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Q&A: Penske Racing -

Following news that 2008 IndyCar Series runner-up - and double Indy 500 winner - Helio Castroneves had been acquitted of six charges of tax evasion, Penske Racing held an impromptu press conference in Long Beach to explain the way forward as the Brazilian returns to the cockpit of the #3 machine.


MC:
To my far right, Ryan Briscoe, driver from Team Penske. Next to Ryan Briscoe, Tim Cindric, the president of Penske Racing. Next to him, Will Power from Team Penske. And then nearest me, Brian Barnhart, the president of Racing Operations for the IndyCar Series, Indy Racing League. We'll start off with Tim with a general statement and we'll take it from there.

Tim Cindric:
Obviously our being here today is all relative to the outcome of Helio's well‑publicised trial. And on behalf of Roger and our entire organisation, we're ecstatic with the outcome. It's been a very, very difficult time for all of us. Obviously in particular he and his family. So we're very, very excited to know that he can go on with his life, business as usual. And as hard as that is to say about Helio, in particular.

But his usual business is sometimes a little different. And he adds a little bit of fun to everything we do. So we're certainly looking forward to having him back in the IndyCar Series and back as a driver of our organisation. We've made the provisions and the decision that he'll be in a car with us tomorrow. He'll be in the #3 car tomorrow.

And with that, we'll add an additional entry to the Long Beach race starting tomorrow morning. Will Power will be in the #12 Team Verizon Wireless car, and Will Power will also drive for Penske in the Indy 500 this year in the #12 Verizon Wireless entry.

So today our plans are to carry on business as usual. Helio will arrive this evening. No, I don't know an exact time. But he will arrive this evening. And we'll continue to prepare everything.

The next session, Will will continue in the #3 car, carry out the remainder of the day. And Brian, I'll let you talk a little bit how the rest of the weekend will go technically.

Brian Barnhart:
Great. Thanks, Tim. Obviously we couldn't be happier for Penske Racing, Helio and his family. We look forward to having Helio back on the grid here in Long Beach. Helio's played an integral part in the growth of the IndyCar Series, both on and off the racetrack the past few years and has an incredible legion of fans. He is a true star in every sense of the word. His infectious personality, popularity and success on the racetrack is truly welcomed back to the IndyCar Series.

As Tim mentioned, we've had some contingency plans in place, both at the St Pete event and the Long Beach event, not knowing the timing of how and when this was going to play out with regards to entries, licensing, driver physicals that kind of stuff, pit locations.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Will Power- Team Penske/Team Verizon Wireless   [pic credit: IRL/Jones]
Will Power, Josef Newgarden, and Graham Rahal drive their machines across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchcliffe, Will Power, Josef Newgarden, Marco Andretti, and Graham Rahal at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Marco Andretti, Josef Newgarden, Will Power, Graham Rahal, and James Hinchcliffe bring their machines across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, races to a third place finish Sunday, August 22, 2015, in the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Montoya will start the 2.385-mile, 12-turn Sonoma Raceway road course next weekend with a 34-point advantage in the Verizon IndyCar Series championship. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates his third place finish Sunday, August 22, 2015, in the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Montoya will start the 2.385-mile, 12-turn Sonoma Raceway road course next weekend with a 34-point advantage in the Verizon IndyCar Series championship. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrates in victory circle after winning the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday August 23 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrates on the podium with Josef Newgarden and Juan Pablo Montoya after winning the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday August 23 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrates with the Andretti Autosport team in victory circle after winning the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday August 23 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrates in victory circle after winning the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday August 23 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrates in victory circle after winning the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday August 23 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay arrives in Victory Lane after winning the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday August 23 2015. (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay takes the chequered flag to win the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday August 23 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay is congratulated in Victory Lane after winning the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday August 23 2015. (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Andretti Autosport`s Ryan Hunter-Reay wins the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday August 23 2015. (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Shell V-Power Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates capturing the pole during qualifying Saturday, August 22, 2015 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Shell V-Power Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, qualifies fastest Saturday, August 22, 2015, capturing the pole position for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Shell V-Power Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, qualifies fastest Saturday, August 22, 2015, capturing the pole position for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)

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