A For Alberta: Team Penske has been nothing short of dominant at Edmonton since 2008. In addition to race victories in 2009 and 2011 (both by Will Power), Team Penske drivers have recorded six podiums, eight top-five and 10 top-10 finishes in 11 combined starts. Ryan Briscoe (2008) and Power (2009, 2010) have also combined to win three out of the last four possible pole positions at the airport circuit.
Pole Power: Team Penske remains the top IZOD IndyCar Series team with five total poles won in the 2012 season. In addition to the poles earned by Power (St. Petersburg, Sao Paulo), Helio Castroneves (Barber Motorsports Park) and Briscoe (Long Beach, Indianapolis) are the four combined front row starts posted by Briscoe (St. Petersburg), Power (Belle Isle, Toronto) and Castroneves (Iowa). Team Penske’s combined average qualifying position of 6.03 is the best in the IZOD IndyCar Series.
Edmonton’s Elite: Power’s average starting position of 2.3 at Edmonton leads all active IndyCar drivers and the 2010 and 2011 Mario Andretti Road Course Champion has never finished outside of the podium in his three races with Team Penske at Edmonton. Power may have insider’s knowledge to thank, as his grandmother, Jean Ella (Buchan) Power, was born in Brandon, Manitoba but grew up and worked in Lethbridge, Alberta.
Twice As Nice: The race in Edmonton will mark the first time in 2012 that a Team Penske driver won’t start a race weekend leading the IZOD IndyCar Series Championship point standings. However Team Penske continues its season-long run of having two drivers in the top five with Power and Castroneves in second and third place, respectively, in the rankings and teammate Briscoe currently in ninth. Power’s drop to second place may be a good omen for Team Penske as the Australian driver has two wins and a second-place finish in his three previous career races ranked second in the championship standings dating back to last season.
Follow Me: Castroneves is no stranger to the podium in Edmonton, with both an average starting and finishing position of fourth and he has led at least one lap in all four races he has competed in at the venue. In 2008 and 2009 he qualified and finished among the top three at City Centre Airport while 2010 saw him qualify second and appear to be headed for the win before a controversial late-race penalty. Castroneves got back on track in 2011 with another podium, his third second-place finish at the circuit.
No Slouch: Briscoe has seen his share of success in Edmonton as well, having never finished outside of the top-10 in his four races on the temporary street circuit. A two-time polewinner already in 2012, Briscoe’s accomplishments in Edmonton include two front row starts (including winning the 2008 pole) and an average finishing position of sixth with fourth-place efforts in both 2009 and 2010.
Significant Starts: The Edmonton Indy will hold special significance for Briscoe as it will be his 100th career IndyCar start. The Australian driver has accumulated six wins, 25 podiums and 13 poles in those starts. In addition, teammate Power recorded his 50th start with Team Penske two weeks ago in Toronto.
Chevy Power: Chevrolet continues its successful season in IndyCar as 70% of the race wins and 56% of the podium finishes have been by drivers utilizing Chevy engines. Paced by the performance of Team Penske’s drivers, Chevrolet has earned seven wins in 2012 and at least one podium finish in nine of 10 races this season.
Premier Partners: Team Penske is proud to continue its relationship with existing partners and welcome several new sponsors to its family in 2012. In Edmonton, Briscoe will feature the No. 2 Hitachi car, Penske Truck Rental will return as the primary sponsor of the No. 3 car driven by Castroneves and Power will drive the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car throughout the 2012 season. Team Penske also features IZOD, Shell and Pennzoil, PPG and AAA Insurance as primary sponsors in 2012 along with associate sponsors Coca-Cola, Meijer, PTC and SKF.
Meet Team Penske: All three Team Penske drivers will participate in the IndyCar autograph session at the Fan Village in Edmonton on Saturday at 4:15 p.m. MT.
Legacy of Success: Team Penske continues to set the standard of success in open-wheel racing. Throughout its storied history, the team has posted 163 race wins, 12 National Championships and 208 pole positions. In addition, Penske Racing has won the Indianapolis 500-mile race a record 15 times. Across all of its disciplines, Penske Racing teams have produced 359 major race wins, 419 pole positions and 23 National Championships.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT THE EDMONTON INDY:
Ryan Briscoe: “It’s always fun to go racing in Edmonton. It has been a great track for us in the past and hopefully we can keep that going for Hitachi this year. The team has certainly had a little bit of bad luck the last couple races so it is time for us to really get focused on putting ourselves in a position to finish the race with a good result.”
Helio Castroneves: “It is going to be great to go back to Edmonton in the Penske Truck Rental car this weekend. We have always done well there and are really working for another fantastic result. It’s a fun circuit for the drivers and certainly taking the Chevy engine up there this year will make things even more interesting. Hopefully this is the week we can move up in the championship points and be the position to win it all at the end.”
Will Power: ““We are very determined to get the No. 12 Verizon car back on track this week with a good result in Edmonton. Obviously we are disappointed with how things ended up in Toronto and it’s been five weeks since we’ve earned a good finish. I’ve had some success in Edmonton and I want to continue that again this year with the Chevy engine.”
Source: Penske Racing