Briscoe and Power Finish Second and Third in Toronto
July 12, 2009
TORONTO Ont., Canada (July 12, 2009) - Penske Racing emerged from a wild race in Toronto with two podium finishes at the Honda Indy Toronto on the streets of Exhibition Place on Sunday.
Ryan Briscoe scored his fifth second-place finish in the last six races and held steady in the IndyCar Series championship standings by finishing 1.6745 seconds behind race winner Dario Franchitti. Briscoe's No. 6 Team Penske Dallara/Honda took the checkered flag just ahead of Penske Racing's Will Power, who finished on the podium in his first race with the team since the Indianapolis 500 in May.
Helio Castroneves was involved in an accident with popular Canadian driver Paul Tracy on the 65th lap of the 85-lap race and Castroneves finished 18th in the No. 3 Team Penske Dallara/Honda.
Briscoe remains third in the point standings following his effort. "Team Penske will definitely take a second on a day like this," said Briscoe, who started 11th. "We struggled in qualifying. It's just so competitive at the moment on these road and street courses. I was learning the track."
While Briscoe was battling for the lead, Power rallied after falling to the back of the field after going off course on the opening lap from his second-place starting position. It marked the third top-five finish in Power's four races with Penske Racing this season and the first while driving the No. 12 yellow and blue Penske Truck Rental Dallara/Honda.
"I was very happy to get back to third after being almost a lap down," Power said. "I love coming here. It's great racing, great fans. It's awesome to come back after having not driven since May and start here."
After starting 10th, Castroneves patiently worked his way into the race lead and was running among the lead group when the No. 3 Team Penske Honda/Dallara tangled withTracy's car, sending both to the sidelines.
"Unfortunately it was a tough way for us to end our weekend in Toronto," said Castroneves. "We had good race strategy and were running really well. I thought I had given (Paul Tracy) enough room to get by but we got together and that was it. It's too bad. If there's one guy that I didn't want that to happen with, it's 'PT,' especially here in Canada. I feel bad for the fans. They were great and I still love Toronto. Team Penske will be back and hopefully we can turn things around and get a good result in Edmonton."
While Castroneves lost some points in the drivers' standings, he remained in fourth place, 78 points out of the lead. Briscoe, on the other hand, is just 13 points behind the leader Franchitti.
"The car felt really good today," Briscoe said. "We were able to make some good passes and come through the field. I had a cut tire at the beginning, which set us way back, but we had some good strategy. Second place is definitely good on a day like this."
Sunday's result marked the second time this season that Penske Racing posted a pair of top-three finishes in an IndyCar Series race. Power impressed team owner Roger Penske with the finish, his second podium in his four races. Power has not finished outside the top-six for the team this season, earning post-race congratulations from team owner Roger Penske.
"He just said, ‘Good job,'" Power said. "I'm sure he's going to say more when I get back to the bus. It was a good job for Ryan to get up to second. That's what we want for the championship for him, and it was really good for me."
The IndyCar Series will be idle next weekend before resuming July 26 with the Rexall Edmonton Indy at Edmonton City Centre Airport in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.