Penske to test at Indianapolis

This weekend, CART superteam Penske will take another step closer to racing at the legendary Indianapolis 500 in 2001. Regular drivers Gil de Ferran and Helio Castroneves will test with the Treadway Racing Indy Racing League team, which Penske has leased, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a two-day session. This will mark the famous team's return to the 'Brickyard' since it won the 1994 race

Penske to test at Indianapolis

It will be Castroneves' first appearance at the 'Brickyard', but de Ferran competed in the 1995 event when it was still part of the CART schedule.

"Roger Penske and Tim Cindric have talked to Scott Cronk, my team manager, about testing our cars," confirmed team owner Fred Treadway.

"It's still being finalized as we speak," Cronk said Thursday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway. "They have a desire to do it, it's just a matter of getting things together on our end and on their end."

"As far as a driver getting orientated to the track, it would be great to let some drivers test at the Speedway this year going into next year," Cronk added. "We've looked at a variety of different dates. Some of it depends on the availability of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The most logical time to run is sometime in October, but the most available time to run may be in the near term.

"That will all sort out sooner as opposed to later."

Penske's United Auto Group sponsored Jason Leffler in a Treadway Racing entry in this year's Indianapolis 500. Leffler finished 17th in his first race at Indy, but it was enough to entice Penske to continue his pursuit to have his own drivers from CART in next year's Indianapolis 500.

Penske is the most successful team owner in Indy 500 history with 10 victories, but has not competed in the race since Al Unser Jr. was the winning driver in 1994. Penske's two drivers - Unser and Emerson Fittipaldi - failed to make the field in 1995. Penske has been among the CART teams that have skipped the Indianapolis 500 since it became part of the Indy Racing League in 1996.

The new rules that limit IRL teams to just two days of testing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway prior to the 85th Indianapolis 500 go into effect on Jan. 1, 2001. That means teams can continue to test at IMS through 2000.


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