This is Helio Castroneves' first pole at Gateway International Raceway, his second pole of the 2003 season (he started from the pole at Indianapolis) and his tenth Indy car pole. With his pole today, Castroneves has now started on the front row...
This is Helio Castroneves' first pole at Gateway International Raceway, his second pole of the 2003 season (he started from the pole at Indianapolis) and his tenth Indy car pole.
With his pole today, Castroneves has now started on the front row five times and in the top-five in seven of the ten 2003 Indy Racing League (IRL) IndyCar® Series races run to date.
This is Castroneves' fifth career pole on an oval; his other oval poles include: Indianapolis 5/11/03, Phoenix 3/16/02; Japan 5/18/01; and Milwaukee 6/6/99. The Milwaukee pole was his first career Indy car pole.
Castroneves has scored four wins from the pole -- Phoenix - 2002; Long Beach and Detroit - 2001; and Laguna Seca - 2000.
This is the 142nd pole for Marlboro Team Penske.
"What a great day for Marlboro Team Penske. The guys did a fantastic job and the car was handling really well. During the qualifying run, I couldn't see my speed on the dash, so I had to look up at the scoring pole after the first lap to see where I was on the grid. I saw that I wasn't at the top so I knew that I had to go for it on my second lap. The track is very challenging and passing is difficult so it's good to be starting up front. It's great to have won a trophy today, now we have to maintain our momentum, and hopefully I'll bring home another one after the race tomorrow."
Helio Castroneves, Marlboro Team Penske, 2001 and 2002 Indianapolis
3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota
Polesitter - 25.5732 sec. (175.965 mph)
"It was a good qualifying session for us today. Track position is important here so we wanted to qualify in the top two rows (de Ferran qualified fourth). The Marlboro Team Penske car has been handling really well this weekend. There isn't one key to the race, everything needs to come together; strategy, pit stops, a car that works well in traffic. Any DNF (did not finish) at this point of the season with six races to go is costly so we need to execute tomorrow."
Gil de Ferran, Marlboro Team Penske, 2003 Indianapolis 500 Winner and
Two-Time CART Champion
6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota
Qualified fourth - 25.6285 sec. (175.586 mph)