Briscoe Finishes Second, Castroneves 11th at Milwaukee
May 31, 2009
Briscoe, who started from the pole position, got hung up behind a lapped car just 24 laps from the finish, giving defending series champion Scott Dixon an opening. Briscoe chased Dixon to the finish, but wound up second and he is now four points behind Dixon in the championship race.
Briscoe said his No. 6 Team Penske Dallara/Honda didn't have as much momentum as Dixon's car as the race wore on. "Scott was just a little bit better than me at the end there," Briscoe said. "He got me in traffic. I was struggling with a little bit of understeer, and whenever I'd get on the inside I'd really lose momentum. He was there all day long and took the opportunity to pass me when I got slowed up."
Briscoe, who won at Milwaukee last year for his first IndyCar Series victory, said he saw the bigger picture in Sunday's result. While he didn't necessarily have the fastest car, he did have the patience to hold on to second place and score valuable points.
"Scott got the better of us, but we scored some points and we're still in it," Briscoe said. "That's the important part. If you can't win them, you've got to take what you can get. I thought we did a good job this week."
Helio Castroneves, who won his third Indy 500 last week, then crashed in qualifying and had to start last in the 20-car race, drove to an 11th-place finish in the No. 3 Team Penske Dallara/Honda. "This is one of those days when it feels like there are 700 laps to go," he joked.
Despite Sunday's finish and the fact that he didn't compete in the season opener at St. Petersburg, Castroneves remains fifth in the standings, just 21 points behind his teammate.
"The good news is that we finished," Castroneves said. "Our goal was to finish in the top-10, and we just missed that. All things considered, it was a positive performance."
Briscoe recorded his third top-five finish of the season.
"It was a great effort by Team Penske today," Briscoe said. "My pit stops were awesome. I don't think I've lost a spot in the pits this year, so it's a great credit to Team Penske."
The season resumes Saturday night with the Bombardier Learjet Indy 550 at Texas Motor Speedway. The race begins at 9:40 p.m. ET and will be televised live by Versus.