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Team Penske Starts Weekend Strong at Mid-Ohio

August 6, 2010

Photo courtesy of Steve Swope



LEXINGTON, Ohio (August 6, 2010) - Team Penske opened the weekend with promise Friday by recording three of the five fastest laps during practice for the Honda Indy 200 presented by Westfield Insurance at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Will Power, who leads the IZOD IndyCar Series championship standings with six races remaining in the 2010 season, set the pace for the team with the second-fastest lap of the hour-long afternoon practice session. Power and the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Honda were clocked at 1:08.3301 around the 13-turn, 2.26-mile road course. Graham Rahal owned the fastest practice lap of the day with a time of 1:08.3061.

"It was a good session," said Power. "It's tough at this track to get a good read on the car, especially early in the weekend. So much changes at the track with the grip. But we know the Verizon car is fast and we think we have a good handle on it. We'll talk about things tonight and hopefully we'll keep improving tomorrow."

Right behind Power on the timing chart was Helio Castroneves, who posted a lap of 1:08.3779, good enough for third-fastest on the day in the No. 3 Team Penske Dallara/Honda. Castroneves is currently sixth in the standings, 115 points behind his teammate.

"For us, it was a pretty good today," said Castroneves. "Certainly with all the different series on the track, it is difficult to find grip. Our Team Penske car is strong though, and I am looking forward to qualifying tomorrow."

Ryan Briscoe, who won the Mid-Ohio race in 2008 and is the defending polewinner at the event, had the fifth-fastest lap during Friday's practice - 1:08.5437 - in the No. 6 Team Penske Dallara/Honda. Briscoe is ranked fourth in the standings, 96 points off Power's pace.

"That was a good start to the weekend," said Briscoe. "The Team Penske car feels pretty close to where it needs to be. We have a little work to do to get it perfect, but we are happy with where we are at the moment."

The Indy cars return to the Mid-Ohio track Saturday morning at 9 a.m. before qualifying, which is scheduled to begin at 12:35 p.m. ET. Coverage of Sunday's 85-lap race will begin at 2:30 p.m. ET on Versus.