Team Penske drivers on upcoming 97th Indianapolis 500

Team Penske drivers on upcoming 97th Indianapolis 500
May 25, 2013, 10:43 AM

AJ Allmendinger in fifth-place, Helio Castroneves ninth and Will Power sixth

AJ Allmendinger

A.J. Allmendinger, Team Penske Chevrolet
A.J. Allmendinger, Team Penske Chevrolet

Photo by: XPB Images

Not your average rookie: Allmendinger will compete in his first oval as a Team Penske driver after competing in two of the four temporary street/road course races of 2013. Allmendinger emerged as Team Penske’s top qualifier for the Indy 500 as he will line up fifth on Sunday.

Back on the brikyard: Sunday’s race will not be the first time Allmendinger has raced at Brickyard as he competed in four NASCAR Sprint Cup races there from 2008-2011, including a top-10 finish in 2008 in which he led four laps.

First time's charm?: Allmendinger hopes to become the first driver since teammate Helio Castroneves in 2001 to win his first start with Team Penske in the Indianapolis 500.

On how he feels after qualidying best among Team Penske
“I feel very confident about our fifth-place starting position after the week we had leading up to qualifying. I know the IZOD crew are going to give me a fast car and it really is an honor to lead Team Penske into Turn 1. I am going to do my best to focus on the moment when we start and it is a great feeling to know I will have my teammates around me.” – AJ Allmendinger

Thoughts on finally competing in the Indy 500
“This race is something that every driver wants to compete in. I wasn’t sure I would ever get the chance to race here (in the Indy 500) and especially to be in a Team Penske car while doing it is an ultimate dream come true. I am so thankful of the opportunity that IZOD and Team Penske gave me and look forward to giving them the best race I can.” – AJ Allmendinger

Helio Castroneves

Helio Castroneves, Team Penske Chevrolet
Helio Castroneves, Team Penske Chevrolet

Photo by: Michael C. Johnson

Three's company: Castroneves has been joined by Dario Franchitti as the only active three-time Indy 500 champions, marking the first time since 1987 that two drivers will be competing for their fourth win in the same race.

Steady speed: After qualifying eighth for the 2013 Indy 500, Castroneves has now qualified inside the “Fast Nine” in 10 of his last 11 attempts at Indianapolis.

Still in the hunt: After fighting through a day of adversity in Sao Paulo to finish 13th, Castroneves enters the Indy 500 positioned third in the IZOD IndyCar Series standings.

Seeing red: Shell V-Power Pennzoil Ultra will make its 2013 debut as the primary sponsor of the No. 3 Team Penske Chevrolet at Indy marking the first time the red and yellow livery has been used since Belle Isle in 2012.

His thoughts on starting in the third row
“We know that it is a long race and you can’t win it in the first turn. I know that the car is fast so my job in the first half of the race is to make sure I put myself in good position for the second half. You can’t be too aggressive too early. We always say you can’t finish first without first finishing.” – Helio Castroneves

On what his fourth Indy 500 win would mean
“It is hard to even imagine what it would feel like to win the Indy 500 for a fourth time. I dream about it all the time but it’s impossible to know what my emotions would be if it actually happened. The four win club, and especially Rick Mears for me, is a group of legends. To be the first foreign-born driver to do it as well would make it extra special, if that’s even possible. ” – Helio Castroneves

Will Power

Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet
Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet

Photo by: Michael C. Johnson

Five for three: Power qualified fifth for the third consecutive year at the Indy 500 and he has now placed in the Fast Nine in each of his five attempts with Team Penske.

Ready for success: After recording a top-five and top-10 result in his first two races with Team Penske at the Indy 500, Power will look to return to the front of the pack after a tough 2012 race which saw his promising day cut short after making contact with a car bouncing off the wall.

Not an accurate reflection: Power, who enters the race a career low 18th in the championship standings after retiring early at Sao Paulo, has raced better than his point total reflects. He is tied for the series lead after leading laps in three different races and is fourth in overall laps led in 2013. In addition, Power needs to lead only five laps to surpass 1,700 for his career.

His thoughts on the current competition level
“The last week of practice has shown how elite the driving is in this series and you could easy make an argument for 20 cars that could win the race. It is going to come down to finding those last few tenths of a second, which is extremely difficult, and then executing a nearly flawless race.” – Will Power

How he is preparing for the Indy 500
“It takes so much to get it right here that you have to be really focused on what you want to accomplish. We tested multiple strategies during the week of practice but ultimately it comes down to trusting what you do best. I do know that we are going to be aggressive and give it everything we have to win the race.” – Will Power

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About this article

Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Dario Franchitti , Rick Mears , A.J. Allmendinger , Will Power
Teams Team Penske
Article type Preview