IRL: Penske Racing ready for return to California Speedway

FONTANA, Calif. (September 29, 2004) --- Undoubtedly one of the most successful Indy Racing teams in the history of open-wheel racing, Penske Racing, prepares for the TOYOTA Indy 400 at California Speedway on October 3. Penske Racing has more...

FONTANA, Calif. (September 29, 2004) --- Undoubtedly one of the most successful Indy Racing teams in the history of open-wheel racing, Penske Racing, prepares for the TOYOTA Indy 400 at California Speedway on October 3.

Penske Racing has more than 200 major race wins in 35 years of operation in open-wheel and NASCAR racing. During the organization's lucrative open-wheel history, many notable drivers have been behind the wheel, including Mark Donohue, Emerson Fittipaldi, Rick Mears, Al Unser and Gil de Ferran.

Penske's stable, which includes two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves and two-time TOYOTA Indy 400 winner Sam Hornish Jr., return to a track that team owner Roger Penske built nearly 10 years ago.

"Our team is looking forward to racing at California this year as Toyota and Marlboro Team Penske have been working hard to put together a package that will put us back on track," Penske Racing President Tim Cindric said. "Sam and Helio have had success at this track and a win this year would be a great boost for the team."

Competing in open-wheel events at the superspeedway since its opening in 1997, Marlboro Team Penske has never won a race at California Speedway. Their best finish came in 2000 when Gil de Ferran finished third in the Champ Car 500-mile event. That same race weekend, de Ferran set a closed-course qualifying world record of 241.428 mph.

"It's hard to believe that it has been five years since Gil set the closed-course record there," Cindric said. "It would be exciting to see Roger get his first IndyCar win at California Speedway, a facility in which he put so much into."

"I'm looking forward to competing in Fontana," said Castroneves, who picked up the pole position for last year's TOYOTA Indy 400. "There's always exciting racing at California Speedway because you can go three, maybe even four wide. Last year, I won the pole so hopefully this season we can achieve similar results. Marlboro Team Penske has been working hard all year and we'll be looking to get our first win of the season in California."

Hornish has won twice at California Speedway and in his first year with Marlboro Team Penske looks to go for three this weekend. He won the season-opener at Homestead-Miami Speedway in March.

"Coming back to a track that Roger built from the ground up, and also to go to a race sponsored by our engine manufacturer Toyota, we obviously want to do very well there," Hornish said. "It will be a lot of fun to go out there and see what we can do and see if we can possibly have another race win there. It is definitely a track that if we can get our cars set-up just right with a couple of breaks, we'll be right there fighting for the win."

Make sure you are at California Speedway for the TOYOTA Indy 400 to see Marlboro Team Penske compete for their first win at the superspeedway on October 3rd. General admission tickets are $45 and children 12 and under are free. For ticket and event information, call 800-944-RACE [7223] or online at www.californiaspeedway.com.

-cs-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Rick Mears , Emerson Fittipaldi , Roger Penske , Mark Donohue , Sam Hornish Jr. , Al Unser
Teams Team Penske , Team Penske