De Ferran wins Indy 500 - record 13TH victory for Penske Racing Last Sunday, Marlboro Team Penske driver Gil de Ferran made history. Not only did he win the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" for the first time in four attempts, but he also earned...
De Ferran wins Indy 500 - record 13TH victory for Penske Racing
Last Sunday, Marlboro Team Penske driver Gil de Ferran made history. Not only did he win the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" for the first time in four attempts, but he also earned Penske Racing's historic 13th victory at the Brickyard. De Ferran's win also made Roger Penske the first car owner to win three consecutive Indy 500's since Lou Moore captured three victories at the Speedway between 1947-1949.
In addition, it was the first time the Team has won both the Indianapolis 500 and the pole (Castroneves won the pole this year) in the same month of May since Al Unser Jr. captured both in 1994.
Now that de Ferran has accomplished one of the most significant feats in motorsports, one would think that he'd have time for some much needed rest and relaxation. However, that was not the case for the 34 year-old Brazilian as he had several obligations as the reigning Indy 500 champion. After crossing the finish line on May 25th, de Ferran completed a whirlwind tour of Indianapolis and New York City.
When he took the checkered flag on race day, de Ferran's afternoon was just beginning as he had the winner's circle celebration, post-race press conference and countless interview requests to fulfill. He was at the track until well past 9:00 pm that evening. On Monday May 26th, he completed the traditional on-track winner's photos with the BorgWarner Trophy as well as participated in a winner's press conference and then was honored at the evening's Victory Celebration.
On Tuesday of last week, de Ferran headed to New York where he completed a two-day media tour highlighted by appearances on "LIVE with Regis & Kelly;" the "Charlie Rose Show;" CNN Headline News; and FOX News Live. In addition, de Ferran rang the Closing Bell at the New York Stock Exchange and met with a group of New York print media. He then returned to New York to appear on "The Late Show with David Letterman" on Monday June 2nd.
NO REST FOR THE WEARY
Not only was de Ferran racing around the country fulfilling interview requests and making appearances, he was also preparing for the rest of the 2003 Indy Racing League IndyCar Series season by testing in Richmond and Pike's Peak. With 12 races remaining between now and the season-finale at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS), de Ferran will barely have a chance to catch his breath as the long summer begins.
After de Ferran finished his Indy 500 Winner's Tour in New York on Wednesday afternoon, he flew to Virginia to test at Richmond International Raceway. Once the test (which was extended for an additional day due to rain) was complete, he headed back home to Ft. Lauderdale to spend the weekend with his family. He was back on a plane late Sunday night to return to New York for "The Late Show."
As soon as he wrapped-up taping the segment, he was on another plane heading to Colorado for a test at Pikes Peak International Raceway. He will travel directly from Pikes Peak to Texas Motor Speedway where he will begin practice for the Bombardier 500 scheduled to run on Saturday night, June 7th.
Needless to say the newly crowned Indy 500 winner has been moving non-stop the past few weeks and it looks like he won't be slowing down until the final checkered flag of the season drops at Texas Motor Speedway in October.
CASTRONEVES UNINJURED AFTER ACCIDENT AT RICHMOND
Marlboro Team Penske driver Helio Castroneves remains in high spirits after a crash at a test at Richmond International Raceway on Friday, May 30th. Castroneves and the #7 car (Tony Kanaan) were involved in an accident late in the day on Friday during which Castroneves' car was overturned and caught fire. Safety crews were able to get Castroneves out of the car to safety and he sustained no injuries.
SCHECKTER WINS MARLBORO LAP LEADER AWARD
Target Chip Ganassi driver Tomas Scheckter led the most laps at this year's Indianapolis 500 by leading the race four times for a total of 63 laps. In addition to the two extra points he receives in the IndyCar Series point standings, Scheckter will receive $50,000 as the winner of the Marlboro Lap Leader Award. He will be presented with his prize money during the pre-race ceremonies for this week's Bombardier 500.
There was not a winner in the media contest, as the only journalist who selected Scheckter to lead most laps went over the amount of laps led, which made him ineligible for the award.
2003 IRL CHAMPIONSHIP POINT STANDINGS
Driver Name Points Tony Kanaan 137 Helio Castroneves 123 Scott Sharp 116 Gil de Ferran 108 Kenny Brack 103 Al Unser Jr. 101 Felipe Giaffone 93 Scott Dixon 88 Tomas Scheckter 87 Michael Andretti 80