IRL: Team Penske Pit Notes 2002-05-29

Pit Notes May 29, 2002 Helio Castroneves two for two at Indy. Marlboro Team Penske driver Helio Castroneves led the final 24 laps to earn the checkered flag at Sunday's 86th running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race as well as claimed the top...

Pit Notes
May 29, 2002

Helio Castroneves two for two at Indy.

Marlboro Team Penske driver Helio Castroneves led the final 24 laps to earn the checkered flag at Sunday's 86th running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race as well as claimed the top spot in the Indy Racing League Championship with 195 points. In only his second appearance at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Castroneves became the first driver ever to win twice in his first two attempts and only the fifth driver in history to win back-to-back. The last driver to do this was Al Unser ('70 & '71), who joined other consecutive winners Wilbur Shaw ('39 & '40), Mauri Rose ('47 & '48) and Bill Vukovich ('53 & '54). In addition, at the age of 27, Castroneves is now the youngest driver ever to win two Indianapolis 500 Mile Races. Previously, Louie Meyer was the youngest capturing his second title at the age of 28; A.J. Foyt took his second checkered flag when he was 29 years old.

Castroneves' win also marks the first time a Team has won consecutive victories at the Brickyard since Marlboro Team Penske won with Emerson Fittipaldi in '93 and Al Unser Jr. in '94.

After Castroneves' trip to Victory Lane at the Indianapolis 500, here's a look at some of the records Penske Racing has set at the May Classic:

* 12 victories in 27 years of competition (44.4%)
* 8 winning drivers
* 1,611 laps led
* Victories in four of the last five events entered ('93, '94, '01, '02)


Last Thursday, Marlboro Team Penske competed in the Coors Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge, which showcases the work of the pit crews. Castroneves and teammate Gil de Ferran competed in their identical Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolets against ten other crews from teams competing in the 86th Indianapolis 500. Castroneves and de Ferran both made it to the semi-finals, where they competed against each other. Castroneves' crew recorded a pit stop of 8.7355 seconds to edge out de Ferran's crew who had a stop of 9.7465 seconds.

Castroneves met Jeff Ward and the Target Chip Ganassi Racing team in the finals where his crew notched the victory with a time of 8.555 seconds over Ward's time of 10.3433 seconds. With their victory, Marlboro Team Penske earned $32,500. This marked Penske Racing's record seventh win in the annual Indianapolis 500 contest and its first win since 1988.


Not only did Marlboro Team Penske earn its record 12th victory at Sunday's Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, but three members of the Team were also recognized throughout the month of May for their individual achievements.

Roger Penske was inducted into the Auto Racing Hall of Fame, which honors drivers, car owners, mechanics and event officials who have made significant contributions to the success and colorful history of the sport. The ceremony took place at the Oldtimers Club Banquet on Friday, May 17th. Also inducted into the Auto Racing Hall of Fame were Sid Collins, "Voice of the 500" and car owner Andy Granatelli.

Tim Cindric, President of Penske Racing, Inc. was awarded the inaugural Herb Porter Memorial Award and a check for $2,000 at the Oldtimers Club Banquet as well. Herb Porter was an engine builder who owned Speedway Engine Development, Inc. with Rick Long; their shop was located on Gasoline Alley, just a few miles from Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Porter spent his life building engines for his one true love - The Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. The Herb Porter Memorial Award is presented annually to the person who through innovation, technical advancement, or other accomplishments, has enhanced the philosophies and goals of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Receiving the award was particularly special for Cindric because, as a boy he spent many summers in what is now the Speedway Engine Development shop where his father, Carl, worked with Porter and Long. Porter was inducted into the Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1999, just 26 days before his death on June 16th.

In addition, Clive Howell, General Manager of Marlboro Team Penske was awarded the fifth annual True Grit Award on Thursday, May 23rd. The True Grit Award honors those who exemplify the following criteria - outstanding achievement, overcoming adversity, excellence in preparation and management, Indy 500 experience, dedication to the highly skilled trade of working on Indy cars and overall racing background and performance during May. Chris Paulsen, owner of C&R Racing, Inc. presented Howell with the award, along with a check for $10,000 from C&R Racing, Inc. and Visteon Climate Control Systems.


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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Al Unser Jr. , Jeff Ward , Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Al Unser Sr. , Chip Ganassi , Roger Penske , A.J. Foyt
Teams Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing , Team Penske