Team Penske Looking For First Win Of 2011 At Barber Motorsports Park
Defending Champions: Team Penske returns as the defending champions at Barber Motorsports Park. Helio Castroneves won the inaugural Grand Prix of Alabama in 2010 as the No. 3 Team Penske squad used perfect race strategy to lead the final 20 laps and secure the race victory. The win extended Castroneves’ record to 11 consecutive seasons with at least one victory for the team. Team Penske also is the defending polewinner at Barber as Will Power topped qualifying for one of his series-record eight poles in 2010.
Beasts of Barber: Barber Motorsports Park has been a good track to Team Penske since the IZOD IndyCar Series began testing, and later racing, at the venue. The team has produced the top time at each series open test session at Barber, including earlier this spring. Power led the first day of testing at Barber on March 14 while Castroneves owned the fastest lap the following and final day of the test. Power, Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe all took turns atop the timing sheet during the two-day test.
Ready for Round 2: After one round of competition in the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series, Team Penske sits second in the championship standings. Power, who finished second in the season-opening race on the streets of St. Petersburg on March 27 after winning the pole position, is ranked second in the standings, 11 points behind Dario Franchitti. Once again driving the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Honda, Power finished fourth last season at Barber for his worst result on a road or street course in 2010, After both Briscoe and Castroneves were involved in a first-lap multi-car accident at St. Pete, Briscoe is ranked 18th in the series standings while Castroneves is 20th after one round of competition.
All three Team Penske cars have shown good speed at Barber.
The Power of Three: For the second straight season, Team Penske will compete as a full-season, three-car team. The 2010 season marked the first time since 1996 that the team entered the season intending to run three cars full-time and all three cars won races and finished among the top five in the championship. In 1994, Team Penske fielded three cars and finished 1-2-3 in the CART Series championship, winning a record-setting 12 races in one season.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT THE HONDA GRAND PRIX OF ALABAMA
Helio Castroneves: "I'm very happy to go back to Barber for several reasons. First, it brings back great memories of our victory there last year. Second, at the recent test there, our Team Penske car was very fast. The third reason is that this will be our first race with our new AAA Insurance paint scheme and the No. 3 car will definitely be looking good."
I love how the circuit at Barber is so fast and flowing.
Ryan Briscoe: “I love how the circuit at Barber is so fast and flowing. All of our Team Penske cars have performed quite well at the recent tests there, so I feel the No. 6 Penske Truck Rental car should be strong at this event. I really need a solid result this weekend to make up for the points we lost at St. Petersburg. The Barber Motorsports Park facility is really nice to visit and I am looking forward to racing there this weekend.”
Will Power: "I am looking forward to this weekend at Barber. I think the competition is going to be tough since everyone tested there recently. The Verizon car has always been fast at this track and really all three Team Penske cars have shown good speed at Barber. This could be a place where we can run 1-2-3. I think we will be strong this weekend."
-source: penske racing