Watkins Glen: Series race report

POWER PROVIDES FIREWORKS ON FOURTH OF JULY AT THE GLEN WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (Sunday, July 4, 2010) - Will Power claimed Team Penske's first IZOD IndyCar Series victory at Watkins Glen International, winning the sixth Camping World Grand Prix at...

POWER PROVIDES FIREWORKS ON FOURTH OF JULY AT THE GLEN

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (Sunday, July 4, 2010) - Will Power claimed Team Penske's first IZOD IndyCar Series victory at Watkins Glen International, winning the sixth Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen.

Series points leader Power, driving the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske entry, passed his teammate Ryan Briscoe with six laps to go and held off Dario Franchitti and Briscoe for his third IZOD IndyCar Series victory of 2010.

Briscoe passed Franchitti on the final lap to help Team Penske record its first 1-2 finish since Edmonton in 2009. Brazilians Raphael Matos of de Ferran Dragon Racing and Mario Moraes of KV Racing Technology completed the top five.

In all, there were seven teams represented among the top 10 finishers in the race.

Also on July 4, French rookie J.K. Vernay strengthened his Firestone Indy Lights championship points lead with a victory in the Corning 100 at Watkins Glen International.

Vernay, driving the No. 7 Lucas Oil/CJ/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car, overtook pole sitter James Hinchcliffe entering the "Bus Stop" on Lap 19 of the 3.4-mile, 11-turn circuit and went on to his third victory of the season.

Hinchcliffe, driving the No. 2 TMR-Xtreme Coil Drilling car, finished .2135 of a second behind. Sebastian Saavedra, who won at Iowa Speedway on June 20, finished third in the No. 29 William Rast/Bryan Herta Autosport car.

DAY 3 NOTEBOOK:

Andretti Autosport announced today that Team IZOD driver Ryan Hunter-Reay will run the rest of the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series season after a group of team sponsors stepped up to fund the effort.

The team also unveiled a new charitable initiative connected to Hunter-Reay's No. 37 entry called "Racing For Cancer." The program, which was developed by Tom Vossman, chief executive officer of team sponsor Inland Industrial Services Group, will raise money for cancer research and other charitable causes in honor of Hunter-Reay's mother, Lydia, who lost her battle with colon cancer in November 2009.

Hunter-Reay was originally slated to run only a partial schedule with primary sponsorship from Phillips-Van Heusen and its IZOD brand, Andretti Autosport continued to seek additional funding to grow the program to fulltime status.

In addition to the efforts of Phillips-Van Heusen and its IZOD brand, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, Inland, AirTran Airways, Comfort Revolution, The Michael Fux Foundation, Exel and ICM-Ethanol USA all have rallied to keep Hunter-Reay on track in 2010.

The car will continue to sport the primary sponsor scheme of Team IZOD exception for the race Aug. 28 at Chicagoland Speedway and an event to be determined, where Ethanol USA will be the primary sponsor as it was June 20 at Iowa Speedway.

The "Racing For Cancer" program launched today at www.racingforcancer.org and will raise funds during the remainder of the 2010 season and beyond. Those funds will be donated primarily to two national charities - The Michael Fux Foundation and LIVESTRONG - and will drive marketing, promotional and awareness campaigns in support of The Michael Fux Foundation and its beneficiaries.

The Michael Fux Foundation, which has donated millions of dollars through its existing charity work, champions numerous causes, including Down's Syndrome, autism, cancer and heart diseases. The foundation works extensively with Miami Children's Hospital, which last fall unveiled the new Michael Fux Family Center, and also with the Children's Cancer Caring Center and "Operation Smile," among many others. The foundation will focus the "Racing For Cancer" funds on children who are unable to afford cancer treatment, primarily in the Miami area.

As part of their support for Hunter-Reay and Team IZOD's car number "37," and in honor of Hunter-Reay's mother, a number of Andretti Autosport team sponsors have committed to making $37,000 donations to "Racing For Cancer." The first official donation to the effort was made by Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan, who is also putting forth $37,000.

RYAN HUNTER-REAY: "I've never seen anything like this. So many people pulling together to make things happen. Andretti Autosport and Michael (Andretti) have bent over backward to make things work, to keep me in the car. I'll never forget that. They worked endless hours to make this work. Tom (Vossman) is like an angel out of left field that came down. You can race and honor your mom. I also have to thank Michael Fux for his personal support and making the 'Racing For Cancer' program a reality. I was really close to my mom. Super-close. For all of this to come together, it was for the right reasons. Not only does it keep a race team going, it's going to benefit the frontlines in the battle against cancer. It's just an amazing system that's come up. All of the sponsors in this amazing team have contributed to make this happen. Even the best the teammate I've ever had, Tony Kanaan, made a contribution. I've never seen anything like it, and I'm so proud at the center of it. Now to be able to just show up, go race for the rest of the season, with the same team and the same people, it's a great time."

TONY KANAAN: "It was a great idea when I heard of it. He's been such a great teammate. I lost my dad when I was 13 years old to cancer. He battled really bad for four years, and I was by his side the whole time. I can relate to Ryan. When they came up with the program, I was thrilled."

(Kanaan to Hunter-Reay about Kanaan's $37,000 contribution to Racing For Cancer): "I'm your sponsor now, so you better respect me. Today, do not pass me, or I will pull that sponsorship out (laughter). This race team, it's not a race team. It's a family. It's the best place to be."

***

CAMPING WORLD GRAND PRIX AT THE GLEN POST-RACE NOTES:

* Will Power became the first driver to win this event from pole. Team Penske has won the pole each of the six years this event has taken place, but this is the team's first victory in this event.

* This is the third victory of the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series season for Will Power. He also won the first two races of the season, at Sao Paulo and St. Petersburg.

* This is Will Power's second victory this season from pole. He also won from the top spot at St. Petersburg.

* This is Will Power's fourth career IZOD IndyCar Series victory. He has won this season at Sao Paulo, St. Petersburg and Watkins Glen. He won in 2009 at Edmonton.

* This is the first one-two finish this season for Team Penske. It's the second one-two by any team this season, as Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti finished first and second, respectively, at Kansas. The last time Team Penske finished 1-2 was in July 2009 at Edmonton, when Will Power and Helio Castroneves finished 1-2, respectively.

* This is the fourth major open-wheel victory at Watkins Glen for Team Penske. Bobby Unser won here in 1979 in 1980 and Rick Mears in 1981 for the team in CART events. This is the team's first IZOD IndyCar Series victory at this track.

* Ryan Briscoe finished second at this event for the second consecutive year.

* This was Ryan Briscoe's third podium finish this season. He won at Texas and finished third at St. Petersburg.

* Team Penske has led at least one lap in all nine IZOD IndyCar Series events this season. No other team has led in every race.

* Dario Franchitti finished third, tying a career best at Watkins Glen. He also finished third in 2005 and 2007.

* This was Dario Franchitti's fourth podium finish of the season. He won at Indianapolis, finished second at Kansas and third at Barber Motorsports Park.

* This was the 40th IZOD IndyCar Series victory for Team Penske, extending its series record.

* Raphael Matos finished fourth, tying his IZOD IndyCar Series career best also set this season at Sao Paulo.

* Mario Moraes finished a season-best fifth. His previous best was sixth at Long Beach.

* Scott Dixon finished eighth, only his second finish outside of the top six this season. He was 18th at St. Petersburg.

* The top 10 finishers today represented seven different teams.

* Takuma Sato was the top-finishing rookie today, in 15th.

* Adam Carroll finished 16th in his IZOD IndyCar Series debut.

* Tony Kanaan finished 21st, his worst result since finishing 21st in July 2009 at Edmonton.

CAMPING WORLD GRAND PRIX AT THE GLEN POST-RACE QUOTES:

WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske, winner): "There were two different strategies there, but I'm so happy to win it. I wanted it really bad; I really wanted to win. I can't stand when you're the quickest in qualifying and then you have a bad race. Honestly, it was the first race that I pushed on every single lap. Never once that I didn't push. We have to get the fuel number the whole race, so I had to push really hard while saving fuel. I had to get the lap time while saving fuel. It was just a difficult race, but it was great. I loved it."

RYAN BRISCOE (No. 6 Team Penske, second): "Will was strong. We had a lot more downforce in the car. I was just a parachute going down the back straighaway. Both of these guys just came from nowhere and drove around me. It was a little bit frustrating, but with the downforce I was able to look after my red tires a bit more than Dario (Franchitti). He was hanging on for dear life at the end, and thankfully his went off about a lap sooner than mine did so I was able to get him. It's a great way to bring home a Penske one-two."

DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing, third): "I was catching Will, but I used up my tires too much to catch up to him. Just overused them. Ryan was getting closer to me. I was trying to make a gap to him and made a mistake, and he got past me. I'm disappointed with the last lap, but it was a fun race. It's a fun place to race."

(If your tires hadn't gone off, did you have anything for Will Power?): "I'm not sure anyone had anything for him. Will did a great job. When the tires started to go off, he did a better job of managing his tires. I don't know. I think he did a great job."

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing, eighth): The Simona incident really hurt us with her causing that yellow. I think we were looking at a fourth- or fifth-place finish at that point. But with everything happening, it screwed our strategy. It was a tough day. Things were kind of going for us at one point, and then later on they didn't. To salvage an eighth out of it isn't too bad. We're still third in points and within striking distance of the championship."

HIDEKI MUTOH (No. 06 Formula Dream/Panasonic, 12th): "I'm pleased with the finishing position for the Formula Dream/Panasonic team, but on the last stint, I lost three positions to Dixon, Castroneves and Wilson. The positive thing is that I learned some things following them. I think I improved my driving during the race, and we found our weak points. In some corners, we were very slow, and in others, we were fast.It will be good for next year.I'm looking forward to racing with Newman/Haas Racing in the Honda Indy Toronto race. Last year, the team was good there and looked like they had a strong car. I have one week off and time to discuss the plan with the team. I'm looking forward to going back to Toronto. I love street courses."

RAPHAEL MATOS (No. 2 HP de Ferran Dragon, fourth): "It's been a really tough year for us. The guys have worked really hard putting the cars together after Indy. It's a great result for the whole team, and all the thanks go to them. This result is good for momentum for us. I'm sure we'll learn a lot from this weekend that will help us going to Toronto and Edmonton."

SIMONA DE SILVESTRO (No. 78 Team Stargate Worlds/HVM, 24th): "I had a good pit stop, and I tried to make up too much time. I made a mistake. I feel really bad for HVM, and they did a really good job."

ALEX LLOYD (No. 19 Boy Scouts of America, 25th): "We're not entirely sure. We started having some strange things happening after the first pit stop. We changed tires, and all of the sudden, the steering locked. It was almost like a road car when you lose your power steering. It's been a frustrating weekend with assorted issues here and there."

MARIO MORAES (No. 32 KV Racing Technology, fifth): "The last few races have been really hard for KV Racing Technology, so we needed this fifth-place result. Now we're heading to Toronto, where we can try to improve on it. I really need to work on my fuel mileage because I really couldn't use my push-to-pass, but it was a good day."

VITOR MEIRA (No. 14 ABC Supply Co./A.J. Foyt Racing, 19th): "Not a very good day for Foyt Racing, ABC and myself. We had a good car - not the best car of the season, but it was a good car. We unloaded and made a lot of progress during the practices, but not enough time. Then we had troubles on the pit stops, which didn't help. It's been hard to pass here, so it's a weekend to take what we have and learn from it and go for the next one. There's not much else positive you can get out of this weekend. Still it's one race, one battle, and we have the whole war."

E.J VISO (No. 8 PDVSA-Jet Aviation-KVRT, 11th): "It was a straightforward race for me. I just kept listening to my engineer, Bill Pappas, and driving as hard as I could. I was pretty much driving a blind race because we pitted early for a different strategy. I didn't have many people in front of me until the end, when I was able to make several overtaking moves.It was difficult to keep the pace throughout the race because I lost the readings on my dashboard. I didn't get any lap times or sectors on my screen. I just listened to Bill all day, and he is good at giving me information and strategy. It is a shame we didn't qualify because if I had been in the top 10 in qualifying, I think I could have been in the top four today. We had a good car all weekend. Just the (Saturday practice) incident hurt our overall weekend. Again, I had to pass a lot of cars. I passed 14 cars today. We passed 16 at Iowa. It would be good to start further up the grid for Toronto."

TAKUMA SATO (No. 5 Lotus-KV Racing Technology, 15th): "I'm very disappointed. The race started very well. It was exciting, and I was able to move up a position. In the first stint, I was running fourth and comfortably with the leaders. But after the first pit stop, we lost positions and speed, and that then made it a very hard race to the end. I was hoping to have a very strong race, but we did still learn a lot today. I'm ready to get the Lotus car in to a strong position at the next race in Toronto."

DANICA PATRICK (No. 7 Team GoDaddy.com, 20th): "It was a pretty tough day for the GoDaddy team. The car itself was solid, but we just couldn't make up any ground. My guys did a great job this weekend, so I wish we had more to show for it."

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 37 Team IZOD, seventh): "All in all, it was a pretty good day. The IZOD guys gave me a good race car, but I dug myself quite a hole when we stalled in the pits. I think we had a fourth-place car. We were definitely better than seventh, but we had to come all the way from the back after the problem with the stall. We had to be careful with fuel at the end and we actually ran out on the cool-down lap, so it was close. I'm just happy to know that I'm here for the whole season. It's really special to be able to race in honor of my mom for the rest of the year and in support of 'RacingForCancer.org.' It's just really cool that this whole team pulled together like this."

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 26 Team Venom Energy, 13th): "The Venom car was strong today, but we made the wrong tire choice for the last stint. We put a qualifying set of reds on, and the fronts were totally grain. It felt like I was driving in the wet. By the finish, the tread was gone. Had we made a different choice, I think we could have held our own and challenged for a top-five finish."

ADAM CARROLL (No. 27 Team Boost Mobile, 16th): "Well, that was pretty eventful. Because the race was so long, sometimes I found that I struggled with the balance, in general. In the middle, the car felt really good, and I was able to run with a lot of the guys up front. I struggled after that last stop. The main thing is that I got the experience, got more time in the car and got a pretty good start. We'll go back, see where I can improve, and come back stronger at Mid-Ohio."

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Team Penske, ninth): "I think I proved I was the fastest car on three wheels out there. Unfortunately, we had the flat tire. I think it was a little impatience by the No. 9 car. He had a fast straight-line car and probably could have made the pass without causing that contact, but we were both able to recover and finish in the top 10. It was a great job by Team Penske today with a one-two finish, and congratulations to Will and the Verizon team for getting the win and finally breaking through for Team Penske at Watkins Glen."

DAN WHELDON (No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing, sixth): "First and foremost, it's very special to represent to the National Guard on the Fourth of July, and I wanted to say hello to all the soldiers representing this country overseas and also here in the United States. It was a fantastic job by the National Guard Panther Racing team today. We were very strong on the first day, and we had a little problem yesterday that we didn't find until after qualifying. The race was very eventful to start with. We got bumped by Alex Lloyd. I could see he was having a little bit of a go at me and I tried to leave him some room, but he obviously wasn't right alongside of me and we touched. It's unfortunate but one of those things. I knew once we got to the pit stop, the team would get me some spots. And fortunately because the car was so good, we were able to overtake people. And soon as we got on the red Firestone tires, I was able to come through the field. That was a very strong team performance today by the Panther boys."

ALEX TAGLIANI (No. 77 FAZZT Race Team, 17th): "Today was a tough day. We haven't had our best weekend, and the entire FAZZT team were hoping that we could pull out a good result with race strategy, but that just didn't happen. Rob (Edwards) and the guys tried to do their magic, but when the yellow came out (on Lap 38), we were just done. At that point, I just tried to keep out and gain some positions and gain some points to help us gain in the championship hunt. I'm looking forward to the next races in Canada, and I know we will recover and come back strong in Toronto."

JUSTIN WILSON (No. 22 Team Z-Line Designs/DRR, 10th): "It was a lot of work to finish 10th today. Everybody on the Z-Line Designs car worked hard, but we were fighting all the way through just trying to make something happen. The Firestone reds were graining pretty badly during that first stint, but that was the gamble we made starting on them. Unfortunately, we lost several more spots in that first pit-stop which put us on the back foot. After that, we were just working hard to make those positions back and move forward. We were reasonably quick, but just had too much work to do. We're looking forward to Toronto now."

PAUL TRACY (No. 24 Honda Indy Toronto/DRR, 14th): "It wasn't the day we were hoping for with the DRR/Honda Indy Toronto/Motegi Wheels car, but we kept fighting at it all day and got the handling better on the car and ultimately ended up with a 14th-place result. We had some issues in the race with the radio and not having communication at times, which made it difficult at times. Also, I think Justin struggled with the same thing as me, which was the balance. It's not what we wanted, but we brought the car home and got some points, and that's all that matters. I had a great time working with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, and I hope that I get the opportunity to do it again and get to work with Robbie and Dennis and the rest of the team. Overall, it was a great group of guys, and I would like to do some more."

***

The 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series season continues July 18 with the Honda Indy Toronto at Streets of Toronto. The race will be telecast live in High Definition at 12:30 p.m. (ET) by ABC. The race will air live on the IMS Radio Network, XM channel 145 and Sirius channel 212. The race also will be carried on www.indycar.com. The 2010 Firestone Indy Lights season continues with the Grand Prix of Toronto on July18 at the Watkins Glen International.

-source: irl

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