Power's Win Paces Penske Racing 1-2 Finish in Edmonton
July 27, 2009
Power cruised to the finish line of the 95-lap race under caution in the No. 12 Penske Truck Rental Dallara/Honda ahead of his teammate. Meanwhile, Team Penske's Ryan Briscoe finished fourth, keeping him in third place in the tight series championship standings. Briscoe is now 14 points behind new leader Scott Dixon, who finished third on Sunday.
Since filling in for Castroneves at the season opener in St. Petersburg, Power has performed well for the team, earning additional races after posting solid results at St. Pete, Long Beach and the Indianapolis 500. He has now scored top-five finishes in four of his five races for the team, including back-to-back podium results at Toronto and Sunday's win at Edmonton's City Centre Airport circuit.
"I'm very happy," Power said. "The Penske Racing crew did an incredible job. I'm really enjoying being a part of this team. I'm not stressed, I'm just taking it one race at a time and doing my best. I've got to thank Roger (Penske) for the opportunity. Today was a great day."
Power led 90 of the 95 laps in the race to complete a near perfect race weekend which also saw him win his second IndyCar Series pole position. With Briscoe and Castoneves running in second and third place for the early part of the race, it looked a podium sweep was possible for the Penske trio. But Dixon was able to work his way into second place after the second series of pit stops before Briscoe was able to reclaim second place.
As the race wore on, Briscoe experienced some handling issues on the No. 6 Team Penske Dallara/Honda and he fell back to fourth place. Castroneves then got by Dixon for the second spot and ran strong to the finish for his best road/street course result of the season.
Castroneves praised Power for his effort, though he was disappointed that the Penske teammates didn't get a 1-2-3 finish to match their 1-2-3 start in the race.
"I feel great. It's a shame that a 1-2-3 team finish slipped away," said Castroneves. "But our goal was to stop the Ganassi guys and we were able to do that with Will's win. When Will came on board, we never had a doubt that he would be a top race contender and it's great that his win keeps championship points from our opponents. It was a well-deserved win. Second place was a solid finish in the Team Penske car. Penske Racing did an incredible job today. I'm very happy."
The race was difficult for many drivers, who nearly went the distance without a caution period. Ironically, the race's first caution came with just one lap remaining, forcing the race to conclude under the first yellow flag of the day. While Briscoe and others felt the effects of the physical race, he still managed to finish fourth.
"It was a tough race, I'll tell you what, without any yellow flags," said Briscoe. "It was tough out there. Luckily, I'd taken my fluids before the race. That's probably one of the tougher races I've done but the Team Penske guys did a great job. We were hoping to finish on the podium but we had a few issues so we'll take the fourth-place result. Congratulations to Will and the guys on the 12 car team."
For Power, the result marks his fourth major open-wheel racing win - the 28-year-old Australian racer posted three victories in two plus seasons competing in the Champ Car World Series.
Penske Racing will once again field three entries next weekend when the IndyCar Series season continues on Saturday night, August 1, with the Meijer Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway. The race is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. ET and will be televised live by Versus.