DETROIT, Mich. (August 30, 2008) -- Both Team Penske drivers put themselves in position to win the Detroit Indy Grand Prix by qualifying within the top five Saturday on the difficult 14-turn, 2.07-mile street course. Helio Castroneves, who is...
DETROIT, Mich. (August 30, 2008) -- Both Team Penske drivers put themselves in position to win the Detroit Indy Grand Prix by qualifying within the top five Saturday on the difficult 14-turn, 2.07-mile street course.
Helio Castroneves, who is chasing Scott Dixon for the 2008 IndyCar Series championship, will start second next to Dixon after recording a lap in the final "Firestone Fast Six" segment of 1:12.7649 - 102.412 mph - around the course in the No. 3 Team Penske Honda/Dallara. With just two races remaining - Sunday's Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix and next week's season finale at Chicagoland Speedway - Castroneves trails Dixon by just 43 points.
"I knew this was going to be between Scott and me," said Castroneves of his qualifying effort, which included three segments -- 20 minutes, 15 minutes and 10 minutes -- in which the fastest six from each advance to the next round. "I really tried. I was pushing as hard as I could, but unfortunately we couldn't put in a better lap. Second is pretty good. We're going to try to do everything we can to win the race tomorrow."
Meanwhile, Ryan Briscoe put the No. 6 Team Penske Honda/Dallara in good position with a lap of 1:13.1004 - 101.942 mph - good for fifth on the 26-car starting grid.
"It was the usual extremely competitive qualifying session," said Briscoe. "We've been working on the car, and we definitely made some gains. Being in the top six again is great. It was a good effort from Team Penske and certainly put us in a good position for the race."
Briscoe pulled double duty this weekend by competing in the No. 6 LMP2 DHL Penske Porsche RS Spyder in the American Le Mans Series. He teamed later Saturday with Patrick Long in the Detroit Sports Car Challenge at Belle Isle, finishing in sixth spot overall/in class.
"It's been a little busy with me doing double duty, but it's gone very well," said Briscoe. "Team Penske made some good progress and I learned a lot today, so now I think we just have to go back and figure out what we need to do to be a little quicker tomorrow."