Front Row Repeat For Penske

BROOKLYN, Mich. – Michigan International Speedway is quite different from The Milwaukee Mile, the venue of last week’s IRL IndyCar race, but that didn’t seem to matter to Marlboro Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves and Sam Hornish Jr. as they claimed the front row for the second week in a row.

Castroneves took the Marlboro Pole Award winner from his teammate early in the qualifying session, coming out third and setting a fast lap of 216.777 mph around the 2-mile track. Tomorrow’s pole start for the Firestone Indy 400 will be his fifth start from first place this season for the Brazilian.

Hornish, the pace setter in the practice session prior to qualifying, will be starting from second place for the third consecutive race as his lap of 216.466 mph wasn’t quick enough to stay atop the charts.

Nonetheless, the result puts both Marlboro Team Penske cars on the front row for the fourth time (Homestead, Indianapolis, Milwaukee and Michigan) in eleven races this season – a streak that has benefited from the partnership the drivers share.

"The Marlboro Team Penske team is in a great atmosphere right now. Sam and I have been sharing information, and I think it's been benefiting both of us," said Castroneves. "Sam is very talented, and it's good to have him on our team. He's pushed me to become better. We met this morning and we both knew we had fast cars. Maybe the wind helped me out and made me a little quicker. We predicted we'd be about where we're at. We're very happy."

Last week’s winner Tony Kanaan will start from the third position, with Ed Carpenter and Scott Dixon completing the top five starting spots.

Vitor Meira, Dario Franchitti, Tomas Scheckter, Dan Wheldon and Buddy Rice round out the top 10.

Defending race winner Bryan Herta will start from 12th.

Teams and drivers have a final half-hour practice session tonight beginning at 5:30 p.m. (ET). The 200 lap Firestone Indy 400 at Michigan International Speedway takes the green flag tomorrow afternoon at 3:30 p.m. (ET).

Race Center

Auto Club 500

@ Auto Club Speedway
Saturday, October 19, 2013
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