Helio Castroneves Captures Pole Position for 2014 MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway

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FONTANA, Calif. (August 29, 2014) – Auto Club Speedway saved its best MAVTV 500 INDYCAR World Championships qualifying run for last on Friday as Brazilian Helio Castroneves (No. 3 AAA Southern California Team Penske) captured pole position for Saturday’s 250-lap race with an average speed of 218.540 miles per hour.

Castroneves, who enters Saturday’s 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series finale in second place in the series points standings, 51 points behind points leader Will Power, recorded a total qualifying time of one minute, 5.8918 seconds and has given himself every chance to catch his Team Penske teammate, Power, through his qualifying run.

“I feel that for us, for me, I’ve got to go in the front,” said Castroneves, who won on the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series circuit in the second race at The Raceway at Belle Isle Park. “Our job is to continue pushing as far as we can, attack, be aggressive, and finish in the same position we started. We feel that setup for qualifying was good, and setup for the race is also good.”

Juan Pablo Montoya (No. 2 Verizon Team Penske) was second to run in qualifying and will start alongside teammate Castroneves in Row 1 after maintaining an average speed of 217.621 mph.

Simon Pagenaud (No. 77 Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports), who is 81 points back of Power and ranks third in the Verizon IndyCar Series standings, qualified on the inside of Row 5 (13th overall) with an average speed of 215.752 mph.

Reigning MAVTV 500 champion Power (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske), who will be inducted into the Auto Club Speedway Walk of Fame shortly before the race on Saturday, placed 21st out of the 22 entries in qualifying with an average speed of 212.604 mph.

“I think, the starting position, (what) I’d rather have is either starting in the very front or in the very back, you know, just for the reason of staying out of trouble,” Power said. “It’s all about the race. We’ve got a long night ahead. It’s far from over. You’ve got three hours to work your way to the front. I think that’s got to be the mindset.”

In what he declared the most satisfying win of his life at the time, Power led last October’s MAVTV 500 for 103 laps and captured the checkered flag. The 2013 race featured 28 lead changes and 11 different leaders.

Tickets for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway, which begins under the lights at 7:20 p.m. Saturday, are available by calling 800-944-RACE (7223) or visiting www.autoclubspeedway.com.

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About Auto Club Speedway:  Located 50 miles east of Los Angeles in Fontana, California, Auto Club Speedway is California’s premier motorsports facility, hosting over 320 days of track activity each year including the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 weekend in March and the MAVTV 500 INDYCAR World Championships Finale weekend in August.  The two-mile D-shaped oval is one of the fastest tracks on the INDYCAR and NASCAR circuits.  The Speedway is also home to numerous movies, television and commercial productions, photo shoots, new car testing, club racing and a variety of racing schools. For more information on events at Auto Club Speedway call 1-800-944-RACE (7223) or visit www.autoclubspeedway.com.  For information on event lodging, visit the Hilton Garden Inn, Fontana, the official hotel partner of Auto Club Speedway and Auto Club Dragway.

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