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Team Penske Posts Top-10 Times Friday at Mid-Ohio

August 6, 2011

LEXINGTON, Ohio (August 5, 2011) – Team Penske’s three drivers completed a strong opening practice session Friday with laps among the top 10 in preparation for Sunday’s Honda Indy 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Under hot conditions, Will Power led the way for the team by recording the fourth-fastest lap of the late afternoon session – 1:09.7198 – around the 13-turn, 2.258-mile road course in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Honda.

"It was a pretty good session for the Verizon car,” said Power, who won last round at Edmonton and enters the weekend ranked second in the IZOD IndyCar Series championship standings. “This track is really physical. That combined with the heat makes this place tough. We have a good starting point after the practice session and we should be good for tomorrow."

Ryan Briscoe had the ninth-best practice lap on Friday at 1:10.1394 in the No. 6 Penske Truck Rental machine. Briscoe, who won at Mid-Ohio in 2008, will look to improve on his sixth-place standing in the championship in Sunday’s race.

“It was really slippery out there,” said Briscoe, who also won the pole at this track in 2009. “The track, right now, is about 3-4 seconds off the pace of what it’s going to be. It was good to get out there; it feels like it’s been a while since we tested here, but it was just a few weeks ago. The general balance of the Penske Truck Rental car is good. We know the track will change quite a bit over the weekend – we just need to keep up with it.”

 Two-time Mid-Ohio race winner Helio Castroneves owned the 10th-fastest time of the day at 1:10.2027 in the No. 3 Penske Truck Rental Dallara/Honda.

 “The Penske Truck Rental car ran smooth, but it was very loose,” said Castroneves. “The track was pretty dirty at the beginning of the session and it made it tough out there. It felt like I spun out like three times! It was tough in the high-speed corners, and there’s a lot of those here. The car is OK. We know what we need to do tomorrow to improve.”

 Team Penske has an impressive track record at Mid-Ohio, having claimed the last four pole positions for the race, and having posted seven wins at the circuit overall.

Another practice session will be held Saturday morning before qualifying begins at 12:55 p.m. ET. Qualifying action will be televised on VERSUS at 6 p.m. ET on Saturday. Sunday’s 85-lap race is scheduled to begin at 2:50 p.m. ET  with live coverage beginning at 2 p.m. on Versus.

For more coverage from Mid-Ohio throughout the race weekend, please visit http://media.penskeracing.com/teampenskemedia/midohio.