Briscoe Best in IRL Texas Go

Date: 6/7/2010 7:06:14 PM

 
June 5
Briscoe Best in IRL Texas Go 
By Walter Elliott
 
  FORT WORTH, Texas -- Ryan Briscoe received redemption from his May 30 Indianapolis
 
500 performance by winning the Firestone 550k here at Texas Motor Speedway Saturday
 
night.
 
 Briscoe, refreshed from his last scheduled round of pitstops, made a daring pass on
 
Danica Patrick on lap 192. The Sydney, Australia native went on to lead the last 25
 
laps of the 347-mile race, holding off Patrick by 1.4629 sec. on the banked 1.5-mile oval.
 
 "This is unbelieveable," said Briscoe. "We were feeling pretty miserable after Sunday at
 
Indy and, although we got the pole Friday, I wasn't happy with how the car handled in
 
last night's practice. We made some changes overnight."
 
 Briscoe was referring to his crashing out of the 94th Indy 500 on lap 147. The Team
 
Penske No. 6 Dallara-Honda pilot was coming away from a lead and a scheduled pitstop at
 
that time.
 
 Those changes must have worked well for Briscoe would lead four times for 102 laps. Indy
 
500 winner Dario Franchitti led twice for 86 laps. Alex Tagliani, Patrick, Dan Wheldon, Will
 
Power and Hideki Mutoh each led once for a collective 40 laps.
 
 Briscoe noted that Saturday night was the fifth TMS race in a row that he finished where
 
he started. The victory is also the fourth of the last five here for car owner Roger Penske.
 
 "Briscoe ran similar races at Chicagoland and at Homestead-Miami (speedways)," said
 
Penske. "We're back."
 
 Rival car owner Michael Andretti could have said the same thing after reviewing the
 
finish. The Nazareth, Pa. native's Andretti Autosports drivers Patrick, Marco Andretti,
 
Tony Kanaan and Ryan Hunter-Reay finished second, third, sixth and seventh among the
 
final 19 runners.
 
 Hunter-Reay, who won the Long Beach GP in April, said he did not feel any pain from his 
 
splinted right thumb. He and Andretti are looking for additional sponsorship to continue the
 
season.
 
 Franchitti, who finished sixth, came away with the overall IRL IZOD Indy Car Series and
 
A.J. Foyt Oval Championship drivers points lead. IRL president Randy Bernard announced
 
that a poll of fans gave the oval championship trophy's name in Foyt's honor. Fans are to
 
also determine whose name will go on the IICS Road/Street Championship trophy.
 
 The night saw seven of 26 starters fail to finish due to crashes or mechanical woes.
 
 Helio Castroneves and Mario Moraes brought out the race's fourth and final caution when
 
they collided on lap 129 and collected rookie Bertrand Baugette in the process.
 
 The race's scariest moment came just after Indy 500 Rookie of the Year Simona de
 
Silvestro's crash off the turn two wall on lap 97. Silvestro's car crossed the track and
 
caught fire - which was when she realized that her fire extinguisher was not working.
 
  The safety crew got her out - albeit with a burned right hand. IRL medics have cleared
 
her for participation in June 18-20's race at Newton, Iowa.
 
 The four yellow flag periods consumed 40 laps. 

 Milka Duno dropped out when her radiator picked up de Silvestro's debris. Sarah Fisher
 
Racing's Jay Howard exited with low fuel pressure.
 
 Tomas Scheckter, who is Dino's temamate for the interim, came from 18th starting place
 
to finish 13th. Scheckter is filling in at Dale Coyne Racing for the injured Mike Conway.
 
Methodist Hospital, at Indianapolis, Ind., had released Conway Sunday - although he is to
 
miss at least three months until his back and lower right leg heals.
 
    
  FINISH (Running Unless Otherwise Noted): 1. RYAN BRISCOE, 2. Danica Patrick, 3. Marco
 
Andretti, 4. Scott Dixon, 5. Dario Franchitti, 6. Tony Kanaan, 7. Ryan Hunter-Reay, 8. Alex
 
Lloyd (R), 9. Dan Wheldon, 10. Vitor Meira, 11. E.J. Viso, 12. Hideki Mutoh, 13. Tomas
 
Scheckter, 14. Will Power, 15. Sarah Fisher, 16. Raphael Matos, 17. Mario Romancini (R),
 
18. Alex Tagliani, 19. Justin Wilson; (DNF) 20. Helio Castroneves (lap 129 - collision), 21.
 
Mario Moraes (lap 129 - collision), 22. Bertrand Baguette (R) (lap 129 - collision), 23. Milka
 
Duno (lap 116 - debris-radiator), 24. Simona de Silvestro (R) (lap 97 - crash), 25. Takuma
 
Sato (R) (lap 56 - crash), 26. Jay Howard (R) (lap 37 - fuel pressure).
 
 OVERALL DRIVER POINTS: 1. FRANCHITTI-; 2. Power-243; 3. Dixon-235; 4. Castroneves-
 
211; 5. Briscoe-208; 6. Hunter-Reay-201; 7 Wilson-179; 8. Kanaan-179; 9. Andretti-169;
 
10. Wheldon-164.
 
 


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