Continued from page 1

Even though the Penske cars have routinely come into Iowa Speedway with perhaps the strongest roster in the field and have twice won poles, they’ve never won a race here in six tries.

Castroneves has been particularly vexed by Iowa. He’s started on the front row four times, but the best he’s been able to do is a runner-up finish in 2010.

“We’ve led so many laps here,” said a chuckling Castroneves. “You can’t give up. It wasn’t meant to be, and hopefully it will be this year.”

Part of the problem for Penske has been Andretti Autosport.

Andretti drivers are four for six at Iowa; including three straight winners in Tony Kanaan, Marco Andretti and Hunter-Reay a year ago.

If Hunter-Reay can make it four straight and two in a row for the No. 1 car, he might just leave Iowa with the points lead. But Castroneves isn’t ready to concede anything yet to the surging Hunter-Reay.

“They’re very competitive. They’re very strong. But I’m not focusing on what they have. I’m focused on what we can do to be competitive, you know? I trust in my boys. I trust in myself,” Castroneves said.

___

Follow Luke Meredith on Twitter: www.twitter.com/LukeMeredithAP