Team Penske Leads Final Day Barber IndyCar Open Test

March 23, 2009

LEEDS, Ala. (March 22, 2009) - Team Penske served notice that it's ready for the start of the 2009 IndyCar Series season by taking two of the top three positions in the final day of a two-day series open test at Barber Motorsports Park.

Will Power owned the fastest lap of the day, and the test overall, with a mark of 1:09.4557 (119.213 mph) in the No. 3 Team Penske Dallara/Honda, while teammate Ryan Briscoe had the third-fastest lap at 1:09.8401 (118.557 mph) in the No. 6 Team Penske Dallara/Honda.

The result at the beautiful 2.3-mile road course left Team Penske with a sweep of the two pre-season open tests hosted by the IndyCar Series as Briscoe paced last month's tune-up on the Homestead-Miami Speedway oval.

Power said his primary goal during the test was to get back into racing shape. The speed was just an added benefit.

"It was an opportunity to knock the rust off," said Power. "It's been almost six months since we've raced. You get some blisters on your hands and get hardened up and get back into driving mode. That's what it was for me."

Not a bad way to get back into it. Power's lap was the fastest among 16 cars over the course of the two-day, 14-hour open test at the circuit east of Birmingham, Ala. "We're going away from this very happy," Power added. "We're satisfied that we have a good setup for road courses."

Briscoe, who led the team with the fifth-fastest lap on Sunday, indicated Team Penske accomplished a great deal over the course of the two days.

"It was a very successful two days of testing," said Briscoe. "We gathered a lot of information for us to go over at headquarters. Both of our Team Penske cars were fast over both days and we got a chance to work on a lot of setup changes."

The test was the final open preparation before the season debut April 5 at St. Petersburg, Fla. As the team packed up after Monday's session, a quiet enthusiasm was evident.

"Everywhere you go, you go there to be fastest," said Power. "That's why we're here. This is only a test, though. I want to be fastest in a race."