TEAM PENSKE AT MID-OHIO
This weekend, Team Penske heads to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with the rest of the stars of the IndyCar Series as they prepare for Sunday’s Honda Indy 200. The July 20 race will be telecast live on ABC television at 1:30 p.m. (EDT) and will air live on the IMS Radio Network.
The Team will be looking to carry the momentum of its past success at the 2.258-mile permanent road course into Sunday’s event as it looks for its seventh win in Lexington, OH.
In two of the last three times Team Penske has competed at Mid-Ohio, they not only earned 1-2 finishes, but also swept the front row. In 2000 and 2001, Gil de Ferran started from the pole and finished second; while teammate Castroneves started second and won the event each time. In addition, Castroneves led the most laps in the race in 2001 and 2002, as well as last season when the IndyCar Series made its debut at the permanent road course.
“In my opinion, Mid-Ohio is one of the best road courses in this country,” said Castroneves. “I enjoyed racing and winning two races there early in my career, so I was really excited when it was added to the Series schedule last season. Not only did the race produce some great action, I was also amazed at the fan support. It seemed that on race day every seat was filled and all of the viewing mounds were blanketed with spectators. Last year’s race was especially memorable for me because I tied the Series record for poles in a season with six. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to hold the position throughout the race but we did manage a podium finish when I finished third.”
Furthermore, Team Penske teammate Ryan Briscoe nearly scored his first Mid-Ohio win in 2007 while competing in the American LeMans Series. He and teammate Sascha Maassen started and finished second overall.
“This will be my first trip to Mid-Ohio in an IndyCar, but I gained some experience running at the track in 2007 in the American LeMans Series,” explains Briscoe. “It’s a great circuit, so I’m looking forward to returning this year. It seems that Penske Racing has always been strong at Mid-Ohio regardless of what series they’re competing in. Last year, the ALMS Team qualified and finished 1-2 overall and Helio won the pole for the IndyCar race, so hopefully we’ll be able to bring the same level of competitiveness to the track again in 2008.”
2008 INDYCAR SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP POINT STANDINGS
Position Driver Points
1. Scott Dixon 420
2. Helio Castroneves 357
3. Dan Wheldon 351
4. Tony Kanaan 339
5. Danica Patrick 266
6. Hideki Mutoh 254
7. Marco Andretti 253
8. Ryan Briscoe 243
9. Ryan Hunter-Reay 232
10. Ed Carpenter 222