IRL: Nazareth: Team Penske preview

On Sunday, April 21 Marlboro Team Penske will join the rest of the IRL at Nazareth Speedway for the Firestone Indy 225. Marlboro Team Penske drivers Gil de Ferran and Helio Castroneves have both raced on the one-mile oval since they began their...

On Sunday, April 21 Marlboro Team Penske will join the rest of the IRL at Nazareth Speedway for the Firestone Indy 225. Marlboro Team Penske drivers Gil de Ferran and Helio Castroneves have both raced on the one-mile oval since they began their Indy car careers.

De Ferran has competed at Nazareth in the CART Series over the past seven years. He has earned three top-five finishes including a victory in 2000. Not only was this de Ferran's first career victory on an oval, but it also marked his first win with Marlboro Team Penske and Roger Penske's historic 100th win. In addition, de Ferran has qualified in the top-five in a trio of his appearances in the Lehigh Valley.

Helio Castroneves has competed at Nazareth Speedway in each of the last four years with the CART Series. In that span, Castroneves has qualified in the top-five three times including a front row appearance in just his second time at Nazareth Speedway.

De Ferran on the Race at Nazareth

"Nazareth is one of the tightest one-mile ovals and, more than anywhere that I've raced, you can expect to be in traffic constantly. To do well here, one needs a consistent car that works well in traffic; in addition there's an extra emphasis on good pit work since it's very difficult to pass on the track. I have special memories here because this is where I scored my first win for Marlboro Team Penske - and Roger Penske's 100th win - two years ago. I'm looking forward to an exciting weekend and hopefully we'll be able to finish near the front."

Castroneves on the race at Nazareth

"The Nazareth track is similar to Phoenix and just as tough. It's a tight track and I think there will be a lot of wheel-to-wheel racing. The drivers are really going to have to watch their mirrors. Our set-up will probably be close to Phoenix where our car was really good. The Nazareth open test earlier this month went well, and we learned a lot about the equipment. To get a good lap, we need to try to be as close as possible to flat the whole way around.

I don't think our past history at Nazareth will give us any advantage because the CART cars and the IRL cars are so different. The IRL cars are actually more comfortable to drive because of the added downforce; whereas the aerodynamic package in the CART cars created more turbulence. We'll have to see what the conditions are like come race weekend. Hopefully, it will be warmer and there won't be any snow!"

Castroneves in the news

Marlboro Team Penske driver and 2001 Indianapolis 500 Winner Helio Castroneves is currently featured in the "Dossier" Section of the May Issue of Details Magazine.

In addition, Castroneves was at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last night for a ceremony at which his image was unveiled on the Borg Warner Trophy, which includes a likeness of each driver to win the fabled May classic. Castroneves' image on the race tickets for the 86th Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 26 was unveiled at the ceremony as well.

Marlboro Team Penske'S new look at Nazareth

In celebration of Marlboro Team Penske's renaissance over the past two seasons and in recognition of the Team's achievement as the winningest team in Indy car history, Marlboro Team Penske's cars will have a new look, designed to pay tribute to the Team's rich racing heritage, when they take to the track this weekend at Nazareth Speedway. The Marlboro Team Penske logo, which currently adorns the drivers' helmets and other Team equipment, will now appear on the rear wing, side pods and nose cones of both cars. Over the next few weeks, this new look will be incorporated in other places, including drivers' firesuits, providing a more consistent usage of the Team logo.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Roger Penske
Teams Team Penske