Ryan Briscoe moved to the top of the championship point standings after winning the Meijer Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway. Racing side by side with Ed Carpenter during the last 20 laps, Carpenter missed his first IndyCar Series victory by 0.0162 of...
Ryan Briscoe moved to the top of the championship point standings after winning the Meijer Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway. Racing side by side with Ed Carpenter during the last 20 laps, Carpenter missed his first IndyCar Series victory by 0.0162 of a second, the 11th closest finish in series history.
With 70 laps to go, Briscoe nearly tagged the Turn 4 wall and fell to 8th place. "I don't know how on cold pressure I found myself skipping up the track, getting myself into a bit of trouble early," Briscoe said. "I had to come sort of back through the field and had a really good car I would pass with. I worked my way up to second place about 19 to go."
Carpenter was scored as leading more than half of the last 20 laps with Briscoe leading the last nine laps. The pair were inseparable for the last 20 laps and nearly touched at one point. "I'm pretty happy to get another one for Team Penske," Briscoe said.
"I just wanted to keep doing what I had been doing. Ed would get a little bit in front of me in the middle of Turns 3 and 4 but with my momentum on the outside I was able to edge him down the back straight," continued Briscoe. "I would time my push to pass button so I would get the extra power through Turns 3 and 4. It was getting tougher and tougher, and I was just jumping in my seat trying to get in front of him across the finish line. It just worked out perfectly."
The new push-to-pass button proved popular with the drivers. With 20 opportunities to use the button, the front-runners saved the best for last.
"I used the last one on the last lap," said Carpenter. "From that standpoint, I timed it pretty good. I think at the start of that last stint when I was in front, I think I had 15 left at that point. Late in the race, when I was running with Ryan, I was pretty much using it every lap."
Tony Kanaan had his push to pass opportunities in the bank as he pressured Carpenter and Briscoe at the end but he couldn't get close to enough to challenge for the lead.
"It was a good one, a helluva race," said Kanaan, after finishing third. "The people came here to see a photo finish and we did it. I got to thank the (Indy Racing) League, (race steward) Brian Barnhart and all the officials and the guys that came up with this package, for the push to pass, and Firestone did a great job to. I can still hear the fans, so I want to thank them for coming. The old IRL is back. We'll have some exciting races on the superspeedways again."
Helio Castroneves finished fourth followed by Graham Rahal, Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon.