INDYCAR SERIES PRE-RACE QUOTES

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INDYCAR SERIES PRE-RACE QUOTES:

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Honda/Firestone, point leader): Helio Castroneves leads the IndyCar Series point standings. He has four wins and five pole positons this season and won on the 1.5-mile ovals at Twin Ring Motegi and Texas Motor Speedway.

"In previous years, Marlboro Team Penske has had difficulty on the 1.5-mile ovals like Chicagoland, but this year we seem to be consistently strong on them, so we're definitely looking forward to getting out there and fighting for the championship. It's going to be a very exciting race with four guys, who all seem to do well on this type of track, fighting for the title. I feel as though I need to win this race to win the championship, so we're going to give it our all. I've been chasing an Indy car championship my entire career, and have never been able to accomplish this goal, so winning it would be a dream come true. Plus, it would mean a lot to me to be able to give Roger and Marlboro Team Penske their first IndyCar Series championship."

SAM HORNISH JR. (No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Honda/Firestone, second place, 1 point behind): Sam Hornish Jr. won the Indianapolis 500 in May. Hornish is second in the IndyCar Series point standings with four victories. Hornish, a two-time Chicagoland winner, is the only driver to win the IndyCar Series championship twice.

"Chicagoland Speedway is a track where I've always been strong, so I feel like we have a great opportunity to do well here. With only a one-point deficit in the Championship, a win takes all, so that's what we're shooting for next weekend. To be honest, with some of the problems we've had at a couple of the races this year, I feel that we could've been a lot farther behind; so I'm happy with where we're at heading into the final race. It should be a great show for the fans, and hopefully we'll be able to bring home Marlboro Team Penske's first IndyCar Series Championship."

DAN WHELDON (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone, third place, 17 points behind): Dan Wheldon is third in the IndyCar Series point standings. Wheldon, the 2005 Indianapolis 500 winner, won the season-opening race on the 1.5-mile oval at Homestead-Miami Speedway and is the defending champion of the Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway.

"As fast as we've been all year, as aggressive as everyone knows I can be, no one is going to want to mess with me in Chicago. I have nothing to lose now, and I'm not ready to give up and neither is the Target team. We've been really strong on mile-and-a-half ovals, and we can still win. We're still in this. We just have to win at Chicago and the rest will be in the Racing Gods' hands. We've worked very hard all year to make a championship possible and it's not over yet."

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone, fourth place, 31 points behind): Scott Dixon is fourth in the IndyCar Series point standings with wins at Nashville Superspeedway and Watkins Glen International. Dixon claimed the IndyCar Series title in 2003, one of the closest points races in series history.

"Anything is possible in Chicago. I wasn't very optimistic about my championship chances following the Sonoma race because I was so disappointed with the result there, but stranger things have happened. If you look back at the 2003 finale in Texas, two of the top contenders took themselves out by hitting each other and falling back, and I won the championship with a second-place finish as a result. For the finale, all the pressure is on the Penske guys. With just one point between them, they'll be battling each other. Dan (Wheldon) and I have nothing to worry about now. We can work together since we have nothing to lose, and we will go all out for that win. Put enough pressure on people and they can make mistakes. We hope to do th

at to the Penske team. There are so many races this year that I really thought we had in the bag but then something completely unavoidable happened. Both Dan and I have had our fair share of rotten luck. No one is immune so who knows when it might be Penske's turn, and we get to be the benefactors. The fastest car doesn't always win the race; we've seen that first hand too many times this year at the Target team. It comes down to the fact that we are going for the win and it might just turn out to be the Target team's best finish of the season. As exciting as it may be for us, I think the real winners will be the fans in Chicago. They're going to get quite a show."

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