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Team Penske Ready for IndyCar Series Opener at St. Pete

April 1, 2009

Photo courtesy of Steve Swope



ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (April 1, 2009) - Following a long off-season of activity, Team Penske is ready to start the 2009 IndyCar Series season the way it ended the 2008 campaign - with a strong performance on a tough street circuit.

More than five months after Team Penske's Ryan Briscoe won on the streets of Surfers Paradise in his native Australia in the season-ending non-points event, the team hopes to begin the 2009 season with positive results on the streets of St. Pete in Sunday's Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

Briscoe enters his second season with Team Penske as one of the drivers to watch in the battle for the 2009 IndyCar Series title. After capturing two wins, plus the victory in Australia to cap off the year, the Sydney, Australia native is ready to take his performance to the next level this season. Briscoe led the first of two series open test sessions, pacing the field in the No. 6 Team Penske Dallara/Honda at the Homestead-Miami Speedway oval in February.

"I'm looking forward to getting the 2009 season underway," said Briscoe. "I think we've got a strong package on temporary street circuits, and opening in St. Petersburg and Long Beach will be an exciting start to our year. I'm certainly looking for a good result in St. Petersburg. The past two times I've raced on that circuit, I've led laps but have been involved in accidents, so I definitely want to make it to the final lap this season. This year will be challenging because there will be lots of fast drivers and teams, which should make for a very competitive season."

Driving the No. 3 Team Penske Dallara/Honda throughout the pre-season as he's helped the team prepare for 2009, Will Power is also anxious to see the first green flag of the year on Sunday. Power joined the team in January and he's been driving the No. 3 while Helio Castroneves continues to focus on his court case.

Power, who's excelled at street course racing throughout his career, had a strong showing at both the Homestead test as well as the second open test of the pre-season just two weeks ago at the Barber Motorsports Park road course where he posted the fastest lap among all competitors.

"I've really enjoyed working with Team Penske thus far," said Power.  "I think that the season opener in St. Petersburg will provide the fans with an exciting event as the track is a truly challenging circuit.  The 2009 IndyCar Series season should be very competitive."

Qualifying for the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will take place on Saturday, April 4 with the race set for Sunday afternoon. Make sure to tune in for all the action as the IndyCar Series makes its debut on the Versus television network with coverage beginning at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 5.