Sears Point: Series qualifying report

CASTRONEVES, BRISCOE SWEEP FRONT ROW AT INFINEON SONOMA, Calif., Saturday, Aug. 23, 2008 - Team Penske teammates Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe will share the front row for the third consecutive IndyCar Series race on a ...


SONOMA, Calif., Saturday, Aug. 23, 2008 - Team Penske teammates Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe will share the front row for the third consecutive IndyCar Series race on a road/street course.

Castroneves won his 26th career PEAK Motor Oil Pole Award during qualifying for the PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma County at Infineon Raceway with a best lap of 1 minute, 16.9027 seconds, 107.809 mph on the 12-turn, 2.30 mile circuit. Briscoe was second just .0158 of a second behind.

The duo also shared the front row at Mid-Ohio with Castroneves on the pole and at Edmonton with Briscoe on the pole.

Will Power and Tony Kanaan will start in Row 2 for the 80-lap race, while Scott Dixon, who holds a 78-point lead over Castroneves in the championship, and Oriol Servia will start in Row 3.


Men's Wearhouse has signed on as sponsor of the No. 25 Roth Racing entry for the final three races of the season.

GEORGE ZIMMER (Founder & CEO, Men's Wearhouse): "Men's Wearhouse is proud to partner with Roth Racing Limited and sponsor the No. 25 car. Marty Roth began his racing career in the 1970s, and that is when Men's Wearhouse first began helping men like the way they look. This year, Men's Wearhouse is celebrating our 35th anniversary, and we're thrilled to reach that milestone and race well beyond it with the help of Marty and the great team at Roth Racing. We thank all of our customers for our success over the past 35 years and look forward to serving them for years to come. I guarantee it."



* Helio Castroneves wins his third PEAK Motor Oil Pole Award of the season and his series-leading 26th career pole. He also won the pole this season at Nashville and Mid-Ohio and started from the pole based on points at Motegi.

* Ryan Briscoe qualified second, his fifth front row start of the season.

* Castroneves and Briscoe qualified 1-2 for the third consecutive race on a road/street course. Castroneves won the pole at Mid-Ohio, while Briscoe won the pole at Edmonton.

* This is the sixth time this season that teammates will start 1-2, tying the IndyCar Series record set in 2005. In addition to the three 1-2 starts by Castroneves and Briscoe this season, Scott Dixon and Dan Wheldon started 1-2 twice and Tony Kanaan and Marco Andretti started 1-2 once.

* This is the 39th time in IndyCar Series history that teammates will start 1-2.

* Castroneves and Briscoe also shared the front row at Infineon in 2005 when Briscoe won the pole with Target Chip Ganassi Racing and Castroneves qualified second.

* Will Power qualified third, his fourth top-five start of the season.

* Scott Dixon qualified fifth, his 13th consecutive top-10 start, the longest active streak in the IndyCar Series.

* Oriol Servia qualified sixth. He has qualified eighth or better at every road/street course race this season.

* Justin Wilson qualified seventh, the first time this season he has not participated in the Firestone Fast Six.

* Danica Patrick qualified ninth, her first top-10 start on a road/street course this season.

* Mario Dominguez qualified a season-best 11th. His previous best was 16th at Mid-Ohio.



HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Team Penske, qualified first): "The guys did an incredible job moving past the fire, turning the page and moving forward. If there is a team that can rebound, it's Team Penske. They proved it today. We're happy with every accomplishment that we've made this weekend. Starting on the front row is big for us. We're going to continue working hard tomorrow and hopefully have a good finish."

RYAN BRISCOE (No. 6 Team Penske, second): "It's been pretty clear we have really fast cars on the road courses. I think apart from St. Petersburg, we've had the front row every time. It's been really good. Also, between Helio (Castroneves) and myself, we really push each other a lot, too. And that's a big bonus, having two really fast cars on these tracks. We compare the data after every session, and I'll pick up a bit where he's strong and he'll pick up a bit where I'm strong, and we just try to put it all together, so I think that really helps too. It's great to have Team Penske sweep the front row again."

WILL POWER (No. 8 Aussie Vineyards-Team Australia, third): "It's good. We carried it through. We've sort of been there all weekend in the top three. We're happy about that. I think I could have done a better job in that last run, but it does feel good. They're very long races. We know it's a lot about strategy. A lot of yellows fall in this race. We're just happy we've got two cars up there. We're doing well."

TONY KANAAN (No. 11 Team 7-Eleven, fourth): "We were one change behind in (the Firestone Fast Six). We tried everything, and as a team we've come a long way. We've been struggling on the road courses, so I'm glad to see we're in the top four. (At Infineon) you don't want to start worse than the second row."

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing, fifth): "I think we're probably disappointed with our qualifying. The car was fairly decent, and then on that last qualifying run, we tried to lower the car a lot to see if we were just missing, and every time I tried to touch the brakes I was locking them up. And we couldn't even get within eight-tenths (of a second) of our last run. It was worth a try. I think we would have only been one spot better - maybe in fourth. We just didn't have enough for what those two Penske cars had. We always seem to race a little bit better, and we're definitely happy with where we're at. We just have to make sure we can follow up with some points tomorrow."

ORIOL SERVIA (No. 5 KV Racing Technology, sixth): "We had a great first two sessions, and I was really happy with the car. But at the end, we made a mistake with the pressures and the car was sliding all over, plus the track got hotter and I just couldn't stay close. I think we had a chance to put in a good lap at the end, at least to beat Scott (Dixon), but I waited a little too long to get a gap and I didn't get to make a run. Just a terrible session. But I'm happy that the car was good in the first two sessions and we're in good position for the race."

JUSTIN WILSON (No. 02 McDonald's Racing Team, seventh): "I'm disappointed that we didn't make the Firestone Fast Six for the first time this season. I thought we had the potential. The McDonald's car was quick but just a little difficult to drive. It was right on the edge all the way around, so we couldn't quite put a lap together. I think we have the performance to gain some spots, but I don't think this track lends itself to overtaking. We'll just have to have a smart race, stay out of trouble and keep picking them off one at a time. Maybe we can overtake, but it's only if somebody makes a mistake. We've seen a lot of people go off around here. It's a tough track. The better your car is the more fuel you can save and the more chance you have of passing people in the pit s. We just need to make sure the car is good tomorrow morning in the warm-up."

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 17 Rahal Letterman Racing Team Ethanol, eighth): "We're not where we want to be, because I think anything other than being in the Firestone Fast Six is a disappointment, but the guys did a great job on the car and I think we can race from here tomorrow. The engineering staff turned a 14th-place car into an eighth-place one overnight, and we had something for the rest of the field until we got to the slow-speed sections of the track. We were as fast as anyone in the first half of the lap, and I think we could have caused some trouble. But we just didn't have the whole package today. We'll work on it some more and get it tomorrow."

DANICA PATRICK (No. 7 Motorola, ninth): "It was great that the Motorola car was able to make it into the fast 12. I can't believe how close the times were. Of course I wish that we would have been able to make it into the Firestone Fast Six, but we are headed in the right direction. Hopefully we can keep the car up front and out of trouble throughout the race."

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 26 Blockbuster/Star Wars: The Clone Wars, 10th): "I had my hands full in qualifying today. The car was on the edge of grip at both ends. We made one little change and we completely tipped the car over from understeer to oversteer. It wasn't our best effort today, and we would be happier if we were starting a bit higher on the grid. The Blockbuster/STAR WARS: THE CLONE YEARS race car is very good, though, so we're confident heading into tomorrow."


SUNDAY'S SCHEDULE (all times local):
9:40-10:15 a.m. IndyCar Series warm-up
PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma County pre-race 2:30 p.m.
PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma County (80 laps/184.24 miles)


The 2008 IndyCar Series season continues with the PEAK Antifreeze and Motor Oil Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma County Aug. 24 at Infineon Raceway. The race will be telecast live in High Definition at 5:30 p.m. (EDT) by ESPN2. 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 The 2008 Firestone Indy Lights season continues with a doubleheader Aug. 23-24 at Infineon Raceway. The races will air at 5 p.m. Aug. 28 on ESPN2.

-credit: irl

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Justin Wilson , Helio Castroneves , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Oriol Servia , Dan Wheldon , Mario Dominguez , Ryan Briscoe , Marty Roth , Marco Andretti , Chip Ganassi , Will Power , Danica Patrick
Teams Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing , KV Racing Technology