BARRON, CARPENTIER LEAD TOYOTA AT SONOMA Red Bull Cheever Racing teammates Alex Barron and Patrick Carpentier finished third and fourth to lead Toyota in Sunday's Argent Mortgage Indy Grand Prix at the Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. The...
BARRON, CARPENTIER LEAD TOYOTA AT SONOMA
Red Bull Cheever Racing teammates Alex Barron and Patrick Carpentier finished third and fourth to lead Toyota in Sunday's Argent Mortgage Indy Grand Prix at the Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.
The race began with two Toyota-powered cars pulling away from the field as rookie Ryan Briscoe (Target Pioneer Toyota) led Helio Castroneves (Marlboro Team Penske Toyota) for the first 16 laps. Unfortunately, after dropping to sixth and seventh, respectively, after their first pit stops, both were eliminated in the same Lap 20 crash. Briscoe had won his first career pole on Saturday.
- Alex Barron's third-place finish is his best of the season, surpassing the fourth he registered at Kentucky two races ago. For the season, Barron has a pair of top-fives and six finishes within the top 10. Barron is now just 29 points out of the top-10 in points. His Red Bull Cheever team is just one of three teams in the series to have two drivers in the top-11 in points.
- With his fourth-place finish today, Patrick Carpentier (Red Bull Toyota) notched his ninth top-10 finish of the season and moved into ninth-place overall in the series points race. In the last eight races, Carpentier has three top-five finishes and six top-10s. In addition, he continues to lead the series in laps completed this season.
- Scott Dixon (Target Toyota) placed seventh today to give Toyota three finishers in the top-10. It's the 2003 IRL champion's third top-10 finish in 2005.
- Three Toyota-powered drivers continue to rank in the top-10 in the IRL IndyCar Series point standings. Sam Hornish Jr., who spun early and developed gearbox problems to finish 15th, dropped to third -- 17 points behind second-place Tony Kanaan and 96 points behind former Toyota Atlantic grad and series leader Dan Wheldon. Helio Castroneves also fell one spot in the points chase to sixth after his day was ended early. Patrick Carpentier moved into ninth with his fourth-place finish.
- Rookie Giorgio Pantano finished 14th in his first career IndyCar Series start. The former F1 pilot was running eighth before being tapped by another car sending him off-track on Lap 78 of 80. He also is scheduled to campaign the #10 Target Toyota at Watkins Glen.
#51 Alex Barron Red Bull Toyota (Dallara 10/3 #83 Patrick Carpentier Red Bull Toyota (Dallara) 12/4 #9 Scott Dixon Target Toyota (Panoz) 9/7 #10 Giorgio Pantano Target Toyota (Panoz) 13/14 #20 Ed Carpenter Vision Racing Toyota (Dallara) 20/15 #6 Sam Hornish Jr. Penske Toyota (Dallara) 5/17 #33 Ryan Briscoe Target Pioneer Toyota (Panoz) 1/19 #3 Helio Castroneves Penske Toyota (Dallara) 2/21
Alex Barron, #51 Red Bull Toyota: "It was excellent. We had a great car all weekend. The crew made a change to the Red Bull Toyota on the second stop. We went back out and the car was solid. We were able to hang on to third. We didn't have quite enough to make a run on the leaders. I could catch Buddy (Rice) and sustain it, but I wasn't able to be offensive. We are really happy with the podium. This is positive for the team and we can build on it for our next race at Chicago."
Patrick Carpentier, #83 Red Bull Toyota: "I am happy to see that both Red Bull Cheever Racing cars had a good day today. Alex drove a great race, and I think the #83 crew did a good job as well. The car was pushing there at the end, and it wasn't as strong as it was early in the race. It's amazing. For me the weekend started really bad, we couldn't find any speed at all. By the end of the weekend we were around fourth quickest overall. The crew did a fantastic job and Toyota helped us a lot. You can really see the improvement we have made lately. It was a hot day and I didn't have any water. For some reason my water bottle broke during the race. It was getting a little bit long, but that's alright. When the car goes well it is so much fun out there."
Eddie Cheever Jr., Red Bull Cheever Racing team owner: "The drivers did a great job. The team had a good strategy. We have been working hard with Cisco and the network we have developed with them was key today in monitoring the fuel down to the pint. We are happy to be racing here in California where our partners Red Bull, Toyota and Cisco are all located. And tomorrow we visit with the folks from Izod, so I am glad to be leaving here with both cars in the top four. It was a fun weekend for all of us. The second half of the season has been very good to us and we have three more races to continue to show what we have this season."
NEXT: CHICAGOLAND INDY 300, CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY, SEPT. 11, 1:30 P.M. EDT -- ABC