News & Multimedia

Castroneves Gears Up For Houston Doubleheader

Understandably, Helio Castroneves is pleased that organizers of the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston presented by the Greater Houston Honda Dealers have corrected a bump/dip in Turn 1 of the temporary circuit.

The veteran Team Penske driver could point to that location on the 1.683-mile layout as impinging his 2013 Verizon IndyCar Series championship aspirations during the doubleheader event weekend in October.

“I’m very pleased that they made some changes,” said Castroneves, who enters the June 28-29 event at Reliant Park second in the standings. “We didn’t finish last year because of an issue that was outside of our control. Hopefully we’ll continue what we’re doing and continuing on to the championship.”

Shifting issues brought about, according to Castroneves, by the car bottoming out in both races impacted his results. In the opening 90-lap race, he entered the pits on Lap 24. The crew made speedy repairs and got him back on the track in seven minutes. Re-entering the race nine laps down and in 20th place, Castroneves finished 18th.

"It's tough, but it's something that's out of our control. I tried to earn as many points as I could and really just focus on making the car better (for the second race).”

The next day, Castroneves detected a vibration with every gear shift after only a handful of laps. The car came to a stop on the course and was towed to the Team Penske prep area, where the crew again replaced the gearbox and sent him back out 36 laps down. He placed 23rd, earning the minimum eight points.

“It’s frustrating and disappointing,” said Castroneves, who saw a 74-point swing to Scott Dixon’s favor entering the season finale at Auto Club Speedway two weeks later.

Two weeks ago, Will Power was joined by Takuma Sato and Mikhail Aleshin to ceremonially place the final concrete barriers of the course. Each said the course in an expansive parking lot of the Reliant Stadium/Astrodome complex “is challenging.”

"We surveyed the area in February and established the perimeter of where the bumps were and totally demolished that part of the track and repaved with new concrete," director of operations Martyn Thake said. "We had some smaller bumps between Turns 9 and 10 and we ground those down about an inch to 1½ inches. We also ground a couple of small places here and there and did spot repairs, including in pit lane.

"We had some areas that had some surface break up and we fixed those as well. We have an advantage with these temporary courses in that we can make improvements and do retro fits every time we build it."

Two 45-minute practice sessions (10 a.m. and 2 p.m. local) are scheduled for June 27. The three rounds of qualifications for Race 1 are at 10 a.m. June 28, with the 90-lap race at 2 p.m. (NBCSN). Qualifications for Race 2 are at 10 a.m. June 29, followed by the race at 2 p.m. (NBCSN).
 

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Castroneves Gears Up For Houston Doubleheader
 
Castroneves Gears Up For Houston Doubleheader
Understandably, Helio Castroneves is pleased that organizers of the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston presented by the Greater Houston Honda Dealers have corrected a bump/dip in Turn 1 of the temporary circuit.
Read More
Related Media
Luca Filippi
 
Filippi Joins CFH Racing For Road/Street Courses
Luca Filippi, who has made eight Verizon IndyCar Series starts over the past two seasons, will drive the No. 20 Fuzzy's Award Winning Vodka car in Verizon IndyCar Series road/street course events this season, the team announced.
Read More
2015 Rolex 24 Victory Podium
 
INDYCAR Drivers Continue 24-Hour Race Wins Streak
Victory in the 53rd Rolex 24 at Daytona will be quite the preseason confidence boost to Kanaan and teammate Scott Dixon, who co-drove the No. 02 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates car with Kyle Larson and Jamie McMurray.
Read More
Indy Lights Open Test
 
Indy Lights Drivers Impressed After Initial Test With New Car
Eight drivers representing five teams took part in the two-day test at the 2.034-mile Palm Beach International Raceway in Jupiter, Fla., and all were ecstatic about the pace, consistency and reliability of the car, which will make its race debut on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., on March 28-29.
Read More
Sarah Fisher
 
Sarah Fisher To Compete in 2015 Chili Bowl
Sarah Fisher will return to the driver's seat next weekend to compete in the 29th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire in Tulsa, Okla. The woman voted most popular driver four times in two different series will campaign the No. 67RW for RW Motorsports, owned by Steve Weirich and Mario Rotondo. Hartman Oil will be the presenting sponsor on the midget.
Read More
IndyCar New Year's Eve Drop
 
Ed Carpenter Helps Count Down New Year’s Eve Indy Car Drop
In true Indy fashion, an actual Indy car presented by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Verizon IndyCar Series was suspended high above the Georgia Street stage and descended for the final seconds of 2014
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 203
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at lwyman@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
RT @jdouglas4: The @IMS Northwest Visit looks particularly inviting today! Blue sky & sun! Too bad it's not May! http://t.co/TA8CigwVPd
about 14 hours ago