Briscoe Bests Patrick for Texas Victory Starting on the pole, Team Penske's Ryan Briscoe also finished first in Saturday night's Firestone 550k IZOD IndyCar Series race at Texas Motor Speedway, but it was quite an adventure getting there. In...
Briscoe Bests Patrick for Texas Victory
Starting on the pole, Team Penske's Ryan Briscoe also finished first in Saturday night's Firestone 550k IZOD IndyCar Series race at Texas Motor Speedway, but it was quite an adventure getting there.
In another thrilling Texas battle that featured "pack racing" throughout the night, Briscoe first had to give way to early race leader Dario Franchitti, then battle late-race contender Danica Patrick before securing his first IndyCar Series victory of 2010. In addition, Briscoe at different times had to fend off challenges from his own Team Penske teammates - Will Power and Helio Castroneves - and from a resurgent Andretti Autosport team, including Patrick, Tony Kanaan, Marco Andretti and Ryan Hunter-Reay.
Following the last round of pit stops on Lap 190, the battle for victory came down to Patrick and Briscoe. While Patrick swept around Briscoe as the latter exited the pits for the final time, Briscoe returned the favor one lap later and squeezed out a narrow 1.5-second margin that he maintained to the finish.
For the seventh consecutive race weekend in 2010, all 26 drivers completed the race weekend without a single failure for the Honda Indy V-8 engine. This weekend, drivers and teams logged a total of 10,828 trouble-free miles around the high-speed Texas oval. Tonight also marked Honda's 101st IndyCar Series race victory since joining the series in 2003.
Behind the lead pair, Andretti followed up his third-place finish at last week's Indianapolis 500 with another podium result tonight, his best results of 2010. While never a threat for victory, Scott Dixon posted yet another consistent, strong run to finish fourth. Teammate and Indy 500 champion Dario Franchitti led 88 laps and was very strong while out front. Handling issues in traffic during the final third of the race dropped him to a fifth-place finish, but he still takes over the championship points lead after seven of 17 events.
The IZOD IndyCar Series now takes a one-week break before resuming on Sunday, June 20, with the fourth oval-track race of the season and the only short-track on the 2010 schedule: The Iowa Corn Indy 250 at Iowa Speedway in Newton, IA.
Ryan Briscoe (#6 Team Penske Honda) Started 1st, finished 1st, 1st win of 2010 and sixth career IndyCar victory, 4th win of 2010 for Team Penske: "This is unbelievable. I wasn't very happy with our car after the final practice last night, so this one goes to my engineer Eric [Cowdin]. He made a lot of changes to the car for tonight's race and they were all the right calls. Danica [Patrick] was very quick tonight, but I was able to get a pretty good run at her after our final stops, used the 'push-to-pass' at just the right time and got the lead. Once I was in front, our car was so good in clean air that it was just a question of making a mistake-free run to the finish. After the problems we've had earlier this year and at Indy last week, this victory definitely means a lot to me."
Danica Patrick (#7 Andretti Autosport Honda) started 8th, finished 2nd, her best result of 2010: "I can't believe I'm disappointed to finish second, but that's how good our car was tonight and how badly I want to win another race. Everyone on the Andretti Autosport team did a fantastic job this weekend, and that's reflected in the results, with all four cars in the top seven. Our car was really good, both out front and in traffic, and when we left the pits in front of Ryan [Briscoe] at the last stop I had hoped we could hold him off, but he was just too strong for us tonight. But thanks so much to all my guys, I'm happy to be smiling at the end of a race tonight."
Jack Spurney (General Manager, Honda Performance Development) on tonight's race: "It was another exciting night race here at Texas Speedway, with 12 cars on the lead lap at the finish and a great win for Ryan Briscoe and Team Penske. There was a frightening moment when Simona de Silvestro had her crash, and we're happy to see that she's okay after the crash and resulting fire. The late-race duel between Ryan and Danica Patrick had the crowd on it's feet, and Marco Andretti's third place was deserved and a welcome result for him. It was another successful race for the Honda Indy V-8 engine, and now our engineers can finally get a well-earned break after four consecutive weekends in Indianapolis and Texas."