IRL: Team Penske Pit Notes 2004-03-30

Marlboro Team Penske Pit Notes March 30, 2004 MARLBORO TEAM PENSKE AT THE BRICKYARD Marlboro Team Penske was in Indianapolis last week to participate in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's Indianapolis 500 Mile Race media day. The Team held...

Marlboro Team Penske Pit Notes
March 30, 2004


Marlboro Team Penske was in Indianapolis last week to participate in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's Indianapolis 500 Mile Race media day. The Team held a press conference to discuss their goal of earning an unprecedented fourth straight win at the Brickyard in May.

Both two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves and two-time Indy Racing League IndyCar® Series winner Sam Hornish Jr. were on-hand for the press conference. In addition, Tim Cindric, President Penske Racing, Inc. was also in attendance to discuss his thoughts on the "May Classic."

"We're certainly looking forward to coming back to Indy this year," said Cindric at the press conference. "We'll be going for our fourth straight win with what will be relatively the same personnel. I'd say that most of the guys at Marlboro Team Penske have been here since we returned to Indy in 2001, and I think that's a big testament to the efforts we've put forth. Not only are the guys looking forward to the race, but they're also excited about the pit stop competition as well. That's always one of the highlights of the month of May for them and they always seem to be two of the Teams to beat."

"I definitely echo what Tim said, in that when you have an entire crew that knows what they're doing everyone can be so well synchronized," said Castroneves. "The three times I've been here, I've done pretty well (Castroneves won in 2001 & 2002 and finished second in 2003), but it's still a place that you have to respect. We'll have to work very hard this year, that's why I think they give us an entire month - so we can make sure all of our bases are covered. With Sam driving for us now, I think we'll have a big boost going into the Indy 500 - hopefully we'll be able to get that fourth in a row!"

"A lot of people have been asking me how I feel about driving for Marlboro Team Penske this year at the Indy 500," said Hornish Jr. "I think I'm just as hungry to win this year as I've ever been. No one puts more pressure on me than I do, so I think that while my chances seem to have greatly improved it's mostly because of my experience at the track. Marlboro Team Penske also has a tremendous history here, so I think that always helps. I mean, two years ago Helio kind of came out of nowhere - he was on pace all day long, but he certainly proved you don't always need the fastest car to win the race. I think we have a lot of work ahead of us, but we're definitely looking forward to the month of May."


Helio Castroneves can now add another commercial to his list of accomplishments as the 28 year-old Brazilian completed his first shoot for Toyota Motorsports last Monday in Phoenix. After earning his second top-ten finish of the 2004 season (he finished sixth), Castroneves stayed in Arizona to participate in the filming at Phoenix International Raceway.

The spot, slated to air later this spring around the 88th running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, combines racing action with humor to deliver Toyota's message.

"I had a lot of fun filming last week," said Castroneves. "It was my first commercial for Toyota and it was a great experience. I'm usually racing when I'm on TV, so it'll be nice to be able to see myself on the screen when I'm just sitting on my couch."


This week, espn360, will be making its national debut and will feature an article about two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves. Launched by ESPN - the Magazine, espn360 is a new and innovative lifestyle magazine about today's A-list professional athletes and action sports stars. The quarterly magazine will celebrate where they live, how they dress, what they collect and what motivates them, bringing readers a full view of their private lives. The inaugural issue will be inserted in ESPN - the Magazine and distributed to 500,000 specifically targeted subscribers.

Castroneves' office and home in Miami will be featured in the article.


Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan led the most laps last weekend after being at the top of the leader board for 191 of the 200 laps run on his way to winning the Copper World Indy 200. Kanaan earned three extra points for leading the most laps and leads the IRL Championship point standings with 77 points, six points ahead of second place Helio Castroneves. Kanaan will be presented with his Marlboro Lap Leader Award check for $7,500 during the pre-race ceremonies at the Indy Japan 300 at Twin Ring Motegi on April 17th. His performance also marked the fourth time in two years Kanaan has won the Marlboro Lap Leader Award, bringing his total earnings to $30,000.

In addition, Julie Sterling of ABC Sports was last week's winner of the Marlboro Lap Leader Award Media Contest. During each IRL event, journalists have the opportunity to enter an on-site contest to predict who will lead the most laps, and how many that driver will lead, in a given race. Sterling, who guessed that Kanaan would lead 125 of the scheduled 200 laps in the race, won a MOMO Design Essenziale Watch.


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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Tony Kanaan , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Team Penske , Team Penske