Qualifying Doesn't Reflect Team Penske's Kansas Promise
April 25, 2009
Photo courtesy of IMS Photo
KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Team Penske made the best of an unfortunate situation Saturday at Kansas Speedway.
The team was ready to celebrate two solid starting positions when it was informed that Helio Castroneves, who was third-fastest in qualifying, dropped the No. 3 Team Penske Dallara/Honda below the white line during qualifying and would be penalized. As a result, Castroneves will start 22nd in the 22-car field for the start of Sunday's RoadRunner Turbo Indy 300.
Teammate Ryan Briscoe will start seventh after his four-lap average of 210.098 mph in the No. 6 Team Penske Dallara/Honda during windy conditions early on in qualifying at the 1.5-mile tri-oval.
"I‘m not unhappy, but I definitely don‘t think we got the most out of the Team Penske car today," said Briscoe, who enters Sunday's race ranked third in the series championship point standings. "I just couldn't keep it down in Turns 3 and 4 with the wind as strong as it was. But that's OK, we should be in good shape for tomorrow."
Castroneves posted a four-lap average of 210.857 mph, but was relegated to the final starting position because his car dropped two wheels below the track's white line. Dario Franchitti will also start from the rear of the field after his car also dropped below the white line.
"Clearly, being sent to the back of the field is a major disappointment for the whole team, but we‘ve won from the back before," said Castroneves, noting his victory from last place at Chicagoland Speedway last year. "It just means we have a lot more work to do tomorrow. We're just staying positive."
Sunday's race is scheduled to begin shortly after 5 p.m. ET. It will be televised live on the Versus television network.