IRL: Chicagoland: Team Penske Pit Notes

Marlboro Team Penske Pit Notes MARLBORO TEAM PENSKE HEADS TO THE WINDY CITY This weekend, Marlboro Team Penske will join the Indy Racing League (IRL) IndyCar® Series at Chicagoland Speedway for Sunday's Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 Presented by...

Marlboro Team Penske Pit Notes


This weekend, Marlboro Team Penske will join the Indy Racing League (IRL) IndyCar® Series at Chicagoland Speedway for Sunday's Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 Presented by Mr. Clean. As the Team prepares for the event, they'll certainly be hoping that history will repeat itself at the 1.5-mile oval in Joliet, IL.

Two-time IndyCar Series Champion Sam Hornish Jr. has had quite a bit of success at the track in his four appearances; earning two victories and four top-ten finishes. In 2002 Hornish Jr. started from the pole and led a race-high 102 laps on his way to Victory Circle, the win marked the IndyCar Series' closest finish in history as he edged out Al Unser Jr. by .0024 of a second to take the checkered flag. The next year, he duplicated his winning efforts after starting eighth and leading 40 laps. In addition, Hornish Jr. finished second in 2001 and sixth in last year's debut at the track with Marlboro Team Penske.

"We're going to need a solid performance in Chicago to take back second place in the IndyCar Series Championship," said Hornish Jr. "With the success that I've had there in the past, I feel confident that we should be able to do that. As usual, with a 1.5-mile track we need to be sure the Marlboro Team Penske car works well in traffic and we'll have to get in and out of the pits quickly. My crew has been doing a great job all year with pit stops and I think if we can accomplish those two things, we'll be able to finish near the front on Sunday."

Teammate Helio Castroneves will be looking to improve his finishing performance in Chicago as he has yet to earn a top-three finish at the track in his three starts. While he's had some obstacles reaching the podium on race day, Castroneves did earn the pole at last year's IndyCar Series event, which marked his second of four consecutive pole winning performances in the final four events and his fifth overall pole of the 2004 season (he also won poles in Richmond, Nazareth, Fontana and Texas). Castroneves' run of four straight poles at the end of 2004 tied the IndyCar series record for consecutive poles set by Billy Boat in 1998.

"I'm looking forward to racing at Chicagoland Speedway this weekend and hopefully we'll be able to duplicate last year's qualifying result," said Castroneves. "We'll definitely be looking to improve upon our 2004 finish (Castroneves finished tenth last season). We had a difficult race two weeks ago in Sonoma, and we missed the opportunity to make up some ground in the Championship race, but we have to move on and focus on achieving a solid performance for Marlboro Team Penske in Chicago."


In light of the recent events in New Orleans with the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina, Sam Hornish Jr., his wife Crystal and his parents Sam and JoEllen have generously donated $50,000 to The Church of the Brethren Disaster Fund in order to offer their assistance with the relief efforts.

"There are so many things that can happen in life that are completely out of your control," explains Hornish Jr. "A lot of people in the New Orleans area are without homes and they've experienced a tremendously traumatic event. My family and I wanted to help provide relief so that those affected can begin to put their lives back together. I'm happy that we can help with a cause as important as this one as I know that if we were in the same position, people would come to our aid as well."


To support the humanitarian effort in those areas affected by Hurricane Katrina, the Penske Companies are pleased to announce the Penske Corporation Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund. The Fund is a matching gift program to help provide financial relief to the areas affected by the recent Hurricane. The Penske Companies will match employee contributions to the American Red Cross, up to the first $50,000 collected.


Helio Castroneves earned his second win as a car owner when Hoover Orsi took the checkered flag at Londrina Parana on August 28th, marking the second win of the 2005 season for NasrCastroneves Racing. Orsi won earlier this season at Interlagos in Sao Paulo and he currently sits in second place in the Championship point standings, just eight points from first place, with six events left in the season. Teammate Juliano Moro took fourth place at Londrina and currently is in 16th place in the point standings.

NasrCastroneves Racing is in its second year of competition in the Brazilian Stock Car V8 Championship. The cars in this Series are modified Chevrolet Astra's (a popular model in Brazil) and have similar specs to the cars that compete in the NASCAR Busch Series.


Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver Ryan Briscoe won the Marlboro Pole Award at the Argent Mortgage Indy Grand Prix at Infineon Raceway by turning a qualifying lap of 108.248 mph (1 minute and 16.4913 seconds). For his achievement, Briscoe was presented with a $10,000 check from Philip Morris USA during a post-qualifying ceremony.

There was not a winner of the Marlboro Pole Award Media Contest in Sonoma as each journalist that guessed Briscoe would win the pole overestimated his pole speed.


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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Al Unser Jr. , Billy Boat , Helio Castroneves , Ryan Briscoe , Juliano Moro , Chip Ganassi , Philip Morris , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing