IRL: Indy 500: Team Penske pit notes 2005-05-11

Marlboro Team Penske Pit Notes May 11, 2005 MARLBORO TEAM PENSKE BEGINS THE MONTH OF MAY AT THE BRICKYARD Marlboro Team Penske began their quest for a record 14th win at the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on Tuesday as the Indy Racing League ...

Marlboro Team Penske Pit Notes
May 11, 2005


Marlboro Team Penske began their quest for a record 14th win at the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on Tuesday as the Indy Racing League (IRL) IndyCar® Series began practice for this year's Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. Tuesday was Helio Castroneves' 30th birthday and he wasted no time celebrating as he kicked off his day by being the first driver to take the green flag on opening day. Castroneves performed well all day in practice and was able to turn in the third fastest lap of the day with a speed of 226.062 mph (39.8120 seconds).

"The first day of practice went well -- and it was a great way to spend my 30th birthday," said Castroneves. "I haven't run here since last year, so I'm very happy we ended the day in the top-three. We were able to work on several things to try and find the limit and make sure the Marlboro Team Penske car is consistent. I'm looking forward to getting back out there tomorrow."

Although Marlboro Team Penske teammate Sam Hornish Jr. was not as fast as Castroneves, he was able to work on the consistency of his Marlboro Team Penske machine throughout the first session of the month. The Defiance, OH native turned in the 20th fastest lap of the day with a speed of 222.896 mph (40.3776 seconds).

"We worked mostly on making the car consistent today," said Hornish Jr. "We'd like to be a bit faster, but at least we were able to try a number of different things on the Marlboro Team Penske car. We've got to stay focused and just try to get the best car we can. We still have some work to do, but it's a long month and hopefully we'll be good enough on race day."

Overall, it was a good day for the Team as they were able to make a lot of progress during the first day of practice.

"Helio was a bit more aggressive in terms of putting up a fast lap," said Tim Cindric, President of Penske Racing Inc. "Sam was a bit more methodical in his approach, which was also effective. One was focused on speed while the other was working on consistency. Hopefully we'll be able combine the two moving forward this month."

On May 29th, Penske Racing will be looking for its record 14th win at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In addition, the Team holds Indy 500 records for poles (12), wins from the pole (5), laps led (1,709) and winning drivers (9).


While the casual race observer might think that it would be inconvenient to have to relocate the Penske Racing shop from their headquarters in Reading, PA to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the month of May; that is quite the contrary as the Team has created the ultimate garage for their stay in Indiana.

Thanks to the equipment provided by Gladiator GarageWorks by Whirlpool Corporation, Marlboro Team Penske has a state-of-the-art facility.

The entire build and installation took more than three days and included the setup of three individual work bays, drivers' dressing areas, a lounge and offices to house Team management and engineers. Gladiator GarageWorks provided the organizational systems and appliances for the facility while HH Gregg assisted with installation, as well as provided five flat screen plasma TVs.

Thirty-one year Penske Racing veteran Jerry Breon organized and oversaw the project for Marlboro Team Penske. Breon was one of the 'over the wall' pit crew members for 18 years changing the right rear tire for five Indy winners.

He more recently served as spotter for Gil de Ferran's 2003 Indy 500 victory and is currently the Facilities Manager for the Team's 39,500 sq. ft. race shop in Reading.

The equipment provided by Gladiator consists of everything imaginable including the Gladiator GarageWorks GearWall Panels, Freezerator and Modular Workbenches.


On Thursday, May 12th at 10:00 a.m. in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Trackside Press Conference room, Penske Racing, Inc. President Tim Cindric will participate in a press conference hosted by the IRL to preview Pole Qualifying for the Indianapolis 500. In addition to Cindric, Brian Barnhart, President and COO of the IRL and Tom Anderson, Managing Director and coowner of Fernandez Racing will also be in attendance at the press conference.

"Pole Day is always a complex scenario, even in years past," explains Cindric.

"This year's new format adds a whole new dimension to the strategy behind qualifying for the Indianapolis 500. Teams will need to be smart in order to determine when they should gamble and when they should play it safe depending on weather, the draw and what they feel is a realistic speed for their car. It's important for us to explain these different nuances to the public so that they can share in the drama that all of us feel on Pole Day."


Roger Penske has been announced as one of the top-five vote-getters for the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association's (AARWBA) Newsmaker of the Half-Century Award. Other finalists include Mario Andretti, Dale Earnhardt, the France family and the Hulman-George family.

The Newsmaker of the Half-Century will be announced at the annual AARWBA breakfast in Indianapolis on Saturday, May 28th. The winner will also receive a specially commissioned painting and AARWBA will make a donation to the recipient's favorite charity.


Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Mario Andretti , Tom Anderson , Roger Penske , Brian Barnhart , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Team Penske , Team Penske , CIP