Marlboro Team Penske Pit Notes January 26, 2005 Marlboro Team Penske Tests in Homestead Marlboro Team Penske was in Florida this past week participating in the Indy Racing League (IRL) IndyCarÂ® Series pre-season open test...
Marlboro Team Penske Pit Notes
January 26, 2005
Marlboro Team Penske Tests in Homestead
Marlboro Team Penske was in Florida this past week participating in the Indy Racing League (IRL) IndyCar® Series pre-season open test at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The four-day event featured three days of testing, both on the 1.5-mile oval as well as the track's 2.21-mile road course. The road course test was in preparation for this season's first ever non-oval races in St. Petersburg, Watkins Glen and Infineon Raceway.
Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves and teammate two-time IndyCar Series Champion Sam Hornish Jr. had the opportunity to get behind the wheels of their identical #3 and #6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyotas respectively during the three days of on-track action. In total, the cars completed 316 laps on the road course and 334 laps on the oval, which helped reacquaint the duo with the rigors of the IndyCar Series.
"I think the Test was very beneficial. I am so excited that we're going back to road courses, it was awesome to get out and turn left last week," said Castroneves. "I think a lot of people will be surprised at how strong the IndyCars will be on road courses and how competitive those three races will be. The Marlboro car was good on the road course, but we still have a lot of work to do on the ovals. Hopefully when we return to Homestead in March, we'll be in as good a shape as we were at last year's race (Marlboro Team Penske finished 1-2, with Hornish Jr. winning and Castroneves finishing second)."
"It was good to be able to get out on the track to see how we stack up against the other Teams," said Hornish Jr. "We definitely learned a lot both on the oval and the road course and were able to make gains throughout the test. It was a big help to get on the road course for a few days, because it gave me one more opportunity to work on my rhythm and timing. We definitely have some work left to prepare for the year, as I don't feel like I'm quite at the pinnacle of what I can do. We're going to stay focused and hopefully, we'll be on top of it for the season opener."
"Although we were hoping to be better positioned on the time sheets, the testing at Homestead gave us a realistic picture of where we stack up," said Tim Cindric, President, Penske Racing, Inc. "Obviously, we have our work cut out for us as the competition gets better every year. Also, having a year of continuity under our belts with Sam and Helio as teammates should pay dividends this season as well."
PENSKE IN THE NEWS
With 249 major race wins under his belt, Roger Penske certainly needs more than just a trophy case to house his motorsports memories. In order to accommodate more than 37 years of racing history, Penske Restoration was established in Auburn Hills, MI. The 35,000 square foot facility is the site where each of Penske Racing's cars is restored to running condition. It also houses Penske's personal car collection (including a 2000 Ferrari 360 Modena, a Lamborghini 147 Murcielago, a 1995 Ferrari F50, a 2003 Ferrari Enzo, a 2005 Ford GT40 and a 1955 Gull Wing Mercedes 300SL); the pace cars from his Indianapolis 500 wins; and the complete archives of Penske Racing.
Penske Restoration opened its doors to a news publication for the first time when it allowed ESPN - The Magazine "Total Access" to the facility. The resulting two-page photo spread can be found in the current issue of the magazine available on newsstands today.
PENSKE NOMINATED FOR FINAL ROUND OF AARWBA'S NEWSMAKER OF THE HALF-CENTURY
On Saturday, January 15th, Roger Penske joined a list of 11 other names on the ballot for the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association's (AARWBA) Newsmaker of the Half-Century Award. The twelve finalists, including the Hulman-George Family, Mario Andretti, Jeff Gordon, John Force and Dale Earnhardt were selected from an original list of 50 nominees that was announced at the recent AARWBA annual All-America Team dinner at the Sheraton Fairplex hotel in Pomona.
The winner of AARWBA's Newsmaker of the Half-Century will be announced at a public ceremony this May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the festivities leading up to the 89th running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. The winner will receive a specially commissioned painting and AARWBA will make a donation to the recipient's favorite charity.
HORNISH JR. HELPS WITH TSUNAMI RELIEF
Sam Hornish Jr. was in his hometown of Defiance, OH on Monday providing support for the Tsunami relief effort. The two-time IndyCar Series Champion was at a local coffee house, Cabin Fever, signing autographs for donations to help aid the victims. Patrons of Cabin Fever were asked to give a $5 donation for each item Hornish Jr. signed and all proceeds went directly to relief funds.
In addition, Cabin Fever is donating every cent earned on coffee, cappuccino, and lattes sold during Monday's business hours to the effort as well.
"We're very impressed with Sam," said Cabin Fever owner Lisa Spyker. "We just can't believe that he was so willing to help us with our relief fundraiser. He and his family have been so wonderful to work with, we're just so happy he was committed to helping the Tsunami victims. We expect a line of 'Sam Fans' out the door and around the corner today!"