WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (July 6, 2008) – Sunday’s Camping World Indy Grand Prix at the Glen was a challenge for Team Penske drivers Ryan Briscoe and Helio Castroneves, but both remain firmly in the top-10 in 2008 IndyCar Series drivers point standings. Briscoe, in his No. 6 Team Penske Dallara/Honda, started from the pole position and led a race-high 37 of the 60 total event laps, but suffered an under-caution on-track incident which relegated him to 12th place. Castroneves, who “book ended” the field and started in 26th position, encountered mechanical problems and finished in 16th place.
Castroneves remains second the points standings, 48 points behind leader Scott Dixon, and Briscoe is in eighth position, a mere 10 points behind the fifth spot.
Ryan Briscoe was searching for his second win of the 2008 IndyCar Series season and was on his way to achieving that goal when, under caution in third place at lap 49, second place driver Scott Dixon spun unexpectedly in front of him, giving the No. 6 driver nowhere to go. Briscoe collided with Dixon and the No. 6 car was forced to the pits for repairs. Due to the length of the 11-turn 3.37-mile course at Watkins Glen International, the Team Penske crew were able to complete repairs without losing a lap and Briscoe finished in 12th place.
"It's unfortunate what happened out there today,” said Briscoe. “I know how Scott (Dixon) feels; there's nothing you can do in that situation - I just wish I didn't get caught up in it. It really is too bad because that took out two of the strongest cars in the race at that point. The Team Penske car was solid all weekend and we should definitely be sitting better in the point standings. But that's life and things like that happen sometimes."
Castroneves, who had posted some of the fastest times in Sunday morning’s warm-up session, easily worked his way up through the field as soon as the green flag dropped Sunday afternoon, but a shifting malfunction that caused the car to go into neutral instead of second gear caused the engine to shut down while on track. After a tow into the pit area for repairs, the Team Penske crew was able to get the engine re-fired and Castroneves rejoined the race two laps down. Thanks to pit strategy as called by Tim Cindric, No. 3 team strategist, Castroneves was able to regain one of those laps and ended up 16th.
“Sometimes it's just not your day,” said Castroneves. “I was really confident in our ability to move through the field. But on lap five, we had a gear problem and had to stop on the track. I'm not quite sure what happened, but when we got back into the pits, we were able to get the car re-fired.
“The Team Penske guys worked hard with their strategy to get me one lap back, but making up that much ground at a place like this is virtually impossible. 16th is obviously not the finish we were looking for, but thankfully we didn't loose too many points in the Championship standings. All we can do is forget about this one and turn our attention to Nashville.”
The 2008 IndyCar Series season continues with the Firestone Indy 200 July 12 at Nashville Superspeedway. The race will be telecast live on ESPN at 8 p.m. (EDT) and will be broadcast live on the IMS Radio Network.
Results Sunday of the Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen IndyCar Series event July 6 at the 3.37-mile Watkins Glen International, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):
1. (3) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Honda, 60, Running
2. (8) Darren Manning, Dallara-Honda, 60, Running
3. (6) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Honda, 60, Running
4. (17) Buddy Rice, Dallara-Honda, 60, Running
5. (7) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 60, Running
6. (11) Bruno Junqueira, Dallara-Honda, 60, Running
7. (13) Mario Moraes, Dallara-Honda, 60, Running
8. (18) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 60, Running
9. (20) Hideki Mutoh, Dallara-Honda, 60, Running
10. (15) E.J. Viso, Dallara-Honda, 60, Running
11. (4) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 60, Running
12. (1) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Honda, 60, Running
13. (19) Mario Dominguez, Dallara-Honda, 60, Running
14. (14) Danica Patrick, Dallara-Honda, 60, Running
15. (12) Will Power, Dallara-Honda, 60, Running
16. (26) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Honda, 59, Running
17. (21) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Honda, 59, Running
18. (23) Jaime Camara, Dallara-Honda, 51, Contact
19. (22) A.J. Foyt IV, Dallara-Honda, 47, Contact
20. (25) Milka Duno, Dallara-Honda, 45, Contact
21. (16) Enrique Bernoldi, Dallara-Honda, 44, Contact
22. (10) Vitor Meira, Dallara-Honda, 38, Contact
23. (5) Oriol Servia, Dallara-Honda, 38, Mechanical
24. (9) Dan Wheldon, Dallara-Honda, 19, Mechanical
25. (2) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 16, Mechanical
26. (24) Jay Howard, Dallara-Honda, 15, Mechanical
Winner's average speed: 106.403 mph
Time of race: 1:54:01.1795
Margin of victory: 2.4009 seconds
Cautions: 6 caution flags for 14 laps
Lead changes: 4 among 4 drivers
Lap leaders: Briscoe 1-20, Meira 21-24, Briscoe 25-41, Manning 42-51, Hunter-Reay 52-60.
Point standings: Dixon 370, Castroneves 322, Wheldon 311, Kanaan 304, Andretti 241, Mutoh 238, Patrick 236, Briscoe 231, Hunter-Reay 220, Servia 206.