And the last shall become first. Helio Castroneves, who qualified 26th and last at Watkins Glen one week
ago due to a broken throttle cable, claimed the pole in qualifying Friday at Nashville Superspeedway in
preparation for Saturday night’s Firestone Indy 200. It was the first pole of 2008 for Castroneves, but
continued an streak of eight consecutive seasons with at least one pole for the Team Penske driver.
Danica Patrick will start on the outside of the first row, in second. Already a winner this year at the
Honda-owned Twin Ring Motegi circuit, Patrick has historically been a strong performer in Nashville with
previous results including a third last year, fourth in 2006 and seventh in her ‘05 debut on the unique
1.33-mile concrete paved Nashville oval.
Rookie points leader Hideki Mutoh will start third, his best IndyCar qualifying performance, with last
weekend’s race winner Ryan Hunter-Reay rounding out the first two rows of the starting field in fourth.
Saturday’s 200-lap race starts at 8:00 p.m. EDT, with live television coverage on ESPN.
Helio Castroneves (#3 Team Penske Honda) pole qualifier, first pole of 2008 and 24th career IndyCar
“Awesome. That’s the only way I can describe it. Getting the pole here feels fantastic, especially
after we had so many problems last weekend at Watkins Glen. The car feels incredible and I’m really
enthused about our chances in the race tomorrow night. It’s difficult to pass here, so the race is going to
be tough. I’m glad I’m starting from the front!”