News & Multimedia

Helio Castroneves, Ready For St. Pete

Courtesy of Speed.com

Spring training is the time of the year when you are preparing for the season so all the hype, taking pictures, getting new uniforms, seeing fresh paint on the cars — it’s like a big practice before the race weekend. We are really excited because there is so much good news for the IZOD IndyCar Series — a new engine, new car and a lot to be done.

I think Team Penske seems to be working really well together. Our three cars finished with the top three lap times during the first two days of spring training. Myself and my teammates, Ryan (Briscoe) and Will (Power), are collecting all the information during testing so when we go to the first race of the season, in St. Petersburg, we can have the same result. All three of us have already won at this race, so we know we can do it again. It would be great to complete the podium later this month with all three of us Team Penske drivers.

The test went really well for my Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet, which set the fast time, during Team Penske’s portion of the test week. I wish we would have had all the groups together, but for our purposes, I feel we are heading in a good direction. We are still going to do one more test this week in Alabama before the first race of the season. Overall, it was a good session for Team Penske and we’re definitely happy with it.

Last year was a unique season for me and the No. 3 team. Even I don’t understand it. Our performance was a surprise — to not even be in the top 10 of the championship. But the other day, I collected my thoughts as I looked back on 2011 and realized that with a series this tough this can happen. I didn’t finish several of the races and that is why I didn’t end up in the top 10, so that is definitely a wake-up call.

With the new rules, double-file restarts and getting collected in some accidents — as well as making some mistakes myself — it was a snowball effect, and it proved that we had to find a way to snap out of it. There’s nothing like a new car and a new season to start fresh, and that’s where my focus is.

This offseason, I refocused and spoke a lot with my engineers and my team. As a group, with the new cars debuting this season, we were able to really figure out where we need to go. I have always been strongly behind my guys and they know we should be going back up to the top of the standings like we have been in the past.

I’m ready. I’m really, really ready. Plus with all the test sessions we’ve had in the offseason, I have been working a lot more with the engineers instead of just relaxing and working out like I have during past offseasons. I’ve actually been talking and thinking more about racing than I have in the past few years.

For sure, the way last season ended (with the death of driver Dan Wheldon in the season finale) it was difficult, so it’s good for us to keep focused on what we love to do, which is drive race cars. When you have so much time off, especially after what happened in the final race, you start thinking about a lot of things. Some of those things just aren’t productive.

That’s why we’ve chosen to focus on developing the car, and me personally, on driving better. That’s why it’s been so good to be testing and active this offseason. I know it’s been the best medicine for me.

So the drivers are all here and ready to go. Sure, we don’t have Danica (Patrick) with us anymore, but we have Rubens (Barrichello) who is a great and very popular driver with 19 years of experience in Formula One. So I can tell you one thing — 2012 will be an exciting season.

We have one more test this week. After that, I’m heading to Los Angeles to do some promotion for the league. I’m also going to Charlotte to tape a commercial with Verizon. After that, I’ll go straight to St. Pete. It will be a very busy couple of weeks, but, hey, we’re all getting ready for the season and that’s what this time of the year is all about.

I think all three of us drivers have the same goal in mind for Team Penske in 2012. We want to bring the title back to our race shop, and we also want to experience winning again in Indianapolis. We feel like we are ready to race and we’re ready to have some fun.

Basically, “Let’s Go!”
 

 

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Helio Castroneves, Ready For St. Pete
 
Helio Castroneves, Ready For St. Pete
Spring training is the time of the year when you are preparing for the season so all the hype, taking pictures, getting new uniforms, seeing fresh paint on the cars — it’s like a big practice before the race weekend. We are really excited because there is so much good news for the IZOD IndyCar Series — a new engine, new car and a lot to be done.
Read More
Related Media
Governor Eric Holcomb and Takuma Sato
 
Sato Unveiling Ticket for 102nd Indy 500 'An Absolute Honor'
“This is actually the first time I am really seeing it,” said Sato, who won the race for Andretti Autosport but is driving this season for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. “This is genuinely surprising, and a good surprise. I’m really, really happy. To have the ticket and my face on it is an absolute honor.”
Read More
Holmatro
 
Holmatro Agrees to Five-Year Extension as Official Rescue Tool Provider
Holmatro has supported INDYCAR’s renowned safety team for decades, supplying rescue tools to assist in the quick and safe extrication of race drivers following an on-track incident.
Read More
Legends Day Announcement
 
Sam Hunt To Headline Firestone Legends Day Concert
Grammy Award nominee and multi-platinum superstar Sam Hunt will headline the Firestone Legends Day Concert on Saturday, May 26 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during Race Weekend for the 102nd Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.
Read More
Darrel Wallce Jr.
 
Bubba Breaks Through With Strong Daytona 500 Finish
The vignettes of emotion around Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. started early Sunday, well before he set sail in Richard Petty’s No. 43 for his first Daytona 500. They ended with a warm reception from his family after his second-place finish at Daytona International Speedway.
Read More
Austin Dillon
 
Dillon Battles for Victory at 60th Daytona 500
Austin Dillon prevailed in a game of Survivor played at 200 miles per hour, winning this Sunday's Daytona 500 fiercely and unapologetically after turning race leader Aric Almirola in the third corner of the final lap.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 2,889
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 IMS Sales Department at (317) 492-8739 or email at hospitalitysales@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
It's Pole day on @CrownRoyal Armed Forces Weekend & we can't wait to see you! Check out details on the day: https://t.co/yKQ6Db3YRK
May 21