Briscoe, Castroneves Aim to Improve After Mid-Ohio Practice

August 7, 2009

LEXINGTON, Ohio - The bottom-line results may not have been spectacular on Friday, but both Team Penske drivers feel that they are in good shape after the first practice session before qualifying for Sunday's Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The cars of the IndyCar Series took to the track for a one-hour practice session late on Friday afternoon.

Ryan Briscoe had the seventh-fastest lap of the day - 1:09.1440 (117.563 mph) - around the 2.24-mile road course in the No. 6 Team Penske Dallara/Honda.

"The track was not very fast today, so we waited for a good portion of the session before we went out," said Briscoe, the defending champion at Mid-Ohio, who is coming off a win last week at Kentucky. "The Team Penske car looks good and I feel like we are on the right track. I don't think we will be doing any big changes going into tomorrow."

Teammate Helio Castroneves couldn't get a clear lap but still posted the 12th-best lap of the day - 1:09.4989 (116.963 mph) in the No. 3 Team PenskeDallara/Honda.

"We were able to take a couple short runs this afternoon, but unfortunately we got stuck behind traffic," said Castroneves, last year's polewinner at Mid-Ohio. "The Team Penske car felt good out there, and I think we'll be fine for the rest of the weekend. We just need to get some clean laps tomorrow morning to see exactly where we sit."

Briscoe, who leads the IndyCar Series championship standings, says he's looking forward to the road-racing debut of push-to-pass technology.

"I think it will add another element of excitement to the racing," he said. "I always like competing at Mid-Ohio, and I am excited for a good weekend."

After a morning practice session, qualifying is scheduled to begin Saturday at 12:30 p.m. ET. Sunday's race will start at 1:45 p.m. and will be aired live on Versus.