CHAMPCAR/CART: Mid-Ohio Marlboro Team Penske post-race notes

After completing a highly successful test at the 2.258-mile permanent road course in Lexington, Ohio in early June (Marlboro Team Penske drivers were first and second quickest in every test session), the Team arrived at Mid-Ohio as the Team to...

After completing a highly successful test at the 2.258-mile permanent road course in Lexington, Ohio in early June (Marlboro Team Penske drivers were first and second quickest in every test session), the Team arrived at Mid-Ohio as the Team to beat for this past weekend's Miller Lite 200. In maintaining their momentum from the test, teammates Helio Castroneves and Gil de Ferran dominated the track the entire weekend, posting the fastest times in each session.

De Ferran captured the provisional pole on Friday with Castroneves a close second - just 2/100ths of a second slower which translates into 49 inches on the track. The conditions changed on Saturday to a very slippery track and the top times didn't change leaving the provisional pole standing and giving Marlboro Team Penske their second front row sweep of the 2000 season - the first coming at Portland.

MARLBORO TEAM PENSKE PACKS ONE-TWO PUNCH

At the start of the Miller Lite 200, de Ferran and Castroneves maintained their 1-2 starting positions and built up nearly a 25 second lead over the third place car of Kenny Brack.

De Ferran came in to pit on lap 29 at which point Castroneves took the lead and never looked back. Castroneves led the rest of the way stretching his commanding lead to almost twenty seconds at one point averaging 107.75 miles per hour. The win is his second victory and third podium finish of the season. De Ferran finished second; 4.4 seconds behind his teammate. Both drivers jumped in the championship point standings. De Ferran moved from third to second (19 points behind Andretti) and Castroneves jumped from 12 to eighth where (10 points from the top-five).

Both Teams also completed flawless pit stops - #2 car -- 12.31 seconds and 11.53 seconds and #3 car - 11.81 seconds and 11.98 seconds.

SOMETHING ABOUT FATHER'S DAY

Sunday was Father's Day in Brazil and what better gift to get than a race win for your Dad. Helio Castroneves was able to score his second career victory at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and dedicate the win to his father, Helio Castro-Neves, who watched the race from his home in Brazil. Coincidentally, Castroneves won his first Champ Car victory at Detroit on U.S. Father's Day (June 18).

CASTRONEVES ON MID-OHIO

"I'm so proud of everyone at Marlboro Team Penske. They really did a great job this weekend. The Marlboro car has been perfect all weekend and I want to thank Andy Borme (race engineer) for giving me such a fantastic car, Tim Cindric for calling a terrific race and everyone at Honda for a great engine. I also want to congratulate Honda on their 50th win."

This weekend was very tough for me because I was still recovering from a virus, so I was never 100%, and this track is very demanding both physically and mentally. During the race I never talked on the radio because I was trying to save my energy."

DE FERRAN ON MID-OHIO

"What a great day for Marlboro Team Penske and our friends at Honda. Second is a good result for us given we added to our points total. We had a good start and I was able to stay in front and conserve fuel. I could tell Helio was very strong and I knew if he got by us it would be tough to beat him. Congratulations to Helio and to Honda on their 50th Champ Car victory."

MARLBORO TEAM PENSKE FAST FACTS

This was Marlboro Team Penske's fourth win during the 2000 season (most of any team).

Castroneves joins de Ferran, Juan Montoya and Michael Andretti as the only two-time winners this season.

This was Marlboro Team Penske's first 1-2 finish since 1994 in Nazareth where Paul Tracy won and Al Unser Jr. finished second.

Marlboro Team Penske has led laps in eight of 13 races to date for a total of 441.

Castroneves is second (behind Montoya) in laps led for the season with 249. He leads the series with 164 on road/street courses.

Of the six road/street races run so far this season, Marlboro Team Penske has either started on the front row or finished on the podium at every race.

The average starting position for Marlboro Team Penske on road/street races is third.

De Ferran, who is second in championship points, has scored points in 10 of the 13 races to date.

DRIVE AWAY HUNGER PROGRAM IN MID-OHIO

The Drive Away Hunger Program donates leftover food from race weekend to local charities in each city where CART races. This weekend the Drive Away Hunger Program headed up by Marlboro Team Penske and Newman Haas Racing will benefit the Family House in Milwaukee. For more information, please contact Katherine Bennett at 310-274-7800.

<pre> FEDEX CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES POINTS UPDATE

1.   Michael Andretti   125
2.   Gil de Ferran      106
3.   Roberto Moreno     100
4.   Kenny Brack        88 
5.   Adrian Fernandez   87
6.   Cristiano da Matta 82
7.   Paul Tracy         80
8.   Helio Castroneves  77
9.   Juan Montoya       77
10. Patrick Capentier   71

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Al Unser Jr. , Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Michael Andretti , Adrian Fernandez , Roberto Moreno , Paul Tracy , Kenny Brack , Cristiano da Matta
Teams Team Penske