IRL: Indy 500: Team Penske wins Pit Stop competition

Marlboro Team Penske wins Coors Indy 500 Pit Stop INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, May 23, 2002 -- Marlboro Team Penske and driver Helio Castroneves won the Coors Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge on May 23 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the record...

Marlboro Team Penske wins Coors Indy 500 Pit Stop

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, May 23, 2002 -- Marlboro Team Penske and driver Helio Castroneves won the Coors Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge on May 23 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the record seventh victory for Penske Racing in the annual Indianapolis 500 contest that showcases the work of race pit crews.

2001 Indianapolis 500 winner Castroneves and Marlboro Team Penske defeated Target Chip Ganassi Racing and driver Jeff Ward in the final. Marlboro Team Penske changed four tires and completed a simulated fueling of the No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone driven by Castroneves in 8.555 seconds. Target Chip Ganassi Racing finished similar service for Ward's No. 22 Target Chip Ganassi Racing G Force/Chevrolet/Firestone in 10.3433 seconds.

The team earned $42,500 for the victory, with $5,000 of that sum donated to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Indiana Chapter.

"It's a team sport, and I tell you, it's fantastic to have this special win," Castroneves said. "The Indy 500 is the best race in the world, and for these guys here, winning Indy is good, too. But for these guys to win this, it's tops. They're the ones doing everything; I'm just pushing the brakes and leaving the pits."

While this was a record-setting win for Penske Racing, it was the first for the team since 1988. The other victories came in 1981-83 and 1985-86. Bobby Unser and Danny Sullivan went on to win the Indianapolis 500 three days after Penske Racing won this contest in 1981 and 1985, respectively.

"It's a great momentum builder for the race," Penske Racing President Tim Cindric said. "We thank everyone for the opportunity to do this for the crews because they get their day in the sun, and believe me, they put their effort in to make eight-second stops every time. They don't just happen; they've worked hard all week."

Marlboro Team Penske produced three consecutive eight-second stops to earn the victory.

Castroneves edged teammate Gil de Ferran and the other half of the Marlboro Team Penske crew in the semifinals with a time of 8.7355 seconds. de Ferran and his crew were clocked at 9.7465.

In the quarterfinals of the 12-car competition, Castroneves defeated . 2000 Indy Racing League champion Hemelgarn Racing and 1996 Indianapolis. 500 winner Buddy Lazier. Castroneves and crew were clocked at 8.9355; . Lazier and crew at 11.9955 Castroneves and Marlboro Team Penske . received a first-round bye .

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Buddy Lazier , Jeff Ward , Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Bobby Unser , Danny Sullivan , Chip Ganassi
Teams Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing , Team Penske