IRL: Nashville: Team Penske race report

QUOTES: "Today's win was the result of a great Team effort. Roger (Penske) made the right strategy calls, the car ran beautifully both in traffic and alone, and the pit stops were right on. We had a good start and I was able to pass Helio ...

QUOTES:

"Today's win was the result of a great Team effort. Roger (Penske) made the right strategy calls, the car ran beautifully both in traffic and alone, and the pit stops were right on. We had a good start and I was able to pass Helio (Castroneves) and then got by Scott (Dixon). We ran in the top-five through the first two stints but had a problem with the air jack on our second pit stop and lost about ten positions (de Ferran went from third to 13th). I was able to work my way back through the field and my Marlboro Team Penske crew did a fantastic last pit stop (fuel only on lap 131) which put me in a position to retake the lead (lap 173). I've got to thank the folks at Firestone -- we ran the last 86 laps on the same set of tires and we were flat out at the end. I thought we could have won in Kansas and we came up a bit short but today was perfect. While we moved up in the point standings (de Ferran is second), there is still a lot of racing left this season and the Championship is very competitive. We need to keep our head down, focus on each race as they come and continue to execute."

-- Gil de Ferran, Marlboro Team Penske, 2003 Indianapolis 500 Winner and Two-Time CART Champion
-- #6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota
-- First place finish
-- Second in the Championship point standings - 289 points

"I'm really happy with our result tonight (Castroneves finished third). During the first part of the race, my fifth gear was too tall and it was a bit of a problem. However, I learned how to deal with it and once I did, the car handled very well. With only one groove out there passing was difficult, so I had to stay patient and wait for my chance to make a move. Fortunately, on the last restart (lap 197) I was able to get a jump on (Dan) Wheldon and move into third. It was a great day for Marlboro Team Penske finishing first and third (teammate Gil de Ferran won the race). We keep knocking on the door, and one of these days it'll be our race. The good thing is that we maintained our momentum and now we have to carry it into Michigan next weekend."

-- Helio Castroneves, Marlboro Team Penske, 2001 & 2002 Indianapolis 500 Winner
-- #3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota
-- Third place finish
-- Fourth in the Championship point standings - 282 points

NOTES:

- Gil de Ferran has won the Firestone Indy 200 in his second appearance at Nashville Superspeedway. Last year in his inaugural run, de Ferran finished second after starting 13th.

- This is de Ferran's second win of the 2003 IndyCar® Series season; he won the 87th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 25th.

- De Ferran has scored more points than any other driver on the circuit since returning to the cockpit after missing the race in Japan (due to injuries sustained in Phoenix). He has earned 231 Championship points compared to Scott Dixon (213), Tony Kanaan (201) and teammate Helio Castroneves (199).

- After competing in nine of the ten races run to date, de Ferran is currently in second place in the IndyCar Series Championship point standings, just 14 points behind Series leader Kanaan.

- De Ferran's win today marks his 11th career Indy car victory and his sixth career oval win. Other oval wins include: Indianapolis 5/25/03; St. Louis 8/25/02; Pikes Peak 6/16/02; England 9/22/01; and Nazareth 5/27/01.

- De Ferran has now recorded six top-three finishes in the eight IndyCar Series races he's run to date; he's led laps in five of those races. Castroneves has recorded six top-three finishes in nine races.

- Marlboro Team Penske has 67 oval wins out of their record 116 career wins - the most of any Team in open-wheel racing.

-mtp-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan
Teams Team Penske