Second-Place Run at Sonoma Gives Briscoe Series Lead
August 23, 2009
Briscoe finished second for the seventh time this season and recaptured the lead in the IndyCar Series championship standings with just three races remaining in the 2009 season. It marked the 13th lead change in 14 series races this season.
After starting second in the No. 6 Team Penske Dallara/Honda, Briscoe finished just .2488-of-a-second behind winner Dario Franchitti in the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma, but the result put Briscoe four points ahead of Franchitti in the standings. Just three races remain - next weekend at Chicagoland Speedway, Sept. 19 at Twin Ring Motegi in
Briscoe said he just couldn't find a place to pass Franchitti, who led all 75 laps.
"I think if I would have had clean air I would have been quicker than Dario," Briscoe said. "With dirty air, there wasn't much I could do. Unfortunately, it is a really tough track to pass on if the guy in front of you doesn't make mistakes. I don't think that Dario made one today, but congratulations to him and his team."
Briscoe thought he might be able to gain an edge on Franchitti by saving fuel, but soon discovered that Franchitti was also in fuel conservation mode.
"I was pretty conservative on the fuel during that first stint and I actually thought I was going to be able to get him by going a lap further," Briscoe said. "I was surprised to see that he went a lap further than me. That's something we need to work on for this track -- fuel mileage -- but the Team Penske car was pretty good today."
Despite the result, Castroneves remains fourth in the standings and mathematically still in championship contention, 126 points behind Briscoe.
"All of a sudden, the right front suspension collapsed going into Turn 2 and we went off the track," Castroneves said. "We were very lucky that there wasn't more damage. It's really a shame because the Team Penske car was great. Now we just have to move on to
Penske Racing driver
Power is expected to remain in the hospital for a few more days before being transported to
The series resumes Saturday night at Chicagoland Speedway in the Peak Antifreeze and Motor Oil Indy 300.
"We're leading the championship," Briscoe said, "Hopefully we can hang onto it."