IRL: Nazareth: Team Penske qualifying notes, quotes

"We had a good set-up and I'm really happy with how the car handled today. Marlboro Team Penske has been working hard all weekend and the car has been great since we got here. You really have to push hard during qualifying, and that's exactly what...

"We had a good set-up and I'm really happy with how the car handled today. Marlboro Team Penske has been working hard all weekend and the car has been great since we got here. You really have to push hard during qualifying, and that's exactly what we did. On my first lap, I went into the final turn hard and I pushed the throttle a little too much which caused the car to wiggle a bit. Fortunately I was able to maintain control and came out of Turn 4 smoothly, making my last lap a good one.

"I'm not going to get too excited about today because we still have a lot of work to do. This race is really tough. It's important to start near the front because there's not much room to pass and your car has to handle well through traffic. The race has to run like clockwork. It is also very difficult physically because the track is so short there's not much time to rest and you're constantly maneuvering so you have to be very fit to make it to the end. Obviously, we'll have to work hard tomorrow on the track as well as in the pits, but I definitely think our qualifying result is a good start.

"This is a great day for Marlboro Team Penske with Helio (Castroneves, who qualified second) and I starting on the front row. It's especially nice to compete here because Penske Racing is based in Reading and Philip Morris is based in New York City, so there are always a lot of friends and family at this race."

-- Gil de Ferran, Marlboro Team Penske, Two-Time National Champion
-- #6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet
-- Polesitter - 19.4817 seconds
-- First Indy Racing League Pole

"The Marlboro car started sliding in turn three during our qualifying run which is something we've been fighting all weekend. Plus the temperature increased from this morning's practice and the car changed quite a bit. It's always good to start up front but I don't think it is the key. Nazareth is a challenging track and it's going to be difficult to pass. We need to have a good racecar that works well in traffic. I expect it will be a tough race with drivers fighting to stay on the lead lap. I think we've got a good set-up for the race, and hopefully I'll be able to put the car anywhere I want to on the track. The important thing will be patience -- I need to remember that once I put my helmet on tomorrow."

-- Helio Castroneves, Marlboro Team Penske, 2001 Indianapolis 500 Winner
-- #3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet
-- Qualified second - 19.5032 seconds
-- Third front row start of the season

MARLBORO TEAM PENSKE POST QUALIFYING NOTES

· This is the first time that Marlboro Team Penske has swept the front row since last year when they started 1-2 at Laguna Seca while driving in the CART FedEx Championship Series.

· This is Gil de Ferran's 17th Indy car pole, his fifth career pole on an oval track and his first pole at Nazareth Speedway.

· His previous best start at Nazareth Speedway was fourth, where he qualified in 1997 and 1998 while driving for Walker Racing in the CART FedEx Championship Series.

· Today marks de Ferran's first pole in the IRL series.

· De Ferran's other oval poles include: Germany (9/14/01), Fontana (10/28/00), Homestead (3/25/00) and Japan (4/10/99).

· De Ferran holds the World Closed Course Speed Record with a qualifying lap of 241.428 mph for the Marlboro 500 at the California Speedway (10/28/00). He set this time on his way to clinching his first CART Championship.

· Two of de Ferran's seven career wins have come on ovals England (9/22/01) and Nazareth (4/27/00). His win in Nazareth also marked his first win with Marlboro Team Penske and Roger Penske's historic 100th Indy car win.

· Today marks Helio Castroneves' second front row start in Nazareth (qualified second in 1999) and his third front row start this season (2nd in Miami; pole in Phoenix).

· This is the 137th pole for Team Penske.

-mtp-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Roger Penske
Teams Team Penske , Team Penske