Power posts 2nd fastest lap to lead Team Penske while Castroneves gets to know the Houston circuit

"The chicane changed the track a bit but the circuit overall is pretty good once they are able to work on the trouble spots”

HOUSTON, Tex. (October 4, 2013) – Will Power used his speed and experience to his advantage Friday as he carded the second-fastest lap in Friday practice for this weekend’s IZOD IndyCar Series Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston. Power’s Team Penske teammate, Helio Castroneves, also showed good speed on the day before spinning on track a couple of times in the afternoon session as he got to know the limits of the 1.7-mile Reliant Park circuit.

Will Power, Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet
Will Power, Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet

Photo by: Bret Kelley

Power, who raced twice at Reliant Park in the Champ Car World Series and won the pole in the last series race there in 2007, had a fast lap of 1:04.8027 and a speed of 90.774 mph in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet during Friday’s final practice. He trailed only the time established by Justin Wilson on the day.

Friday’s schedule was delayed due to work on the track because of a big bump on the front stretch. Officials eventually installed a chicane so competitors would avoid the bump that could damage their cars and work is expected to be done overnight on the track with the goal of eliminating the chicane for the remainder of the weekend.

“Obviously the chicane changed the track a bit but the circuit overall is pretty good once they are able to work on the trouble spots,” said Power, the three-time defending IZOD IndyCar Series road course champion. “The Verizon Team Penske Chevy was pretty quick today and we know we need to keep on it with fast guys like Wilson out there. I really don’t think my experience racing here before made much of a difference as the track is much different now than it was then but hopefully we can keep improving on both Saturday and Sunday.”

Castroneves enters this weekend’s “Double Down in H-Town” doubleheader race weekend with a 49-point lead in the championship standings. Only three races remain in the 2013 season, including this weekend’s twinbill, as Castroneves pursues his first-ever IndyCar title.

1606617|right|s3}} “It was a productive day for the Shell and Pennzoil team – they did a great job,” said Castroneves, who has recorded 12 straight top-10 finishes. “Unfortunately, it was just a little bit over the limit for me and we weren’t able to put it all together but I’m very happy with how the car came out of practice in good shape. I’m really looking forward to seeing how the track is tomorrow and I’m excited for qualifying and the first race of the weekend in front of the fans here in Houston.”

Qualifying for the first race of the weekend is scheduled for Saturday at 11:45 a.m. ET. The first race of the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston will begin from a standing start at 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday. Sunday’s final race of the weekend will get the green flag at 1:30 p.m. ET.

Both races will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network. Saturday’s race coverage begins at 3 p.m. ET, while Sunday’s broadcast starts at 1 p.m. ET.

Penske Racing

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Series INDYCAR
Article type Practice reports
Tags castroneves, houston, indycar, penske, power