Indy – Team Penske Toronto Preview

July 7, 2011


Talkin’ Toronto: Team Penske has a solid history competing at Toronto. In18 previous open-wheel races held at Exhibition Place, the team has produced two wins, five pole positions and 10 podium (top three) finishes. Team Penske’s first victory at the circuit came in 1993 with hometown driver Paul Tracy behind the wheel. Last season, Will Power gave the team its second Toronto win as he captured the checkered flag at Exhibition Place. Team Penske has occupied all three podium positions since the IZOD IndyCar Series returned to the streets of Toronto as Ryan Briscoe and Power finished second and third, respectively, in 2009.

Hit the Road: After five consecutive oval races, the IZOD IndyCar Series returns to road and street courses this weekend as Toronto begins a stretch of three straight road course events. Team Penske welcomes the road return as it has recorded 10 series victories on road courses or street circuits since 2009.

Will’s Kind of Town: Power has proven to be powerful at Toronto. The defending series’ Mario Andretti Road Course champion has two victories and four top-10 finishes in his four previous starts at Exhibition Place. In addition to his impressive win last year, Power won the 2007 Champ Car World Series race in Toronto.

Power the Pursuer: Power enters this weekend ranked second in the IZOD IndyCar Series championship standings, 20 points behind Dario Franchitti, following his first DNF (Did Not Finish) of the season with an accident in Iowa. Power is tied with Franchitti for the series lead in wins (three), he tops the circuit in poles won (four) and he also leads the road course standings. He’s won two out of the first four road course events on the schedule this year (Sao Paulo and Barber) and he’s won the pole at all four road course venues this season.

TO Troubles: Castroneves, surprisingly, has struggled to produce solid finishes at Toronto. In his six career starts at the venue he has failed to finish the race five times, including last season when an accident took him out of contention just 21 laps into the race. Castroneves won the pole at Toronto in 2000, has led 27 laps of competition at the circuit and won the 1997 Indy Lights race at Toronto, but his best result in the feature race came in his 1998 rookie CART season when he finished 10th for Bettenhausen Motorsports.

Ryan’s Replays: Briscoe has raced just twice at Toronto, but he does have a podium finish at the venue. After starting 11th at Exhibition Place, he earned a second-place result in 2009 for Team Penske. It marked one of his series-leading eight second-place results as he finished third in the championship battle that season. Last year, Briscoe started seventh but an accident with Graham Rahal led to an 18th-place finish at Toronto.

Streak Stopper: Exhibition Place is the venue that brought an end to Team Penske’s amazing pole parade last season. The team produced a series record streak of eight straight poles won in IZOD IndyCar Series competition entering Toronto last year. The run included poles won by all three drivers (Power-5, Briscoe-2, Castroneves-1) and poles at all types of tracks (road courses, street circuits, short oval, 1.5-mile oval and superspeedway). Eight in a row tied the open-wheel racing record for consecutive poles but it was snapped when Justin Wilson edged Power for the pole on the Toronto street circuit. Team Penske went on to earn 13 poles out of 17 races in 2010.

Pole Pride: Power will be looking for his eighth consecutive pole on a road or street course dating back to last season when he lines up for qualifying on Saturday afternoon. He won poles at the last three road course races in 2010 and he started off this season by leading qualifying in the first four events, all held on road or street courses. Toronto is the last road race where Power fell short of winning the pole in the IZOD IndyCar Series.

Winning Ways: All three Team Penske drivers have proven to be remarkably consistent winners in IndyCar Series competition with the team. Castroneves has won a race every 7.8 starts over his 12 seasons with Team Penske while Briscoe has earned a victory every 10 starts during his time with the team. Power has the best average of them all as he has produced a win every 3.5 starts since joining Team Penske in 2009.

Proud Partners: Team Penske is proud to welcome several new sponsors to its family in 2011. Joining Power’s No. 12 car team primary sponsor, Verizon, in the Team Penske stable this season, Penske Truck Rental will compete as a sponsor of the No. 3 car driven by Castroneves this weekend. PPG Automotive Refinish will serve as the primary sponsor of the No. 6 car driven by Briscoe at Toronto. Team Penske also welcomes Shell-Pennzoil, IZOD, Guidepoint Systems, AAA Insurance and Transitions Adaptive Lenses as primary sponsors in 2011 along with new associate sponsors Meijer, Coca-Cola and Comfort Revolution.

Meet the Boys at The Bay: Castroneves, Briscoe and Power will all appear on behalf of series and team sponsor, IZOD, at The Bay Queen Street in Toronto on Thursday evening, July 7. All three drivers will be available for media interviews at 5:30 p.m. ET and they will sign autographs for fans from 6-7 p.m. ET in the men’s department on the main floor. The Bay is located at 176 Yonge Street in downtown Toronto.


Helio Castroneves: “This is an awesome place – the circuit provides a great racing atmosphere for everyone. I am excited to be in the Penske Truck Rental car this weekend – yellow is a good color for me! The track here in Toronto is challenging and the race will be about keeping out of harm’s way. Toronto is certainly a great place for us to continue building our momentum and, even though I haven’t had great luck here in the past, this is a race where we can certainly have a strong finish.”

Ryan Briscoe: “Toronto is a great city – it really reminds me of my home in Sydney (Australia) and I am always happy to be there. The track is awesome, I love it. I’m really hoping to do well here this weekend. We need to get our first win of the year and this is the perfect place to do just that. It has been awhile since we have raced on a street circuit and I’m looking forward to it. The PPG Automotive Refinish car has been fast at the other street circuits this year so we should be in a great position to contend for the win.”

Will Power: “The street circuit in Toronto is very challenging and this is going to be another very competitive race. The field is so closely matched this season – it’s really difficult to find an advantage. The Verizon car is always good on these types of circuits and I enjoy driving them. The big key here is to stay out of trouble. The restarts will be a challenge for all us without a doubt, but I love these street circuits and I’m ready to go.”

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