CHAMPCAR/CART: Team Penske Mid-Ohio race notes

"What a great day for Marlboro Team Penske! The Team did a fantastic job putting both cars on top. It rained this morning which changed the track, and I had oversteer in the beginning of the race. As the track got better, the car settled in. ...

"What a great day for Marlboro Team Penske! The Team did a fantastic job putting both cars on top. It rained this morning which changed the track, and I had oversteer in the beginning of the race. As the track got better, the car settled in. The first pit stop was the key for us. I was running second and I was going to pit on lap 29 with Gil (de Ferran) who was in the lead, but at the last minute I radioed and said I'm going to stay out one more lap which allowed me to take the lead. There was silence on my radio and I thought 'oh no I hope I can make it'. It was close as my fuel alarm went on just as I got near the pit entrance. I was able to get a good in-lap and pit without any traffic which helped me to stay in first.

"My car was great from then on and I was able to open the gap on the field. I was a little upset when the last yellow came out but I knew the car was strong on restarts. Gil was running well and I knew he might put some pressure on me but I was able to stay in first and bring it home. I really have to thank Andy Borme (race engineer), Tim Cindric (calls race strategy for Castroneves), Rick Mears, Rick Rinaman (crew chief) and the whole crew. It's great that we closed the gap in the Championship point standings but there is a lot of racing still to go this season."

-- Helio Castroneves, Marlboro Team Penske, #3 2001 Marlboro Honda Reynard
-- Race Winner
-- Second in the CART FedEx Championship Point Standings with 103 points - one point out of first.

"Today was a great race for me and Helio (Castroneves). Marlboro Team Penske gave both of us fast cars and we were close all day. When I pitted on lap 29, we had a really good stop (12.1 sec.) but a lot of other guys stopped along with me and I went out in traffic which slowed the pace. My second stop (lap 54) was faster than Helio's (10.3 sec. de Ferran, 10.6 sec. Castroneves), but since he came in first he was first out of the pits. I was able to run with Helio; I just wasn't able to pass him. It could have been either one of us in first, the chips just fell with Helio today. The Team did a wonderful job with my set-up and pit stops and I couldn't have asked for a better car. I'm happy with how we did and second place is by no means a bad finish. We earned some much needed points today, which brings us closer in the hunt for the Championship."


-- Gil de Ferran, Marlboro Team Penske, #1 2001 Marlboro Honda Reynard
-- Second Place Finish
-- Third in the CART FedEx Series Championship Point Standings with 89 points - 15 points out of first.

MARLBORO TEAM PENSKE FAST FACTS:

· This is Helio Castroneves' second consecutive win at Mid-Ohio and his third CART victory this year. He is tied with Kenny Brack for most wins in the 2001 season.

· Castroneves' win today marks his 6th Champ car career victory - all of which he has won on road/street courses (his first oval win came at this year's Indianapolis 500).

· With his win at Mid-Ohio, Castroneves has won three of the seven road/street course races this season.

· Castroneves has scored points in nine of the twelve races run this season (75%).

· Mid-Ohio is the second race in 2001 that Marlboro Team Penske has swept the front row - the first was in Toronto. De Ferran and Castroneves accomplished this feat three times last year including Mid-Ohio - the other two were at Portland and Laguna Seca.

· This is Marlboro Team Penske's sixth win at Mid-Ohio, previous winners were Castroneves - 2000; Unser Jr. - 1995 and 1994; and Fittipaldi - 1993 and 1992.

· In the 2000 season, Castroneves finished on the podium at four of the eleven road/street course races and led a series-high 245 laps.

· Of the 960 laps run on road/street circuits last year, Marlboro Team Penske drivers led 399 (41%).

· This is Penske Racing's 108th race win.

-MTP

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Kenny Brack , Rick Mears
Teams Team Penske , Team Penske