Briscoe Takes Wild Milwaukee Mile In an action-filled event that featured some of the best IndyCar Series racing seen this season, Team Penske's Ryan Briscoe out-dueled Indianapolis 500 winner and series points...
Briscoe Takes Wild Milwaukee Mile
In an action-filled event that featured some of the best IndyCar Series racing seen this season, Team Penske's Ryan Briscoe out-dueled Indianapolis 500 winner and series points leader Scott Dixon to win Sunday's ABC Supply/A.J. Foyt 225 at The Milwaukee Mile.
It was a race that saw front-runners falling by the wayside as their handling went away due to changing track conditions, while others charged through the field from lowly grid positions or after problems in pit lane. Through it all, however, Dixon was constantly at or near the front, leading a race-high 147 laps around the famed one-mile oval in suburban Milwaukee.
It was another successful race weekend for the Honda HI8R Indy V-8 engine, with almost the entire field using the same engine as in last weekend's Indianapolis 500 (only crash-damaged units were replace for this event). In Milwaukee, IndyCar teams and drivers completed a total of 9,012 miles/laps without failure throughout the weekend.
Starting 11th, Briscoe had to fight his way to the front, reaching the lead for the first time only on Lap 177. The Penske driver and Dixon fought close and hard for the next 44 laps -- with an equally entertaining battle just behind for third place between Tony Kanaan and Dan Wheldon.
But with just four laps remaining, Ed Carpenter and pole-starter Marco Andretti made wheel-to-wheel contact while battling for seventh place. Both went hard into the Turn Two wall, with Panther Racing's Vitor Meira unable to avoid the spinning Carpenter, launching into the air before landing upright. All three drivers were uninjured in the crash and the race would end under the caution flag due to the extensive debris.
Ninth-place Hideki Mutoh also was caught up in the carnage, making contact with the Turn Two wall while avoiding the other spinning race cars. He was able to limp to a 12th-place finish with right front suspension damage, maintaining his lead in series Rookie of the Year standings.
Briscoe's win is his first in 25 career IndyCar Series starts, also the 300th major race series victory for Team Penske. Dixon's second-place finish is his fifth top-three result in six starts this year, and solidified his lead in the drivers' championship to 28 points over fifth-finishing Helio Castroneves.
Seeking his third consecutive Milwaukee Mile victory, Kanaan had to settle for a third-place finish, besting Wheldon in their own battle just behind the leaders. Oriol Servia bounced back strongly from first-lap contact that left him running 26th and last with a damaged front wing. A series of quick pit stops by his KV Racing Technology team replaced the wing, and former the Champ Car driver stormed back to finish sixth, his best IndyCar Series result.
Two other former Champ Car drivers, Justin Wilson and E.J. Viso, also stood out in the 26-car field today. Wilson was another up-from-the-back story, running as far back as 24th in the early laps before a strong final stint moved the Newman Haas Lanigan driver up to seventh at the checkers. After starting 10th, Viso was one of the few drivers to stay in the lead pack throughout the day, running as high as sixth before fading slightly in the final 20 laps to finish eighth.
Ryan Briscoe (#6 Team Penske Honda) Started 11th, finished 1st, first career IndyCar Series victory: "It's just a great day. These are the best guys in the paddock, and I'm proud to score Roger [Penske's] 300th major win for them. My car wasn't the best on new tires, but got stronger and stronger as each run went long, so the clean race really played to our advantage today. But I also was very, very lucky to avoid the final [Andretti/Carpenter] crash. It was a near thing. Scott [Dixon] was very strong as well. He raced me hard but clean and I'm grateful to him for that as well. I'm so happy, I just have to thank everyone!"
Scott Dixon (#9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) Started 3rd, finished 2nd, led 147 of 225 laps: "It was a pretty good day. Our car was good early in each run, but I couldn't run up high like Ryan [Briscoe]. But I have to say this was the most fun I've had in a race car in a long, long time. There's more driver imput on these smaller tracks and we're always passing other cars, or being passed, dealing with lapped traffic or almost crashing! It's just a lot of fun for a driver."
-credit: honda racing