IRL: Iowa: Penske Racing race report

Trouble Plagues Team Penske Drivers In Iowa Speedway's Inaugural IndyCar Series Race NEWTON, Iowa (June 24, 2007) -- Trouble found Team Penske drivers Helio Castroneves and Sam Hornish Jr. Sunday during an inauspicious IndyCar Series debut at...

Trouble Plagues Team Penske Drivers In Iowa Speedway's Inaugural IndyCar Series Race

NEWTON, Iowa (June 24, 2007) -- Trouble found Team Penske drivers Helio Castroneves and Sam Hornish Jr. Sunday during an inauspicious IndyCar Series debut at Iowa Speedway.

Castroneves, who started on the front row and led 59 laps in the Iowa Corn Indy 250, spun while leaving pit road on lap 74. Hornish, who was running among the leaders for most of the first 100 laps, was caught in a multi-car crash on the 100th lap.

Castroneves and his No. 3 Team Penske Honda/Dallara returned to the track and finished eighth, while Hornish and his No. 6 Team Penske Honda/Dallara were eliminated from the event and relegated to a 14th-place finish.

"The good news is that we were able to stay out and bring the car home in eighth place," Castroneves said. "I think Iowa proved to be a great track, and it definitely challenged us out there. Now we'll just have to look ahead to Richmond, and hopefully, we'll be competitive next week."

The tough beginning to the new venue included three major crashes. By lap 74, three of the top-five drivers in the IndyCar standings were out of the race.

"It's really a shame that we got into trouble out there today," Hornish said. "The Team Penske car was solid, and we were just hoping to score some solid points after a lot of our main championship competition got knocked out of the race. Unfortunately, we got caught up in a restart that was a complete mess."

Many of the race's early problems were attributed to a weather forecast that missed badly and a tire that wasn't conducive to the unexpected conditions.

"It was weird," Castroneves said. "When we tested here before, it was warm and sunny. It felt much hotter. We wanted a safer tire because we knew we'd be putting a lot of loads on the tire at this track. As you started to go, the car started to stick to the ground. The steering became very heavy."

The results were costly to both drivers in the standings. Hornish actually moved up a position, from sixth to fifth, but dropped 64 points behind the leader, race winner Dario Franchitti. Castroneves, who was fifth in the standings entering the race, is now sixth, 80 points off the pace.

The next IndyCar Series race is the SunTrust Indy Challenge at 7:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday at Richmond International Raceway. The race will be televised live by ESPN

-credit: pr

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Dario Franchitti , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Team Penske , Team Penske