Success in St. Pete: Team Penske is coming off a very successful weekend in St. Pete which saw Will Power win the pole and Helio Castroneves win the race on the challenging street circuit for a record third time. Ryan Briscoe joined Power on the front row after qualifying and finished with a solid top-five finish. All three Team Penske drivers led the race at some point.
Sweet Home Alabama: Team Penske has a very strong history at Barber Motorsports Park as it returns as the defending, and only, champions of the Grand Prix of Alabama. Power dominated the event in 2011 as he won the pole and led all 90 laps to put the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car in Victory Lane. Power also won the pole in the inaugural Grand Prix of Alabama in 2010 with teammate Castroneves eventually winning the race.
Manufacturer Mastery: Chevrolet engines had a weekend to remember in St. Petersburg as the Detroit-based company captured five of the top six qualifying positions, including all three Team Penske drivers. In the race, two other Chevrolet drivers joined Castroneves and Briscoe among the top-five finishers as the company made its successful return to IndyCar racing for the first time is six years.
Triple Play: For the third straight season, Team Penske will compete as a full-season, three-car team. Currently Team Penske sits first (Castroneves), fifth (Briscoe) and seventh (Power) in the 2012 championship standings.
Practice Makes Perfect: Team Penske began its pursuit of a win at Barber with testing sessions in both February and March at the venue during the off-season. Castroneves, Briscoe and Power have all received critical track time in the new DW12 IndyCar and Power was able to record the fastest lap during one of the test days.
Premier Partners: Team Penske is proud to continue its relationship with existing partners and welcome several new sponsors to its family in 2012. Briscoe will continue to compete with IZOD as a sponsor of the No. 2 car, Shell-Pennzoil will serve as the primary sponsor of the No. 3 car driven by Castroneves at St. Petersburg and Power will drive the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske for the entire season. Team Penske also features Hitachi, AAA, PPG and Penske Truck Rental as primary sponsors in 2012 along with associate sponsors Coca-Cola, Meijer, PTC and SKF.
King of the Road: Power has won the Mario Andretti Road Course title in each of the past two seasons and continues his quest for a third road crown this weekend after winning the pole and finishing seventh in St. Pete. In 2011, seven of Power’s eight poles and five of his six wins came on road/street courses.
A Grand Debut: Castroneves’ daughter Mikaella, the star of last week’s victory circle in St. Pete, made her first trip to victory lane after Helio’s victory at Barber Motorsports Park in 2010
Fast on All Tracks: During a media tour of the Birmingham area in early March Power showed that his speed is not just limited to the track as he ran an impromptu 4.6 second forty yard dash while on The Rick & Bubba Show. With his effort Power sprinted to the top of their charts, tying him with former NFL player Kevin Drake.
Street Success: Team Penske excels at street course circuits, including winning four of the last five. Castroneves, Briscoe and Power have all earned road/street course victories over the last several seasons as the overall team produced 28 poles and 18 wins at road/street course venues since 2007.
Legacy of Success: Team Penske continues to set the standard of success in open-wheel racing. Throughout its storied history, the team has posted 160 race wins, 12 National Championships and 204 pole positions. In addition, Penske Racing has won the Indianapolis 500-mile race 15 times. Across all of its disciplines, Penske Racing teams have produced 352 major race wins, 404 pole positions and 23 National Championships.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT THE HONDA INDYCAR GRAND PRIX OF ALABAMA
Ryan Briscoe: "I am very excited to bring the brand new No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske to Barber this weekend. Our goal is to build on the good results that Team Penske and Chevy achieved at St. Pete. We tested well at Barber before so we are feeling confident about a good performance this weekend. This is a good track for our team and we hope to keep 2012 going in the right direction towards a championship."
Helio Castroneves: “I feel great this week going to Barber, a great place to go race and where I have enjoyed winning before. Last week Chevy gave me a great engine and my crew did an excellent job so we are counting on that again this week in the No. 3 AAA Insurance Team Penske car. It’s been a great start to 2012 and I hope to continue the success this weekend.”
Will Power: “I am looking forward to going back to Barber as it is one of my favorite circuits to race because it’s so nicely done. Our car tested well there in the off-season and we should be able to capitalize on having a great car. It was great last year to get a win for Verizon and Team Penske and I’m excited to see what we can do there this year with the new Chevy engine.”