Team Penske Indy 500 Notes - Is It May Already?
IS IT MAY ALREADY?
It seems like just days ago that the green flag dropped on the 2008 IndyCar Series season in Miami, but the Month of May is upon us and Team Penske will be hitting the fabled 2.5-mile oval in the Circle City on Tuesday as they begin to prepare for the 92nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on May 25th.
Helio Castroneves will be looking to earn his third Indianapolis 500 victory after winning back-to-back races in 2001 and 2002; when he became the only driver ever to win the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" in his first two attempts. The 32 year-old heads into the month of May leading the IndyCar Series Championship point standings on the strength of four top-four finishes in as many races run to date. In addition, Castroneves returns to the Indianapolis 500 as the defending pole sitter as he claimed Penske Racing's record 14th pole at the "May Classic" last year.
Teammate Ryan Briscoe will head to the Brickyard in search of his first ever IndyCar Series win, as the 26 year-old Australian prepares to make his third start at the Indianapolis 500. In his past two starts at Indy, Briscoe has earned a pair of top-ten finishes including a fifth place finish in 2007, which was his only IndyCar Series start of the season. Will this be the year he tastes milk for the first time in Victory Circle?
Team Penske's pair of drivers return to the Speedway with the support of the most successful Team ever to compete at the Indianapolis 500.
A look at Penske Racing's impressive numbers at the Indianapolis 500:
* 14 Victories
* 14 Pole Positions
* 76 Starts (with 19 different drivers)
* 10 Different Winning Drivers
* 6 Wins from the Pole
* 34 Front Row Starts
* 1,835 Laps Led in Competition
All eyes will be focused on the Indianapolis 500 come Memorial Day weekend as the Team attempts to add to its impressive legacy at the Indianapolis 500.
CASTRONEVES SERVES AS KEYNOTE SPEAKER AT 2008 SPIRIT OF SERVICE AWARDS DINNER
Helio Castroneves was in Indianapolis last night to speak at the Spirit of Service Awards Dinner, presented by the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. The annual dinner, which recognizes the work of those striving to improve the lives of the community's most vulnerable, was attended by more than 900 guests and held at the Indiana Roof Ballroom. Among this year's honorees was the Hulman-George Family, who received the Community Service Award.
The two-time Indianapolis 500 winner served as the keynote speaker, during an evening that celebrated the honorees' selflessness and charitable work in central Indiana while raising much-needed funds to support the Catholic Charities Indianapolis mission to serve individuals and families in need.
"It was a very important event for me to be involved with," explains Castroneves. "The Catholic Charities of Indianapolis organization is doing fantastic things for a city that has given so much to me, and I'm honored that I was able to be a part of last night's festivities. The Spirit of Service Dinner recognizes very special people that are dedicated to helping others in their community, and I am truly inspired by all of their efforts. I have so much respect for the wonderful work the Archdiocese of Indianapolis is doing, and I'm glad I had the opportunity to deliver the keynote address on this important evening."
Past keynote speakers for the event include Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, Green Bay Packers great Bart Starr and Brooklyn Dodger legend Carl Erskine.
CASTRONEVES IN THE NEWS
Check out the May issue of Indianapolis Monthly as Helio Castroneves graces the cover of the publication for their annual preview of the Indianapolis 500. The two-time Indianapolis 500 Winner is featured in the magazine in an extensive look into his success both on and off the track as well as his outlook on the 2008 Indianapolis 500.
CASTRONEVES LOOKING AT LIFE AFTER RACING?
Not only is Helio Castroneves going to be busy on the fabled Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval throughout the entire month of May as he prepares for the 92nd Indianapolis 500; but he will also be providing his charm off the track as he serves as a guest correspondent for RTV6 on their 6News Sports Team during the month. Castroneves will serve as driver expert and guest commentator as he will be featured in all coverage from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, joining 6News Sports Director Dave Furst for the station's trackside reporting.