Ryan Briscoe Leads Team Penske One-Two Sweep at Mid Ohio LEXINGTON, Ohio (July 20, 2008) -- Ryan Briscoe, driver of the No. 6 Team Penske Dallara/Honda, made a remarkable comeback Sunday, recovering from an early deficit to win the Honda Indy...
Ryan Briscoe Leads Team Penske One-Two Sweep at Mid Ohio
LEXINGTON, Ohio (July 20, 2008) -- Ryan Briscoe, driver of the No. 6 Team Penske Dallara/Honda, made a remarkable comeback Sunday, recovering from an early deficit to win the Honda Indy 200 and complete a one-two sweep by Team Penske at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
This victory was Briscoe's second win in his IndyCar Series career, Team Penske's seventh win at the legendary 13-turn Ohio road course and the 35th one-two finish in Penske's storied open-wheel history.
Briscoe, who started second next to teammate and pole-sitter Helio Castroneves, fell behind early as drivers struggled with rain tires on a rapidly drying track. Roger Penske, strategist on the No. 6 car, brought Briscoe into the pits early, a move that got Briscoe out of sequence and eventually into the lead late in the 85-lap race.
"The Team Penske car was awesome," said Briscoe. "We ran into a little trouble early on, but we came back. That was all Roger. That was his strategy."
The decision to bring Briscoe into the pits early came after thunderstorms hit the track shortly before the start. Most teams started the race on rain tires -- as did Briscoe -- but Penske brought the No. 6 into the pits early to change to slick tires.
"It was the only chance we had," said Penske. "The strategy worked out. What a great drive for Briscoe. I think he's validated himself as one of the top drivers in the Indy Racing League. To finish one-two is just unbelievable."
Briscoe also advanced in the championship standings, moving up three spots from eighth to fifth place. It was also his second victory of the season - in June, Briscoe recorded Penske Racing's 300th win with a victory at The Milwaukee Mile. Since then, he's struggled with bad luck, suffering on-track incidents in the last two races as a result of others' mistakes.
"Finally, something went our way," said Briscoe. "This is very sweet. What a weekend for Team Penske. 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."
As Briscoe was winning, Castroneves, driver of the No. 3 Team Penske Dallara/Honda, was securing second place ahead of 2008 IndyCar Series driver points leader Scott Dixon. That shaved another five points off Dixon's lead, bringing Castroneves to within 58 points with five championship points races remaining in the 2008 season.
"Ryan drove a heck of a race," said Castroneves, who chalked up his 27th IndyCar Series pole position on Saturday. "I was just trying to do everything I could, but unfortunately I got held up in traffic. We just didn't have enough, so it's a shame. But second is good."