MOORESVILLE, N.C. (January 13, 2009) -- Penske Racing announced today that driver Will Power will join the Team Penske IndyCar Series program in preparation for the 2009 racing season.

Power, 27, is coming off an impressive rookie season in the IndyCar Series where he established himself as one of open-wheel racing's rising stars. The native of Toowoomba, Australia will pilot the No. 3 Team Penske Dallara/Honda during preseason test sessions. The balance of the year's driving responsibilities for the No. 3 car, including the IndyCar Series season-opening race at St. Petersburg on April 5, will depend on the timing and outcome of Helio Castroneves' pending court case.

"We remain hopeful that Helio's situation will have a positive outcome and the team is fully behind him," said Tim Cindric, President of Penske Racing, "While Helio prepares for his court case, we're excited to welcome Will Power to the team. Will has already proven that he's a terrific racer and we think he's going to be a good fit with Team Penske."

Power will work closely with fellow Aussie driver Ryan Briscoe, driver of the No. 6 Team Penske Dallara/Honda, as the team contends for the 2009 IndyCar Series championship.

"It is a tremendous opportunity for me to join one of the best teams in all of racing," said Power. "I'm looking forward to the start of the season and assisting Team Penske in its preparation for 2009."

Beginning his rise up the open-wheel ranks by emerging as one of Australia's top young talents, Power also excelled in European competition. He produced strong performances in the British F3 and World Series by Renault championships before moving to the United States in 2005 to compete in the Champ Car World Series. He captured the series Rookie-of-the-Year honors in 2006 and claimed three wins and six pole positions in two plus seasons in Champ Car. In 2008, Power won on the streets of Long Beach in Champ Car's final race, and after joining the IndyCar Series, he earned his first series pole in front of his home crowd at Surfers Paradise, Australia.

Penske Racing is one of the most successful teams in the history of professional sports. Competing in a variety of disciplines, cars owned and prepared by Penske Racing have produced 306 major race wins, 363 pole positions and 22 National Championships. The team has also earned 14 Indianapolis 500 victories.

-credit: pr