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Team Penske Qualifies Three in Top-Seven at Toronto

July 17, 2010

Photo courtesy of Steve Swope



TORONTO, Ontario, Canada (July 17, 2010) - Team Penske secured three starting positions inside the top-seven Saturday during qualifying for the Honda Indy Toronto.

Will Power will start on the front row in the second starting position after recording a fast lap of 1:00.4563 around the 11-turn, 1.74-mile street course in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Honda. Helio Castroneves will start third in the No. 3 Team Penske car after he posted a lap of 1:00.8159. Ryan Briscoe earned a seventh-place starting spot in the No. 6 Team Penske Dallara/Honda after he clocked a lap of 1:00.9141.

Power, who leads the IZOD IndyCar Series championship standings, recorded his sixth consecutive front-row starting position this season. He has won a series-leading five pole positions in 2010. Justin Wilson won the pole on Saturday, bringing an end to the record streak of eight consecutive poles captured by Team Penske this season.

"After practice, I'm pretty happy with second place," said Power, who won the previous IZOD IndyCar Series race at Watkins Glen on July 4 and won at Toronto in 2007. "It's a strange track. You can go really fast on used tires here. Justin laid down an incredibly fast time, and the rest of the Firestone Fast Six was really tough. The further up you start, the better it is because you avoid the mayhem on the start in Turns 1 and 3. I think we'll have a good race tomorrow."

Castroneves, who entered this weekend ranked fifth in the series standings, said there came a point when the team chose a more conservative approach to qualifying in order to save tires for Sunday's race.

"We ended up being more cautious rather than taking a chance and using up another set of red tires," said Castroneves. "We could have taken a chance and gone for the pole, but when the conditions are like this and the field is so close, the difference between first and sixth isn't much. We're quite happy with the balance of the car, especially on the long runs, so we'll take third place and go from there. It's certainly a place we can win from tomorrow."

Briscoe, who finished second in his first race at Toronto last season, just missed qualifying for the Firestone Fast Six final pole session. He said that timing just didn't fall his way in the closing laps of the second round of qualifying.

"I really felt the Team Penske car had a shot at the pole today," said Briscoe. "It was just a matter of getting the right lap at the right time. I went off line about two laps from the end (of qualifying) when we were pushing for a fast lap and I was never able to clean off the tires enough after that to get the lap we wanted. I still think we have a fast car for the race and I think we're definitely capable of getting up front. It's always an interesting race here in Toronto."

ABC's coverage of Sunday's 85-lap race is scheduled to begin Sunday at 12:30 p.m. ET.