Teamwork is name of the game for IndyCar Series’ Team Penske

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — When Danica Patrick and Marco Andretti wound up dueling side-by-side — then feuding afterward — during an IndyCar Series race at Texas Motor Speedway this season, their big names drew plenty of attention to the spat.

That they were teammates only made it spicier.

It also served to highlight how the drivers under the Team Penske umbrella — Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe — have managed to make working together benefit each other, even while both are always chasing the same checkered flag and top spot in the points race.

“Ryan and I, we’ve been working really, really well together,” Castroneves said during a test at Richmond International Raceway in advance of Saturday night’s visit to the shortest oval the series races. “My philosophy, if you get along with a guy, that can improve your car as well, help you, because remember, we have limited testing.

“So if he tries something and I’m trying totally the opposite, and we find something, that is benefiting both of us.

“The bad side is he’s going to have the same thing that I have,” said a smiling Castroneves, “but the good news is we’re going to be better than the rest of the field. So if my day’s bad, I’ll hopefully finish second. ... The team’s going to have the result.”

It’s a philosophy that Penske insists on, and that both drivers embrace. Briscoe has one victory through seven races and is leading the point standings, and Castroneves has won twice in six starts and is fourth in points, just 29 behind, despite missing the opening race while on trial for tax evasion. He was eventually acquitted.

Penske’s Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon, each with two victories, are 2-3 in the points.