IRL: Nazareth: Team Penske race quotes

"There's not much you can do about a day like today. We knew it would be tight and we were trying to save fuel and stay up front at the same time. It was the right call to keep me out (when Castroneves came into the pits on Lap 178) from two ...

"There's not much you can do about a day like today. We knew it would be tight and we were trying to save fuel and stay up front at the same time. It was the right call to keep me out (when Castroneves came into the pits on Lap 178) from two points of view. One reason was that when we decided to stay out, the sky was very dark and there was a definite possibility the race would be rained out, so we wanted to stay up front. The other reason was that even if the rain was intermittent, it was worth the risk that there would be enough yellows to save the fuel I needed.

"I thought we were going to make it all the way to the end, but going into Turn 2 on the final lap the engine coughed a couple times and I thought I wouldn't even make it to the line. Then the engine came back and I went flat out into Turn 3 to get enough speed to make it to the finish. Luckily we did make it and we brought the car home in third. Marlboro Team Penske did a great job the car was fast all weekend and it was handling very well. I knew that the weather would affect the race and that there would be a lot of caution flags so it would be important for me to drive a patient race.

"It's important to score a lot of points to make up ground in the Championship point standings and that's exactly what we did. All things considered, I'm very happy with our result."

-- Gil de Ferran, Marlboro Team Penske, Two-Time National Champion
-- #6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet
-- Third place finish
-- Second in the Championship point standings with 149 points

"I've never done very well at Nazareth so I was really hoping for a good finish. At the beginning of the race, the car was not handling well but we were able to stay with the leaders. I was being patient because I didn't want to make any mistakes. Our patience paid off as the lead finally came to me (lap 128). The Marlboro car improved throughout the race and was actually the best it had been all weekend - I couldn't believe it. The Team also did a great job on pit stops. Unfortunately, in the end our strategy didn't play out as well as we had hoped. On the last caution, we rolled the dice and decided to pit. If it hadn't started raining, it probably would have been the smart thing to do. Once it went green for the final time (lap 208), I couldn't get past lapped traffic. We still had a good finish -- my best ever here -- and I'm happy because we're in the top-three in the Championship points heading into the month of May."

-- Helio Castroneves, Marlboro Team Penske, 2001 Indianapolis 500 Winner
-- #3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet
-- Fifth Place Finish
-- Third in the Championship point standings with 145 points

-mtp-

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