From Penske Racing, image courtesy of the IRL/Shawn Payne
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (November 19, 2009) – Penske Racing announced today that winning open-wheel racer Will Power will compete in a full-season entry for the team in the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series, driving the No. 12 Verizon Wireless Dallara/Honda.
Joining forces with Team Penske teammates Helio Castroneves, a three-time Indianapolis 500 winner, and Ryan Briscoe, a top contender for the 2009 IndyCar Series championship, Power will complete a powerful three-car lineup in 2010 for Penske Racing.
Today’s announcement is a key element of a multi-year program between Penske Racing and Verizon Wireless that began in 2009. The 2010 Verizon Championship Racing platform will include the IndyCar Series with Power, Castroneves and Briscoe and NASCAR competition with Brad Keselowski and Justin Allgaier.
Power joined Penske Racing last season, filling in for Castroneves during pre-season testing and at the season-opening race in St. Petersburg. After Castroneves returned to the team, Power competed in the No. 12 Verizon Wireless car and won the pole position and finished second at Long Beach before he earned an impressive fifth-place result at the Indianapolis 500. Power went on to win his first race for the team at Edmonton and produced a win, two poles and four top-five and six top-10 finishes in six races in 2009. He suffered a season-ending back injury during a practice session at Infineon Raceway on August 22. Power continues to recover from his injuries well ahead of schedule and he is expected to be ready to participate in 2010 pre-season testing with the team.
“Will did a terrific job for Penske Racing this past season and we are excited that he will be able to drive full-time with the team in 2010 in the Verizon Wireless car,” said Roger Penske. “Will proved that he could consistently compete for wins and poles in 2009, despite his limited time on track. We believe he can be a legitimate championship contender next season for our team, along with Helio and Ryan. I want to thank Verizon Wireless for their continued support of our racing programs.”
Power, the 28-year-old native of Toowoomba, Australia, established himself as one of open-wheel racing’s most talented drivers before he joined Penske Racing last season. Power excelled in European competition as he produced strong performances in the British F3 and World Series by Renault championships before he moved to the United States in 2005 to compete in the Champ Car World Series. He captured the series Rookie-of-the-Year honors in 2006 and claimed three wins and six pole positions in two plus seasons in Champ Car. In 2008, Power won on the streets of Long Beach in Champ Car’s final race, and after he joined the IndyCar Series, he earned his first series pole in front of his home crowd at Surfers Paradise, Australia.
“To be able to compete for a full season with Penske Racing is really a dream come true for me,” said Power. “Working with the team this past season was the best experience of my career and I can’t wait to race for the IndyCar Series championship in 2010. I really have to thank everyone at Verizon Wireless and the Penske Racing team for this opportunity. I intend to make the most of it.”
“Verizon Wireless is excited to begin its second season with Penske Racing and we look forward to having Will Power compete and win races in the Verizon Wireless Indy car in 2010,” said John Stratton, chief marketing officer for Verizon Wireless. “We have had a very successful first season with Verizon Championship Racing in 2009 as we established ourselves as a major motorsports presence in North America. The 2010 season should be even more exciting with Will battling for the IndyCar Series championship and with Justin Allgaier and Brad Keselowski racing for wins and championships in NASCAR.”
Penske Racing is one of the most successful teams in the history of professional sports. Competing in a variety of disciplines, cars owned and prepared by Penske Racing have produced 314 major race wins, 373 pole positions and 22 National Championships. The team has also earned 15 Indianapolis 500 victories. For more information about Penske Racing, please visit www.penskeracing.com.