Castroneves on Front Row, Briscoe To Start Third In Texas

June 6, 2008

FORT WORTH, Tex. (June 6, 2008) – Team Penske’s drivers put themselves in prime position to follow up on last weekend’s victory at Milwaukee with another one at Texas.

Helio Castroneves put the No. 3 Team Penske Dallara/Honda on the front row Friday night for the Bombardier Learjet 550k at Texas Motor Speedway with a four-lap average of 214.777 mph while teammate Ryan Briscoe grabbed the third starting position with an average of 213.927 mph in the No. 6 Team Penske Dallara/Honda.

The qualifying success only added to a season in which Team Penske is hitting on all cylinders: Briscoe won Sunday‘s ABC Supply/A.J. Foyt 225 at The Milwaukee Mile, while Castroneves is right in the middle of the race for the IndyCar Series championship.

Castroneves’ best lap was better than the fastest lap of pole winner Scott Dixon, but he wasn‘t able to maintain the speed for all four laps.  “We had one lap that was fast, but we needed four,” Castroneves said. "Unfortunately we weren’t able to do that. I’m happy Team Penske was able to have a good performance in qualifying. We definitely have a competitive car this weekend.”

Briscoe said he thought he could challenge for the pole position, especially after running well in practice Friday afternoon.  “We were a little disappointed that we weren’t able to turn in a better result in qualifying, but we were a bit off on our gears,” Briscoe said. “Fortunately we have a good car, so we should be able to hang with the lead pack tomorrow. I’m confident we’ll be in good shape when the green flag drops.”

Saturday’s race begins at shortly after 9:30 p.m. EDT. It will be televised on a delayed basis by ESPN2 beginning at 10 p.m. EDT. 

Qualifying Friday for the Bombardier Learjet 550k IndyCar Series event on the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway, with starting position, car number in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine and speed (four lap average):

1. (9) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 214.878 (1:37.5063 total time for four laps)

2. (3) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Honda, 214.777 (1:37.5525)

3. (6) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Honda, 213.927 (1:37.9398)

4. (27) Hideki Mutoh, Dallara-Honda, 213.485

5. (7) Danica Patrick, Dallara-Honda, 213.238

6. (12) Tomas Scheckter, Dallara-Honda, 213.212

7. (24) John Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 212.844

8. (8) Will Power, Dallara-Honda, 212.595

9. (4) Vitor Meira, Dallara-Honda, 212.501

10. (17) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Honda, 212.482

11. (10) Dan Wheldon, Dallara-Honda, 212.474

12. (20) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Honda, 212.247

13. (11) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Honda, 212.152

14. (26) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 211.974

15. (2) A.J. Foyt IV, Dallara-Honda, 211.622

16. (5) Oriol Servia, Dallara-Honda, 211.333

17. (14) Darren Manning, Dallara-Honda, 211.277

18. (06) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 211.128

19. (25) Marty Roth, Dallara-Honda, 211.122

20. (36) Enrique Bernoldi, Dallara-Honda, 210.731

21. (34) Jaime Camara, Dallara-Honda, 210.582

22. (19) Mario Moraes, Dallara-Honda, 210.254

23. (02) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 210.160

24. (96) Mario Dominguez, Dallara-Honda, 210.059

25. (15) Buddy Rice, Dallara-Honda, 209.622

26. (18) Bruno Junqueira, Dallara-Honda, 209.572

27. (23) Milka Duno, Dallara-Honda, 209.420

28. (33) E.J. Viso, Dallara-Honda, 209.313