Team Orders Are Filed In Penske’s Waste Basket
Team owner Roger Penske says it is every driver for himself in pursuit of the IndyCar championship tonight. (Photos courtesy of the Verizon IndyCar Series)
By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
Barring on-track contact between the two – and that’s entirely possible – Saturday night’s season-ending MAVTV 500 figures to be a free-for-all between Team Penske’s Will Power and Helio Castroneves.
“We’re not big on ‘team orders,’ ” Roger Penske said Friday at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. “Obviously we’ll see what’s out there (during the race), but at the present time (it’s) each guy for himself.”
Championship runnerup Castroneves gave his team a huge boost Friday by qualifying on-pole for the Verizon IndyCar Series event around the 2-mile/D-shaped ACS oval. The last of 22 qualifiers, Castroneves recorded a two-lap average of 218.540 mph in the No. 3 AAA Southern California Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet as track temperature reached a blistering 134 degrees.
Castroneves bagged one bonus point for the 41st pole of his career and now trails Power by 50 points entering the 250-lap finale. As the final leg of the Triple Crown series, Saturday night’s race will pay double points, and Castroneves – a three-time Indianapolis 500 winner – will need every one in order to claim his first series championship. Power will clinch his first series title with a finish of sixth or better regardless of where Castroneves finishes.
“It ain’t over; it’s just beginning,” said Castroneves, who earned his third pole of the season and third since 2003 at ACS. Fittingly, the pole broke a tie with four-time Indy 500 champion Rick Mears, now a consultant for Team Read the full story »