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Briscoe Owns Second-Fastest Practice Time at Long Beach

April 16, 2010

Photo courtesy of Steve Swope



LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 16, 2010) - Team Penske opened the race weekend with a robust performance in Friday's practice sessions for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, as all three of the team's drivers finished among the top nine on the speed chart.

Ryan Briscoe led the way with the second-fastest lap of the day - 1:10 .6980 (100.212 mph) - around the 11-turn, 1.968-mile street course in the No. 6 Team Penske Dallara/Honda. Ryan Hunter-Reay carded the fastest lap of the day overall at 1:10.6346 (100.302 mph).

Team Penske has won the first three races of the IZOD IndyCar Series season and Briscoe hopes to continue the team's streak Sunday in the streets of downtown Long Beach.

"I think as a team, we're extremely strong at the moment," said Briscoe, who knows he needs to maintain his quick pace Saturday in qualifying. "We're really pushing each other a lot. There's a really good vibe within. And I really feel like coming into this part of the season, I really need to step it up in qualifying. For sure, to get the race wins, my first step is going to be stepping it up in qualifying."

Will Power, who won the first two races of the season and leads the championship standings heading into Sunday's race, had the fifth-fastest lap Friday. Power, who topped morning practice, posted a time of 1:10.8641 (99.977 mph) in the afternoon session driving the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Honda.

"We are reasonably happy with the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car," said Power. "We need to find a bit more speed. It is really close out there, really competitive. We will work on it tonight and we should be in great shape tomorrow for qualifying."

After winning Sunday's race at Barber Motorsports Park, Helio Castroneves recorded the ninth-fastest lap Friday - 1:11.0267 (99.748 mph) -- in the Team Penske No. 3 Team Penske machine Castroneves was second in morning practice.

"We are learning a lot of good information for qualifying and the race," said Castroneves. "The No. 3 car has been solid and we will continue working on it tonight. It has been a beautiful day here in Long Beach and it is great to see all the fans out at the track."
Another practice session will be held Saturday at 1:25 p.m. ET before qualifying, which is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. ET. Sunday's race will be televised by Versus beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET.