LEXINGTON, Ohio (August 6, 2009) - Team Penske's Ryan Briscoe will be looking to go back-to-back this weekend in Mid-Ohio, in more ways than one.
The current Indy Car Series points leader won in dramatic fashion last weekend on the Kentucky Speedway oval with a hard-fought .0162-of-a-second victory to recapture the championship lead. He enters this weekend looking to make it two wins in a row, not only on the season, but at Mid-Ohio as well.
Briscoe led a Team Penske 1-2 finish last season at the historic road circuit, taking advantage of superb pit strategy and track position to claim the team's seventh win at Mid-Ohio in its storied history.
Leading defending champion Scott Dixon by just eight points in the title chase heading into this weekend's Honda Indy 200, Briscoe knows he needs a strong result to stay in front of not only Dixon, but Dario Franchitti and Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves in the standings as well.
"Mid-Ohio is a great circuit and it seems that Penske Racing has always been strong there regardless of what series they're competing in," said Briscoe. "Last year, Helio won the pole and I won the race, so hopefully we'll be able to bring the same level of competitiveness to the track again.
"We're coming off of an amazing weekend in Kentucky, where I earned my first win on a 1.5-mile oval. The introduction of the push-to-pass button really made things exciting out there and I can't wait to see how it affects things on a permanent road course. The combination of the win last week, our past success at Mid-Ohio and arriving as the points leader, means that we're heading into Lexington with a lot of momentum and hopefully we'll be able capitalize on that this weekend."
Castroneves carries an impressive record at Mid-Ohio into this weekend's race. The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner has produced two wins, four podium results and two pole positions at the track and he will be looking for his third win of the season on Sunday.
"Team Penske has historically done very well at Mid-Ohio, so hopefully we'll be just as competitive this year," said Castroneves. "The track has high-speed corners, as well as low speed corners. Plus, there are several elevation changes, which provide a great combination of challenges. With all of these elements in play, you really need to have a great Team behind you and a great car to do well.
"Team Penske has had a solid string of races the past few events, especially coming off of Ryan's win in Kentucky. I think the new rule changes have shaken things up a bit - the racing was incredible last Saturday in Kentucky and I can't wait to see what happens this weekend."
The Indy cars will take to the track on Friday for an afternoon practice session. Practice will resume on Saturday morning, with qualifying scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m. ET on Saturday. After a morning warm-up on Sunday, the 85-lap Honda Indy 200 will take the green flag at 1:45 p.m. ET on Sunday afternoon with live television coverage on Versus.