Helio Castroneves will have an additional challenge this Saturday at Auto Club Speedway 2-mile oval circuit the last race of the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series. Besides facing another 500 mile race, the MAV TV American Real 500 will have its last laps raced at night, and the Team Penske driver will start on the second half of the grid.
In Qualifying held yesterday, Castroneves’ Dallara DW12 No. 3 Chevrolet took the 10th position. The need for better performance led the team to opt to change the engine, generating a 10-spot grid penalty.
But instead of dropping on the 20th, the 3 time Indy 500 winner will start from the 17th position, whereas 13 other drivers also opted to exchange engines.
“It was a calculated risk and strategic. Since this is a race of 500 miles and a super speedway, we chose to forgo the chance to start more towards the front, in order to use an updated version of the Chevrolet engine. It will be a very long race and with many alternatives for people to recover, “said Castroneves, who is the only member of the Team Penske who has previously raced in Fontana.