosmopolitan Magazine, the monthly women's magazine with a circulation of more than 2.8 million, is sending a photographer and crew to South Beach next week to shoot Marlboro Team Penske driver Helio Castroneves for their November issue. The 26-year-old Brazilian will be featured as the November "Hunk of the Month." The magazine interviewed Castroneves while he was in New York last month taping his "Dating Game" show on Regis and Kelly Live. Other "Hunks of the Month" include rock musician Jon Bon Jovi and Seann William Scott (star of American Pie 2).

MARLBORO TEAM PENSKE 1-2 IN CRAFTSMAN PIT CREW CHALLENGE

With the CART FedEx Series Championship as competitive as ever, the work of the pit crew can make or break a driver's race. At some of the circuits, passing is so difficult that sometimes the only way to gain track position is through quick pit stops. Demonstrating their pit stop expertise, the Marlboro Team Penske pit crews are currently first and second in the Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge. The crew for the #3 car (Castroneves) led by Rick Rinaman leads the competition with 126 points, followed by the #1 car crew, led by Matt Jonsson, with 91 points. Points are awarded based on cumulative time in the pits at each race. The top four teams, and a wild card team - the #17 car (Mauricio Gugelmin), will compete in a final timed competition at the season-ending Marlboro 500 at California Speedway. Currently the #22 car (Oriol Servia) and the #32 car (Patrick Carpentier) are tied for third place. <pre> CART FEDEX SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP POINT STANDINGS

1       Helio Castroneves        110
2       Kenny Brack              105
3       Gil de Ferran             99
4       Michael Andretti          89
5       Scott Dixon               82
6       Dario Franchitti          81
7       Cristiano da Matta        78
8       Patrick Carpentier        69
9       Paul Tracy                65
10      Roberto Moreno            54
11      Christian Fittipaldi      54
12      Tony Kanaan               54

-MTP-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Michael Andretti , Roberto Moreno , Patrick Carpentier , Christian Fittipaldi , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Mauricio Gugelmin , Oriol Servia , Kenny Brack , Cristiano da Matta
Teams Team Penske