Ryan Briscoe


Riding Wave of Momentum, Team Penske Returns to Milwaukee June 16, 2011

INDYCAR Firestone Twin 275’s


Drivers: Helio Castroneves (No. 3 Guidepoint Systems Team Penske), Ryan Briscoe (No. 6 Transitions Adaptive Lenses Team Penske) and Will Power (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske)

Event: Milwaukee 225
Milwaukee Mile
West Allis, Wis.
(one-mile oval)

When: Qualifying – Saturday, June 18 at 5:45 p.m. ET
Race (225 laps) – Sunday, June 19 at 3:30 p.m. ET (Live on ABC-TV)

TV/Radio: ABC-TV/IMS Radio Network and Sirius XM Channel 94

In Style at The Mile: Team Penske has tremendous history and tradition competing at the Milwaukee Mile. In 79 previous open-wheel racing starts at Milwaukee dating back to 1972, the team has recorded seven wins, 11 pole positions and 45 top-five finishes. In the last five IZOD IndyCar Series races run at the Mile, Team Penske has posted two wins and four pole positions.

Mears Was Magnificent at Milwaukee: Current Team Penske advisor and four-time Indy 500 winner Rick Mears posted the team’s first victory at the Milwaukee Mile when he took the checkered flag 33 years ago on June 18, 1978. Mears, who will also serve as a spotter for Helio Castroneves this weekend, earned a total of three wins and five poles at Milwaukee in his career.

Cheesehead at Heart: Ryan Briscoe has an interesting history at Milwaukee as well. The native of Sydney, Australia considers Milwaukee his “home” track as his wife, Nicole, host of ESPN’s NASCAR Now program, and her family hail from nearby Roscoe, Illinois. Briscoe, who has grown into a die-hard Green Bay Packer fan over the last several years, posted his first victory for Team Penske in 2008 at Milwaukee as that race also represented the 300th all-time win for Penske Racing. In the last IndyCar Series race run at the Mile, Briscoe won the pole, led 154 laps and finished second in the race in 2009.

Lucky 11 for Helio?: In 10 previous career starts at Milwaukee, Castroneves has earned three pole positions and two top-five finishes while leading 200 laps of competition. The three-time Indianapolis 500 champion, who earned his first Indy car pole at Milwaukee in 1999, will be looking for his first victory in his 11th start at the historic one-mile oval this weekend.

Power-ful Momentum: Current IZOD IndyCar Series point leader Will Power arrives in Milwaukee on a roll. Power has won three out of the first seven races on the series calendar and he scored his first career win on an oval track last Saturday night in Texas. Power also has won four pole positions this season and has finished in the top three in five of the first seven events. Power has two previous career starts at Milwaukee – he started fifth and finished 11th in 2006 in the CART Series and he qualified fourth and finished 14th for KV Racing Technology in 2008. Power clocked the fastest time at the series test at Milwaukee two weeks ago.

Texas Tidal Wave: Team Penske enters Milwaukee riding a wave of success from its performance last weekend in the Firestone Twin 275s at Texas Motor Speedway. Highlighted by Power’s victory, the team recorded six top-10 and four top-five finishes overall on the evening. Power finished third in the opening race before winning the nightcap while Briscoe came home sixth in the first race and third in the second. Castroneves took the checkered flag for the first race in 10th place and he earned his best finish of the year in fourth place to close out the night.

Head of the Class: With wins at Barber Motorsports Park, Sao Paulo, Brazil and Texas in the No. 12 Verizon car, Power continues to lead the IZOD IndyCar Series standings for Team Penske. Power currently holds a 239-218 point edge over Dario Franchitti in the chase for the series crown. Power is also ranked second in the series oval standings, trailing only Scott Dixon. Briscoe enters this weekend ranked sixth overall in points while Castroneves is 14th in the standings.

Penske’s Premiere 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, Guidepoint Systems will compete as a sponsor of the No. 3 car driven by Castroneves this weekend. Transitions Adaptive Lenses will serve as the primary sponsor of the No. 6 car driven by Briscoe at Milwaukee. Team Penske also welcomes Shell-Pennzoil, IZOD, PPG, AAA Insurance and Penske Truck Rental as primary sponsors in 2011 along with new associate sponsors Meijer, Coca-Cola and Comfort Revolution.

Visit Us at Verizon: Power will appear at the Verizon store located at 1200 W. Sunset Dr., Suite 106 in Waukesha, Wis. on Friday night, June 17, from 7-8 p.m. CT. The IZOD IndyCar Series point leader will meet with fans and sign autographs at the store.


Helio Castroneves: “We are super excited to go back to the place where I earned my first-ever Indy car pole this weekend in the No. 3 Guidepoint Systems car. Team Penske has been very competitive at the Milwaukee Mile in the past, so I am certainly going there feeling very good. It is great that the IZOD IndyCar Series is returning to Milwaukee as it has such a long history in open-wheel racing and I can’t wait to see all the great Milwaukee fans again.”

Ryan Briscoe: “I’m excited to be returning to Milwaukee, a track which always makes for great racing. It’s a challenging track and I love the high g-forces we feel around there. It is also the site of my first-ever IndyCar win, which makes it very special to me. We tested very well there just a couple of weeks ago and the No. 6 Transitions Team Penske crew is ready for another strong performance in Sunday’s race.”

Will Power: “This is going to be yet another very competitive and difficult race. There are going to be a lot of cars out there and it is going to be very busy on the short oval. Milwaukee is one of my favorite oval tracks. The Verizon car tested great there just a couple weeks ago and coming off our first oval win, we are looking to continue building momentum. It should be a very entertaining race for the fans.”


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Team Penske Back to Defend Title at Sao Paulo



Drivers: Helio Castroneves (No. 3 Itaipava Team Penske), Ryan Briscoe (No. 6 Penske Logistics) and Will Power (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske)

Event: Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle

Streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil

(2.6-mile temporary street circuit)

When: Qualifying – Saturday, April 30 at 2:00 p.m. ET (Aired at 6:00 p.m. ET on Versus)

Race (75 laps) – Sunday, May 1 at 12:00 p.m. ET (Live on Versus)

TV/Radio: Versus-TV/IMS Radio Network and XM Channel 145 and Sirius Channel 211

Back in Brazil: Team Penske returns as the defending champions at Sao Paulo after Will Power drove the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Honda to victory in last year’s inaugural IZOD IndyCar Series event in the city. In a wild race on the wide-open street circuit, Power passed Ryan Hunter-Reay for the lead with four laps remaining and captured the win in the series’ season-opening race of 2010.

Scenes from Sao Paulo: In addition to Power’s victory, Sao Paulo native Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe also had interesting races last season in Brazil. All three drivers were involved in a multi-car accident at the start of the race and each dropped back in the field before making their way back up front. Starting eighth, Briscoe actually led four laps and looked to be on his way to victory late in the race before he made contact with the tire barrier. He returned to action and did finish the race in the 14th position. Castroneves, competing in front of his hometown fans, had to pit early for repairs and got caught out by a short rain delay before rallying to finish ninth.

After Three Rounds: Entering this weekend’s race, Team Penske is ranked second, eighth and 14th in the IZOD IndyCar Series standings. Power, who won Round 2 in Alabama, trails series leader Dario Franchitti by just seven points in the championship rankings, while Briscoe is eighth after a strong runner-up effort in Long Beach. Castroneves fell to 14th in points after a tough result in Long Beach that saw his car make contact with Power’s machine late in the race when both drivers were running inside the top-five.

Partnership Pride: Team Penske is proud to welcome several new sponsors to its family in 2011. Joining Power’s No. 12 car team full-season primary sponsor, Verizon, in the Team Penske stable this season, Brazilian partner Itaipava joins the team for Sao Paulo and will compete as the primary sponsor of the No. 3 car driven by Castroneves this weekend. Penske Logistics will serve as the primary sponsor of the No. 6 car driven by Briscoe at Sao Paulo. Team Penske also welcomes Shell-Pennzoil, IZOD, Guidepoint Systems, PPG and Penske Truck Rental as primary sponsors in 2011 along with new associate sponsors Meijer, Coca-Cola and Comfort Revolution.

Chasing 200: If Team Penske wins the pole Saturday in qualifying at Sao Paulo, it will mark the 200th all-time Indy car pole position for the most successful team in the history of North American open-wheel racing.

Remarkable Road Record: Team Penske excels at street course circuits. Castroneves, Briscoe and Power have all earned temporary road course victories over the last three seasons and the team overall has produced 22 poles and 12 wins at road/street course venues since 2007. This weekend’s race marks the fourth consecutive event held at a street or road course to start the 2011 season. The next race – the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 – begins a stretch of five consecutive oval races on the series schedule.

Power’s Pole Prowess: Power will be looking to capture his fourth consecutive pole position to start the season during Saturday’s qualifying session at Sao Paulo. Power qualified fifth last year at Sao Paulo to earn his worst starting spot on a road or street course in 2010. Power’s three consecutive poles are the most by a Team Penske driver to start the season. Mario Andretti won six consecutive poles to begin the 1966 USAC season while Bobby Unser earned six straight to start the 1972 USAC campaign.

Legacy of Success: Team Penske continues to set the standard of success in open-wheel racing. Throughout its storied history, the team has posted 154 race wins, 12 National Championships and 199 pole positions. In addition, Penske Racing has won the Indianapolis 500-mile race 15 times. Across all of its disciplines, Penske Racing teams have produced 333 major race wins, 398 pole positions and 23 National Championships.



Helio Castroneves: “Racing in Brazil is always special for me and this weekend I am hoping for a great result for Team Penske. Being able to race in my home country in front of all the passionate Brazilian fans is certainly something very special to me. I look forward to seeing friends and family while I am down there and I feel really good going into this race, as our No. 3 Itaipava Team Penske car looks like a winner to me.”

Ryan Briscoe: “I’m looking forward to Round 4 of the IZOD IndyCar Series in Brazil. I think that this track can provide some of the most exciting racing with its long straights and heavy braking zones, which is great. The No. 6 Penske Logistics car has been really fast this season and I feel good going into this event. My main goal is to carry our momentum from Long Beach as we try to make up points in the championship race.”

Will Power: “I think this has the potential to be kind of a crazy weekend. It tends to rain a bit in Brazil, so track time may factor into the equation. I’m excited to race in Sao Paulo. The circuit has plenty of places to pass so if you have a fast car you will be able to get to the front. Our Verizon Team Penske car has been fast all year long and I am going to do my best to qualify well and hopefully get a good result.”


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Briscoe’s Runner-Up Finish Leads Team Penske at Long Beach


LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 17, 2011) – Ryan Briscoe led Team Penske on his own personal charge back into the IZOD IndyCar Series championship race Sunday with a runner-up finish in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Briscoe brought the No. 6 Penske Truck Rental Dallara/Honda home in second place behind winner Mike Conway, as he helped wash away the memories of two disappointing results to start the 2011 season.

“This feels so good,” said Briscoe, who entered the race weekend ranked 23rd in the series standings and wound up seventh in the championship after the runner-up result. “For a while I thought we were going to get the win today, but Conway was lightning fast. I really had nothing for him at the end. It’s an amazing day and an exciting weekend.”

While Briscoe celebrated his best result of the young season, his teammates recovered from an unfortunate accident. Will Power and Helio Castroneves collided on a restart late in the race, after both drivers spent most of the afternoon running inside the top-five. Power, who won his third consecutive pole to start the season on Saturday, fell back in the field after suffering contact from Castroneves on a lap 66 double-file restart. Power rallied in the closing laps to finish 10th. Though he fell to second in the championship, Power only trails Dario Franchitti by seven points in the early race for the IZOD IndyCar Series crown.

“The Verizon car was strong today,” said Power, who led 29 laps in the race. “It’s definitely not the finish we wanted. I’m not really sure what happened on the restart. I got hit from behind by Helio (Castroneves) but sometimes that’s what happens in racing – especially close racing like this with the double-file restarts. We drove back to finish 10th and made the most of it. It wasn’t a great day for points, but Verizon Team Penske will keep working hard and move forward.”

Castroneves finished 12th in the No. 3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske machine after recovering from the dustup in Turn 1. With Sunday’s result, Castroneves fell to 12th in the point standings.

“First of all, the Auto Club Team Penske crew did a great job today,” said Castroneves. “To be running inside the top-five for most of the race was just amazing. As far as the restart, I’m really not sure what to say. I feel terrible for Will (Power). I wasn’t even trying to pass, but we just made contact. Will is my teammate, and of course you just can’t take each other out. It’s just very unfortunate and I have to say I’m sorry to the team. Good job to Ryan, he deserved at least a second-place finish today. And congratulations to (Mike) Conway on the win.”

Briscoe, who was involved in accidents that weren’t his fault in the first two races of the season, was fastest in practice at Long Beach in Friday and Saturday, but struggled in qualifying and started 12th in Sunday’s race. He took the lead after his race strategist, Roger Penske, brought him to the pits before a full-course caution slowed the field.
“Another great call by Roger Penske,” said Briscoe, who led a race-high 35 laps on Sunday. “It just felt good to get out and lead some laps and be back in contention today. We got a good result and are back on the podium. It’s a huge confidence boost for myself and all of the crew guys.”

The IZOD IndyCar Series resumes May 1 with the Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The event represents the last of four consecutive road/street course races to start the season before activities begin surrounding the 100th anniversary Indianapolis 500 in May.

[Source: PenskeRacing]

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Power Claims Second in IZOD IndyCar Series Opener


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (March 27, 2011) – Verizon Team Penske’s Will Power battled back from a difficult start, that also affected his teammates, to finish second Sunday in the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg – the 2011 season opener for the IZOD IndyCar Series.

The defending champion at the 1.8-mile St. Petersburg street circuit, Power started from the pole position but was shuffled back during a mishap on an early restart during the 100-lap race. He fell back to seventh place but battled back to finish second behind Dario Franchitti.

Meanwhile, Team Penske teammates Ryan Briscoe and Helio Castroneves also saw their cars damaged due to contact at the start of the race, but after making repairs, both drivers returned to action and finished in 18th and 20th place, respectively.

Power’s effort was a solid start to the 2011 season for the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Honda team, which finished a close second to Franchitti in last season’s championship standings. “I’m just glad to get good points in the first race,” said Power, who won the pole Saturday and produced a victory from the pole last season at St. Pete. After his car was hit from behind early in the race, Power fell back in the field but he recovered to post his ninth podium result in his last 10 road or street course races.

“It was a very interesting start today,” added Power, the series’ defending Mario Andretti Road Course champion. “Dario Franchitti got me fair and square at the beginning. When we had all of the restarts after caution periods, we got hit hard and (the car) went into neutral. We dropped to seventh position but were able to get back up to second again. I was in survival mode after getting hit. I struggled a lot on the black (Firestone tires) today and I was trying to hold (Tony) Kanaan off as he was hounding on me from behind.  It was a good start to the season for Verizon Team Penske.”

Team Penske’s other two entries battled hard to recover from early damage suffered in a first-lap incident that claimed several cars. Briscoe’s No. 6 IZOD Team Penske Dallara/Honda suffered suspension damage and lost a portion of its front wing early in the race, and the resulting repairs left Briscoe five laps down to the race leaders. He made up several spots on track before taking the checkered flag in 18th place.

“It was a frustrating day today for the IZOD Team Penske team,” said Briscoe. “It’s a shame because we had one of the quickest cars on the track. The guys made some adjustments to the car last night, and it paid off because we were fastest in the morning warm-up session. Overall, it’s a shame because IZOD has come on board this year, and I wish we could’ve had a better result for them today. It’s not the finish we wanted today but we’ll come back ready to win some races.”

Castroneves’ No. 3 Guidepoint Systems Team Penske Dallara/Honda was also involved in the melee in the first turn. The team was forced to the garage area to repair the front left suspension before Castroneves returned to the track 15 laps behind. The three-time Indianapolis 500 champion also fought back to salvage a top-20 result.

“Our Guidepoint Systems car was fast today after the first-lap incident – you could see it in our lap times,” Castroneves said.”The guys did an incredible job putting the car back together after the left front suspension damage. The Team Penske guys were amazing. As far as the incident, I’ll have to look and see what happened, but it seems like I locked up the rear on the car. It’s very disappointing, but we never gave up and we know we’ll have better results next race.”

The IZOD IndyCar Series resumes April 9 at Barber Motorsports Park near Birmingham, Ala. Team Penske returns as defending champion of the race as Castroneves won in the inaugural event at the challenging road course in 2010.


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Helio Castroneves raring to go


Editor’s note: This is the first installment by three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves, who’ll be writing periodically for throughout the 2011 Izod IndyCar Series season (as told to motorsports writer John Oreovicz).

Hello, everyone, and thanks for stopping by to read my first column for I’m excited to share my thoughts about the 2011 Izod IndyCar Series, and everyone at Team Penske is very optimistic about what we can accomplish this year.

Hopefully there will be a lot of victories and other good stuff to talk about! It’s been a long offseason — it’s been basically five months since I was in an Indy car.

That’s one of the toughest things for us, but it is what it is. That’s the nature of our sport at the moment as IndyCar tries to control costs by restricting testing. But I believe that will change for 2012, when the series introduces a new chassis and engine package.

The good news is that we’ve had basically the same car since 2003, so it wasn’t too difficult to get comfortable behind the wheel again after the long break. It’s just a matter of adapting to the weather and getting your timing back. For example, imagine if you played tennis for a hobby and you went six months without playing. When you first come back, you feel the ball is coming at you a bit too fast, and you lose a bit of your timing to hit the ball.

But after a bit of practice, you end up getting back your rhythm. That’s very similar to driving a race car. Initially, approaching the corners can be a bit tough, but after half a day, you’re back in the groove again. Your muscles are a bit sore, especially in the neck and the shoulders, because even if you do a lot of exercise and training, you’re still using different muscles when you drive the race car. That’s something most people don’t realize.

But the long offseason has been cool for me because I spent a lot of time with my family. My little girl is 14 months old now, and it’s awesome to see her grow. Those things are priceless, and I’m very glad to have those memories. It’s wonderful the way children teach us to have patience about things that maybe we weren’t patient about before. Being a parent changes your priorities — the kids come first, and you become the second option!

At Team Penske, we have a lot of good news to share entering the 2011 season. The team had sponsorship from Philip Morris for more than 20 years, and I was so honored to be a part of that family. I am very fortunate to say that I drove with the red and white colors. Unfortunately, there is an end to everything, and that era of one of the sport’s most iconic sponsorships is over.

But with that comes new opportunities for new companies to become a part of Team Penske and be associated with Roger Penske’s great history in racing. Now we have several new partners: Shell/Pennzoil, GuidePoint Systems, AAA/Auto Club of Southern California, Izod and PPG will all be primary sponsors on the Team Penske cars this season, to go along with Verizon, and we also have new associate sponsors like Meijer stores and Coca-Cola. We have so many new partners that I have to practice remembering them all, and I’ve been doing a lot of training to understand their products, which has been quite an amazing experience.

I’m very fortunate to be entering my 12th year with Team Penske, because not every driver is able to maintain such a long and productive partnership. It’s tough for several reasons when you see drivers like Tony Kanaan and Dan Wheldon struggling to find a ride. First, Tony, especially, is a good friend. Second, you never want to see anybody in that position, including yourself. Third, they are very talented drivers who should be able to find good rides and continue in the series. It just shows that we are still feeling the effects of the tough economic climate, but we still have one of the most talented fields we’ve ever had in the IndyCar Series.

I believe that the teams and the league need to continue working together to build up the IndyCar brand. We’ve definitely seen some growth, but the TV ratings still need to improve. We have a good television package, but compared to other series — especially NASCAR — there is a lot of work to be done to improve the ratings. IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard has been doing some terrific things to increase exposure, like the $5 million bonus if a driver from outside IndyCar wins the season finale at Las Vegas. They have adjusted the rules to make the racing more exciting for the fans, and we’re doing everything in our power to increase the interest.

Overall, I’m really excited to start another season with Team Penske. I’m pumped, because I think our three-car Team with Ryan Briscoe and Will Power as my teammates is going to be stronger than ever. Will has brought a lot to the team, and that has been very good for me. It made me change my style of racing a little bit; he taught me to be more aggressive and try some different lines through corners that I maybe wouldn’t have thought of or didn’t expect would work. I thought we had a very positive atmosphere last year, and we want to have all three Team Penske drivers fighting for race wins and the championship again.

Certainly the goal this year is for the team to win as many races as possible, naturally including the Indianapolis 500. If we can do that — especially on the 100th anniversary of the first Indy 500 — that would be a dream come true. They say records are made to be broken, and I really hope to emulate my hero, Rick Mears, with a fourth Indianapolis 500 win. If it happens, we can celebrate on the radio, because Rick is my spotter, and I know he will be cheering for me. I remember when I won my first Indy car race in 2000, Bobby Rahal told me, “Welcome to the club.” So hopefully Rick will have the chance to welcome me to the four-time Indy winners club.

[Source: ESPN]

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