TEAM PENSKE HAS QUIET DAY IN PREPARATION FOR INDIANAPOLIS 500 QUALIFYING
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 16, 2012) – Team Penske took things easy on Wednesday during its quietest day of practice in preparation for the 96th Indianapolis 500.
The team’s three drivers recorded their lowest lap count of the week, running a conservative 32 laps. None of Wednesday’s lap times matched the team’s 220-plus mph laps recorded during Tuesday’s practice session.
Helio Castroneves again led the way in his No. 3 Shell V-Power Pennzoil Ultra Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet with a lap of 217.705 mph. The three-time Indy 500 winner ranked 23rd-fastest among the 30 drivers that practiced Wednesday on the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval.
"We started a little late, but the No. 3 Shell Pennzoil car is looking good,” said Castroneves, who will be looking to win his fifth career pole position at Indianapolis on Saturday. “We tried to manage the tires to make sure we have enough for when it really matters, which is Saturday. Right now we are moving in the right direction. Chevy, Ilmor and everybody are working together so we can have a quality engine and ultimately a good racecar."
IZOD IndyCar Series point leader Will Power had a fast lap of 217.604 mph in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet, which completed just 11 productive laps. The three-time winner in 2012 saw his fast lap rank 24th on the timing chart.
"We didn't run our Verizon car too much today,” said Power. “We did a little work on it - just tried a couple things - getting ready for the next couple of days. It's been good having such great weather as it allows us plenty of time to work through our process."
Ryan Briscoe registered his fastest speed of 216.255 mph in the No. 2 IZOD Team Penske machine on the fifth of his completed six laps. Briscoe had his fastest lap rank 27th but he is pleased with the progress being made towards the weekend.
"Pretty slow day for the No. 2 IZOD car, we just did one run,” said Briscoe. “After we made some changes and did a baseline run the car felt pretty good. For now we are conserving tires, but we will get back into it tomorrow and continue to improve.”
Team Penske is the most successful team in the history of the Indy 500, having won the race 15 times, including five times in the last 11 years.