BRISCOE, CASTRONEVES SWEEP TOP SPOTS AT MID-OHIO LEXINGTON, Ohio, Sunday, July 20, 2008 - Ryan Briscoe earned his second IndyCar Series victory of the season, and Helio Castroneves finished second in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio presented...
BRISCOE, CASTRONEVES SWEEP TOP SPOTS AT MID-OHIO
LEXINGTON, Ohio, Sunday, July 20, 2008 - Ryan Briscoe earned his second IndyCar Series victory of the season, and Helio Castroneves finished second in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio presented by Westfield Insurance to earn Team Penske a sweep.
The teammates started in reverse order on the front row for the 85-lap race on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn circuit. Castroneves led the first five laps on rain tires, but relinquished the lead to Vitor Meira on Lap 6 after the Panther Racing driver pitted earlier to change to racing slicks.
Briscoe led 18 laps in the middle of the race and came out at the head of the pack as the competitors cycled through green flag pit stops from Laps 56-60. Briscoe built as much as a nine-second lead in the final laps, claiming the victory by 7.2640 seconds.
The result marked the second consecutive weekend that teammates have finished 1-2 in the IndyCar Series. Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Scott Dixon and Dan Wheldon finished 1-2 July 12 at Nashville.
Dixon, last year's winner at Mid-Ohio, finished third. His lead over Castroneves in the championship was cut five points to 58.
KV Racing Technology teammates Will Power and Oriol Servia finished fourth and fifth, respectively, while Vitor Meira, Tony Kanaan, Darren Manning, Hideki Mutoh and Ryan Hunter-Reay rounded out the top 10.
Graham Rahal had a two-part idea a few weeks ago to honor film legend, philanthropist and IndyCar Series team co-owner Paul Newman for the race at Mid-Ohio with a special helmet paint scheme.
The artwork - depicting movie posters of many of Newman's most famous feature films, including "The Sting," "The Hustler," "Cool Hand Luke," "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," "The Long, Hot Summer" and the infamous "Slap Shot" - was created by helmet designer Troy Lee.
Rahal said he's pleased with the outcome of murals "you'll never see again."
The second part is to offer the helmet for auction on eBay, with proceeds donated to the Hole in the Wall Camps that Newman created and supports through the Newman's Own line of food products.
GRAHAM RAHAL: "My mom is involved in the Hole in the Wall Camps. We can auction it off and see how much it goes for."
INDYCAR SERIES POST-RACE NOTES:
* This is Ryan Briscoe's second career victory and second victory this season. He also won at Milwaukee.
* Helio Castroneves finished second, his 10th top-five finish of the season.
* This is the 27th time that teammates have finished 1-2 and the second consecutive race that teammates have finished 1-2. Scott Dixon and Dan Wheldon finished 1-2 for Target Chip Ganassi Racing last weekend at Nashville.
* This is the eighth time Team Penske teammates have finished 1-2. The last time was at Phoenix in 2005 when Sam Hornish Jr. won and Helio Castroneves finished second.
* Scott Dixon finished third, his 10th top-five finish of the season.
* Will Power finished a career-best fourth. His previous best was eighth at St. Petersburg.
* Oriol Servia tied his career-best finish with a fifth. He also was fifth at Richmond.
* Vitor Meira finished sixth for the second consecutive race.
* Darren Manning finished eighth, his third consecutive top-10 finish.
* Jaime Camara tied his career-best finish with a 14th. He also was 14th at Richmond.
INDYCAR SERIES POST-RACE QUOTES:
RYAN BRISCOE (No. 6 Team Penske, first): "What a weekend for Team Penske. It really couldn't be better. It just feels so good to get this win. It's been a rough couple of weeks in the lead up to here, and this one's sweet for sure. What a comeback. It's all strategy from Roger Penske himself. I don't know if it's momentum, because the two races in the lead up to this one weren't so good, but hopefully we'll keep some momentum from here."
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Team Penske, second): "The yellow came in the right place. Ryan drove a heck of a race. I was just trying to do everything I can, and unfortunately I got held up in traffic. We just didn't have enough, so it's a shame, but second is good."
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing, third): "It was a good day for us. We started sixth. I knew we still had a car to win. Everything was really crazy today. We didn't get into any rhythm. Everybody knew how it was going to play out and who was doing what, and then we had a bad pit stop when we tried to jump Helio (Castroneves) there, and that put us back a little ways. So it's frustrating, but still I think we only lost maybe five points in the championship."
WILL POWER (No. 8 Aussie Vineyards-Team Australia, fourth): "I am really happy for the KVRT Aussie Vineyards team. This was a track I had never been to and we started well behind the eight-ball. We got the car better and better all weekend, made the right choice on tires early on in the race and had a good race strategy. We had the pace to ride at the front and we did. I am just really happy that we got good championship points here, and hopefully we can do that again next weekend in Edmonton."
ORIOL SERVIA (No. 5 KV Racing Technology, fifth): "I am just really happy for the KV Racing Technology team. You saw where we started and how we progressed through the weekend from 20th to eighth yesterday. We had a car that could win today. We could have chosen a crazy strategy and maybe been a hero, but having a car that could contend at the front was a smarter thing to do, was more logical, maybe more conservative but definitely the right thing to do as we need those championship points. I am hoping next weekend at Edmonton I can bring the same if not better result to the team."
VITOR MEIRA (No. 4 Delphi National Guard, sixth): "John Barnes made a great pit call, and we came into the pits after taking the green on the first lap to go to dry tires. That's the second time this season we've done that, and both times we shot to the front. This time it put us in the lead of the race. The car was good. It was picking up some push as the race went on, and I was sliding a lot at the end, but I was able to keep (Tony) Kanaan behind me at the end. We would have been a position or two better, but coming out of the pits on my last stop I had contact with one of the Ganassi cars, and that let (Oriol) Servia get past me. The finish was OK, and after our luck we needed to keep finishing races. Again, we were in a position to win, and that's going to go our way soon."
TONY KANAAN (No. 11 Team 7-Eleven, seventh): "It was not a good race for this team. We need to regroup, because we're definitely not doing a good job right now. We've got to keep our heads and work through our issues to get better."
DARREN MANNING (No. 14 ABC Supply Co./AJ Foyt Racing, eighth): "It was a good race for us considering where we started. We discussed pitting straightaway before the race because I don't mind being on the wet with slicks. We made the right decision, coming out second. Our first stop was a tad slow, and we lost three spots, but overall the ABC Supply crew did a great job for me today. Towards the end when everyone's fuel load got down, I was a bit off-pace, and (Tony) Kanaan got me when I had to burp the throttle because it pushed a bit, but it's another top-10 for us. It gives us good momentum going into Edmonton."
HIDEKI MUTOH (No. 27 Formula Dream, ninth): "The Formula Dream car was good at the beginning of the race. In fact, I think we had one of the fastest cars in the first stint. But, the last stint we developed too much of an understeer condition, and we just couldn't pass anyone. Our strategy for the race did not work out the way we needed. It was a tough day. I hope we can have a better result next week."
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 17 Rahal Letterman Racing Team Ethanol, 10th): "These guys called some great pit strategy, and we caught one yellow right at a time that helped us. The Firestone tires really held up when we needed them to, and it's great to come away with a top-10 finish after the start we had to the day. We couldn't afford to leave many more points on the table. We stayed in the top 10 in points, and we'll go after it again next week."
The 2008 IndyCar Series season continues with the Rexall Edmonton Indy July 26 at Edmonton City Centre Airport. The race will be telecast live in High Definition at 5 p.m. (EDT) by ESPN. The race will air live on the IMS Radio Network. A Spanish-language telecast of the race will be carried by ESPNDeportes. The IMS Radio Network broadcast also is carried on XM Satellite Radio and www.indycar.com. The 2008 Firestone Indy Lights season continues with the Kentucky 100 on Aug. 9. The race will air at 2 p.m. Aug. 14 on ESPN2. The Mid-Ohio 100 doubleheader airs at 2 p.m. (EDT) July 24 on ESPN2 and live on www.indycar.com.