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Helio Castroneves wins a record-tying fourth Indianapolis 500 mile race

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Photo: Chris Owens/INDYCAR

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Helio Castroneves is joining elite company after winning a record-tying fourth Indianapolis 500 mile race Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Castroneves passed Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou for the lead for good with two laps-to-go and took the twin checkered flags first to join A.J. Foyt, Al Unser Sr. and Rick Mears as the only 4-time winners of ‘The Greatest Spectacle In Racing’.

“This is absolutely incredible,” said Castroneves. “From the beginning we were so comfortable. The car was incredible. I knew it was good. This is unbelievable.”

Castroneves other victories came in 2001, 2002 and 2009 when he drove for Team Penske.  Sunday’s victory came driving for Meyer Shank Racing and was that organizations first NTT INDYCAR SERIES victory.

Castroneves and Palou started trading the lead back and forth with 17-laps remaining after most of the front runners made their final pit stops.  Palou passed Castroneves on the front stretch with three laps-to-go and Castroneves tucked right behind Palou and followed him through turns one and two and then down the backstretch before pulling the same move on Palou.

Castroneves benefitted from a number of cars who were trying to make it to the end without pitting when he hit the backstretch on the final lap. Castroneves smartly used the draft from those cars to maintain his gap ahead of Palou, who tried to draft Castroneves but the gap was too great at that point.

“My strong corners were two and four and it was just a matter of the right opportunity,” said Castroneves.  “I saw that traffic, because I needed that traffic to get away, so I decided I wasn’t going to wait.”

“It just hurts a little bit because I wanted this win really bad,” said Palou. “For sure the traffic didn’t help. I was doing everything I was doing to catch him but he was catching the tow from the traffic and I was not able to close up.

Palou may not have won but since the Indy 500 pays ‘double points’ towards the series championship he did take over the series points lead, so he while he was disappointed he couldn’t win, Palou was positive after the race.

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“I’m living a dream driving a fast car for the best team in the paddock,” said Palou. “I’m super proud of what we’ve been doing but we’ve got to keep working.”

Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud finished third in the No. 22 Menards Chevrolet with Arrow McLaren’s Pato O’Ward in fourth.

“We got caught up on the first yellow and had to make an ’emergency pit stop’ and got sent back to the back of the field,” explained Pagenaud. “We had to fight back over 156-laps and I really think we had a car that could’ve won.”

Pagenaud said that prior to the race he told Castroneves if he couldn’t win the race, he wanted Helio to get his fourth.

“It’s great that we have a guy from our generation (Castroneves) going into the 4-club,” said Pagenaud referring to the 4-time Indy 500 winners. “I hope he comes back to go for five!”

Stefan Wilson brought out the first caution flag of the race when he spun entering pit road during the first round of pit stops and struck the wall ending his day.

The closure of the pits to clean up the Wilson accident cost pole-sitter Scott Dixon and Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi dearly.  The pair had yet to pit and were low on fuel and eventually ran out on pit road while making an ’emergency pit stop’. Both cars had to be re-fired and ended up losing a lap in the process.

Dixon got his lap back a little over halfway through the race and battled for an 18th place finish but ended up losing the series points lead in the process.  Dixon sits in second place, one point ahead of third-place O’Ward.

The next race for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES is the ‘Duel in Detroit’ on Belle Isle, June 12-13, in Detroit.

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Chip Ganassi Racing unveils Alex Palou’s No. 10 DHL Honda

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Photo: Chip Ganassi Racing

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Chip Ganassi Racing unveiled the livery for two-time and reigning NTT INDYCAR SERIES Champion Alex Palou’s DHL Honda on Tuesday.  DHL signed on as the primary sponsor this off-season in a multi-year partnership with the team.

The No. 10 car will carry the familiar yellow of DHL’s branding but adds a splash of red that has been synonymous with the Ganassi team for decades.

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“As everybody can see, this is quite the amazing livery,” said Palou. “The No. 10 DHL Honda looks very aggressive, and it will certainly stand out on the track, which is great. I can’t wait to start the season with a run in this livery at Sebring before we kick things off in St. Pete. It’s looking like the perfect livery to try to defend our title in 2024 and I cannot wait to deliver on-track here soon.”

The NTT INDYCAR SERIES season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg presented by RP Funding takes place March 8-10 on the streets of St. Pete.

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DHL joining Chip Ganassi Racing as primary sponsor for No. 10 Honda and Alex Palou

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INDIANAPOLIS, IN and PLANTATION, FL (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Chip Ganassi Racing and DHL Express are teaming up in a new multi-year partnership that will see DHL become the official logistics partner of the 15-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES Champions and the primary sponsor of two-time and reigning Series Champion Alex Palou and the No. 10 Honda team.

“I am extremely proud to welcome DHL to the Chip Ganassi Racing family,” said Chip Ganassi. “It is an honor to partner with an organization that shares our fundamental values of teamwork, growth, responsibility, and the pursuit of excellence. Together, we are committed to embodying those values both on and off the racetrack. I am looking forward to Alex and the No. 10 team defending their 2023 title with DHL on board. The road ahead holds great promise and potential, and I can’t wait to get started.”

DHL is the leading global brand in the logistics industry and one of the most international companies, with about 395,000 employees in more than 220 countries and territories worldwide.

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“We’re thrilled to partner with Chip Ganassi Racing, an organization that has a rich history of success, deeply rooted in principles shared by DHL, such as a commitment to supporting the communities we call home, and the relentless pursuit of excellence by investing in our people who embody speed, passion, and dedication,” said Mike Parra, CEO of DHL Express Americas and Head of Global Sponsorships. “As we sponsor this winning motorsports team with Alex Palou behind the wheel, we look forward to many winning moments both on and off the track in the months and years to come.”

“It’s super exciting to announce our new partnership with DHL, a global leader in logistics. Representing such a successful and widely recognized brand is a true honor,” said Palou. “Their iconic yellow and red colors not only stand out, but they also remind me of my native Spain’s colors. As our team looks back at our remarkable success last year, we are eager to carry that momentum forward and aim for a third title with the support of DHL. I am especially thrilled to hit the ground running alongside the dedicated men and women of our 10-car crew in 2024.”

Palou, the No. 10 team will kick-off the 2024 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season March 10th at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

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Racing Notebook: DHL partners with Ganassi; Hunt Bros partners with Penske and more

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(Pittsburgh, PA) – 2024 partnership programs a coming together as two of the biggest names in racing, Ganassi and Penske, each announce new deals plus PPMS announces their plans for the new year and Henessey Performance packs some punch for GM fans in today’s Racing Notebook.

DHL Partners with Ganassi and Palou

  • DHL and Chip Ganassi Racing are teaming up for a new partnership.  DHL becomes the primary sponsor of the No. 10 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda and two-time NTT IndyCar Champion Alex Palou.  DHL express also becomes the Official Logistics Partner of the 15-time Championship team. “I am extremely proud to welcome DHL to the Chip Ganassi Racing family,” said Chip Ganassi. “It is an honor to partner with an organization that shares our fundamental values of teamwork, growth, responsibility, and the pursuit of excellence.”
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Hunt Brothers Pizza Partners with Penske, Logano, Blaney

  • Team Penske and Hunt Brothers Pizza are teaming up in multi-year deal that will feature the convenience store pizza brand on the No. 22 Team Penske Ford Mustang driven by two-time NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) Champion Joey Logano for select races beginning in 2024. Hunt Brothers Pizza will also be an associate sponsor on defending NASCAR Cup Series Champion Ryan Blaney’s No. 12 Ford Mustang for the 2024 season.

PPMS Announces 2024 Schedule

  • Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway is planning a 29-race schedule for 2024 with an opening day St. Patrick’s Day Weekend.  The highlight of the schedule is the expansion of the Pittsburgher weekend to a 2-day event for the Lucas Oil Dirt Late Model Series battling for almost $200,000!
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