Castroneves To Start Second, Briscoe Fifth at Belle Isle

August 30, 2008

DETROIT, Mich. (August 30, 2008) - Both Team Penske drivers put themselves in position to win the Detroit Indy Grand Prix by qualifying within the top five Saturday on the difficult 14-turn, 2.07-mile street course.

Helio Castroneves, who is chasing Scott Dixon for the 2008 IndyCar Series championship, will start second next to Dixon after recording a lap in the final “Firestone Fast Six” segment of 1:12.7649 - 102.412 mph - around the course in the No. 3 Team Penske Honda/Dallara.  With just two races remaining - Sunday’s Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix and next week’s season finale at Chicagoland Speedway - Castroneves trails Dixon by just 43 points.

“I knew this was going to be between Scott and me,” said Castroneves of his qualifying effort, which included three segments – 20 minutes, 15 minutes and 10 minutes – in which the fastest six from each advance to the next round. “I really tried. I was pushing as hard as I could, but unfortunately we couldn't put in a better lap. Second is pretty good. We're going to try to do everything we can to win the race tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, Ryan Briscoe put the No. 6 Team Penske Honda/Dallara in good position with a lap of 1:13.1004 - 101.942 mph - good for fifth on the 26-car starting grid.

"It was the usual extremely competitive qualifying session,” said Briscoe. “We’ve been working on the car, and we definitely made some gains. Being in the top six again is great. It was a good effort from Team Penske and certainly put us in a good position for the race."

Briscoe pulled double duty this weekend by competing in the No. 6 LMP2 DHL Penske Porsche RS Spyder in the American Le Mans Series. He teamed later Saturday with Patrick Long in the Detroit Sports Car Challenge at Belle Isle, finishing in sixth spot overall/in class.

“It's been a little busy with me doing double duty, but it‘s gone very well,” said Briscoe. “Team Penske made some good progress and I learned a lot today, so now I think we just have to go back and figure out what we need to do to be a little quicker tomorrow."

The Detroit Indy Grand Prix presented by Firestone is scheduled for Aug. 31 at The Raceway at Belle Isle Park. The race can be seen live at 3:30 p.m. EDT on ABC. The race will also be broadcast on the IMS Radio Network.

Qualifying Saturday for the Detroit Indy Grand Prix presented by Firestone IndyCar Series event on the 2.07-mile The Raceway at Belle Isle Park, with starting position, car number in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, speed and elimination round:

1. (9) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 103.090, Firestone Fast Six

2. (3) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Honda, 102.412, Firestone Fast Six

3. (5) Oriol Servia, Dallara-Honda, 102.136, Firestone Fast Six

4. (02) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 102.008, Firestone Fast Six

5. (6) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Honda, 101.942, Firestone Fast Six

6. (06) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 101.186, Firestone Fast Six

7. (17) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Honda, 102.151, Segment Two

8. (11) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Honda, 101.756, Segment Two

9. (33) E.J. Viso, Dallara-Honda, 101.339, Segment Two

10. (7) Danica Patrick, Dallara-Honda, 100.817, Segment Two

11. (10) Dan Wheldon, Dallara-Honda, 100.803, Segment Two

12. (8) Will Power, Dallara-Honda, No speed, Segment Two

13. (26) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 100.482, Segment One

14. (4) Vitor Meira, Dallara-Honda, 101.157, Segment One

15. (14) Darren Manning, Dallara-Honda, 100.348, Segment One

16. (27) Hideki Mutoh, Dallara-Honda, 100.838, Segment One

17. (2) A.J. Foyt IV, Dallara-Honda, 100.231, Segment One

18. (15) Buddy Rice, Dallara-Honda, 99.232, Segment One

19. (19) Mario Moraes, Dallara-Honda, 100.048, Segment One

20. (20) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Honda, 98.956, Segment One

21. (36) Alex Tagliani, Dallara-Honda, 97.233, Segment One

22. (34) Jaime Camara, Dallara-Honda, 97.152, Segment One

23. (23) Milka Duno, Dallara-Honda, 94.226, Segment One

24. (18) Bruno Junqueira, Dallara-Honda, 90.442, Segment One

25. (25) Marty Roth, Dalla