POWER GETS IMPRESSIVE 13TH ON INDY 500 DEBUT Team Australia driver Will Power has enjoyed an impressive Indianapolis 500 debut by claiming 13th in the 92nd running of 'The Greatest Spectacle in Racing' at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indiana...
POWER GETS IMPRESSIVE 13TH ON INDY 500 DEBUT
Team Australia driver Will Power has enjoyed an impressive Indianapolis 500 debut by claiming 13th in the 92nd running of 'The Greatest Spectacle in Racing' at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indiana today.
Power now sits eighth in the 2008 IndyCar Series points standings and maintains his lead in the Bombardier Rookie of the Year standings.
Power was the fourth Indy 500 rookie home in today's 200-lap race, the 27-year-old from Toowoomba in Queensland, Australia finishing just one place behind 2005 Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon.
Power started from 23rd position in the #8 Aussie Vineyards - Team Australia Honda/Dallara/Firestone entry, driving a measured first half of the race before progressing up the order in the second half of the event. The Australian did well to avoid a crash on lap 37 when Graham Rahal hit the SAFER Barrier exiting Turn 4.
By lap 71 Power was up to 17th position, a position he held throughout the middle stages of the race at the ultra-fast 2.5-mile speedway known as 'The Brickyard'.
Power was running in 15th place when he pitted for the last time under caution on lap 171. After an outstanding stop by his Aussie Vineyards crew he rejoined the contest in 11th, quickly moving into 10th at the restart.
However, Power's #8 Aussie Vineyards car developed some oversteer, dropping him back to 13th place, where he remained until the end of the race.
Power is the fifth Australian driver to finish the Indianapolis 500, with 13th place the third highest finish by an Australian driver on debut at the Indy 500, behind Geoff Brabham (fifth in 1981) and Ryan Briscoe (10th in 2005).
New Zealand's Scott Dixon claimed his first Indy 500 win today ahead of Vitor Meira and Marco Andretti. American Ryan Hunter-Reay was the first Indy 500 rookie home with seventh place.
Power and the Aussie Vineyards - Team Australia crew will be back in action next weekend in the ABC Supply Co AJ Foyt 225 at The Milwaukee Mile in Wisconsin for Round 6 of the 2008 IndyCar Series.
Will Power: #8 Aussie Vineyards - Team Australia Honda/Dallara/Firestone
"It was a good race and I am really happy with the way it went," said Power.
"Aussie Vineyards -- Team Australia kept creeping up the leader board the whole race, but the car was becoming pretty loose at the end. I was able to hang on and finish the race, which was key, but it was mentally draining.
"It was a good result because I was able to get a lot of experience and I am relieved to get have gotten through my first Indy 500.
"It was a good month. I kept getting more and more out of the car, and it's just good to finish the race in a good position.
"I'm really happy. I'm really happy for the Aussie Vineyards crew and we finished in a good position for us. We moved 10 places up so, and now I'm just exhausted."
Craig Gore: Aussie Vineyards - Team Australia
"Will did an outstanding job today in the Aussie Vineyards car in Team Australia's first Indy 500," said Gore.
"He had a consistent run and brought the car home in a great spot for a rookie. We scored a lot of points and finished strongly in our first Indy 500.
"It's been a big month for Will and the Aussie Vineyards crew and they deserve this finish for all their hard work.
"This is just a sensational sporting event and everyone involved with Aussie Vineyards and the Team Australia program is extremely proud of what Will and the Aussie Vineyards crew has achieved this month, and we're ecstatic to be a part of this enormous event.
"Next week Will races at Milwaukee, an oval that he has raced on once before in the Team Australia Champ Car. That previous experience, combined with today's strong run, should give him confidence heading into the next part of the season."
-credit: kvt/team australia