INDYCAR: Castroneves & Team Penske Win TAG Heuer Pit Stop Challenge

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INDIANAPOLIS — official series release — John Cote/IndyCar photo —

Team Penske and driver Helio Castroneves won the TAG Heuer Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge on Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, earning $50,000 for their speedy efforts.

Castroneves celebrated his eighth win in the contest by climbing the fence in front of the Tower Terrance grandstand, after beating out Mikhail Aleshin of Schmidt Peterson with Team Pelfrey in the final round.

This is the 17th win for Team Penske in the annual competition for Indy 500 pit crews that started in 1977. The winner of the competition has gone on to win the Indianapolis 500 six times, most recently with Castroneves in 2009.

“I went for it. I was able to stop really deep,” Castroneves said. “I was able to slide in just perfect. The Pennzoil boys, the Team Penske boys, really … they are the fastest. All the credit to those guys. I’m very happy to be part of this organization.”

The crew for Castroneves in the contest was made up of members from the cars of Castroneves and teammate Simon Pagenaud, including chief No. 3 Chevrolet mechanic Travis Law.

“I just want to say thanks to everybody that put all the work in for us to get here,” Law said. “It’s not just these guys here, it’s the guys back in the shop right now working on the car. It means a lot for the whole team to be here. It’s the one day we get to put a little pressure on this guy (Castroneves), because it comes down to the driver so much. You look at it … eight times he’s won this. I’m thinking it’s not just us. We play a pretty big role having him on our side. So I say congrats. I’ve got a couple new guys, it’s their first win.”

“So it’s a pretty big deal and what a way to start the 100th (running of the 500) and the 50th (year in racing) for Team Penske. It’s really special.”

“This team has been outstanding in the pit stop competition,” added team owner Roger Penske. “They work every day at the shop. We took our best guys and put them together on the two cars. … This gives us momentum for Sunday.”

Schmidt Peterson with Team Pelfrey earned $15,000 for its runner-up finish.

CREDIT: INDYCAR Communications

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