Briscoe dominates, Castroneves wins in Texas
Ganassi teammates Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti also ran 100% throttle the entire race and came in 3rd and 4th, further proof these races are 100% car and 0% driver talent.
Andretti Green Racing teammates Marco Andretti and Danica Patrick were 5th and 6th further proof these races are 100% car and 0% driver talent as the finish is determined by how fast your wide open identical spec car can get through the air. It is apparent the Penske cars do that best followed by the Ganassi cars followed by the AGR cars.
Such has been the pecking order for three years running. How fast do you want to go, how much money do you have to spend in the wind tunnel reducing drag and on reducing rolling resistance.
"All the credit also goes to Ryan Briscoe and his team. They push us, and we push them, and together, we're pushing towards the top. Having first and second at Texas is not easy, so that's a compliment for everyone."
"We did the best we could, I just didn't have enough for Helio in the final stages," said Briscoe, who took over the IndyCar Series championship race with 199 points (three ahead of Dixon). "The last 20 laps were some of the most frustrating I've ever driven. To lead the whole race and have the quickest car out there, I just couldn't pass Helio. The high line was slower.
"At least we came in second. We got points for leading the most laps. The important thing is we're racing for the wins. We'll get our wins. It's just frustrating for tonight."
The win marked Team Penske's fifth at Texas Motor Speedway, tying Panther Racing for most wins at the 1.5-mile oval.
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Team Penske, winner Bombardier Learjet 550K): "First time when I jumped in a car at Long Beach, I asked if this was a dream and (Tim Cindric) said it was reality. It certainly feels like it's a dream, but I understand that it's not. And that's good news. Team Penske did an incredible job today. It was an incredible day for Team Penske. All the credit also goes to Ryan Briscoe and his team. They push us, and we push them, and together, we're pushing towards the top. Having first and second at Texas is not easy, so that's a compliment for everyone." (About passing for lead in the pits): "In the beginning of the race, we were saving fuel, but you're also trying to figure out what your car is doing and that what I was trying to do. The car was loose, and there were some moments out there. But we figured out what to do and great pit stops the guys put me up front. In the end it was 50 laps and full throttle. It was the toughest 50 laps that I had to go through, but we held it together."
RYAN BRISCOE: (No. 6 Team Penske, finished second): "We did the best we could, I just didn't have enough for Helio in the final stages. The last 20 laps were some of the most frustrating I've ever driven. To lead the whole race and have the quickest car out there, I just couldn't pass Helio. The high line was slower. At least we came in second. We got points for leading the most laps. The important thing is we're racing for the wins. We'll get our wins. It's just frustrating for tonight."
SCOTT DIXON: (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing, finished third): "There was lots of green running, which is different for Texas. The Penske cars are definitely hooked up. The Target cars weren't too bad. We just need to work on it a bit."
MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 26 Team Venom Energy, finished fourth): (About battle with Danica Patrick): "The toughest people out there passing me are my teammates, and I don't get that. I think three out of four of us get what the camaraderie of Andretti Green Racing is."
DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 10 Energizer, finished fifth): "It was slow. It was just slow all night. The biggest problem I had was the fuel mileage. If they would have told me that from the start, I would have done a lot better and saved fuel. I gave away a place tonight, and I hope it doesn't cost us at the end of the year."
DANICA PATRICK (No. 7 Boost Mobile/Motorola, finished sixth): "All weekend we had a strong car and then during the race, the steering became really heavy, it just wasn't the car we started with. I wish we could have had a top-five finish, but Marco passed me at the end far and square. Overall, I'm content with the sixth place finish for the Boost Mobile/Motorola car."
DAN WHELDON (No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing, finished seventh): "For whatever reason, we just lacked a little bit of speed compared to what we had in practice and we geared the National Guard Panther Racing car to be quicker. Again, the Panther guys worked really hard and got us to the end, but we seem to make it difficult for ourselves sometimes. As time goes on, we're going to continue to improve."
TONY KANAAN (No 11 Team 7-Eleven, finished eighth): "It has been the most difficult past three weeks for Team 7-Eleven, but we hung in there and kept our heads up. I wish we had a better finish tonight, but we finished the race with no issues, the guys did a great job in the pits, and I did my job on the track. I happy to have an off week and I think we could use the rest, but look forward to getting back in the car in Iowa."
ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Menards/Vision Racing, finished ninth): "A top-10 finish is the only positive we can take out of the Texas race. We did gain some ground in the points moving from 16th to 14th but this is the third time I've finished ninth here. I was hoping for a better result. I'm disappointed for the fans in particular because Texas is supposed to be exciting racing, and unfortunately, the cars are too similar now and it weakened the product. I've never seen this race turn into a one groove track before. We want to put on a good show, and I'm afraid this was not it. You couldn't pass and you couldn't pass guys that were a lap down. It doesn't take much of a block and suddenly you find yourself running behind lapped cars all night long. It turned into a fuel strategy, track position, no passing race and no one wants that. Texas is usually the place you should have to be playing fuel strategy gambles. This is a place you should be able to drive from the back to the front and unfortunately it is just not that way right now."
MARIO MORAES (No. 5 KV Racing Technology/Votorantim, finished 10th): "I think we got the most out of the car we could tonight. The car was loose in the middle of the race and I fell back, but during the last stint it was fast. I want to thank the entire KV Racing Technology team. They did a great job tonight. We finished in the top-10 again and earned some valuable points and pick up some spots in the championship standings."
Robert Doornbos, No. 06 Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It’s great to get a Texas race under my belt. It’s hard for me because we’re going to get a good season going here. It’s a while different discipline. I’m learning as much as I can. I’m not used to finishing 11th, 10th or ninth but that’s the way it is at the moment. We just have to work hard and close the gap to the strong guys. I’m very happy I finished the race for Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing and the 06 guys because they know as well as I know that I need the experience as fast as I can. I enjoyed myself in the night race in Texas. Seeing the crowds is very exciting. It’s unfortunate that the last sting destroyed my race a bit with backmarkers not going me any room. Other than that, I am happy I can focus on Iowa.”
Graham Rahal, No. 02 McDonald’s Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It’s frustrating. We struggled a little bit all weekend but the McDonald’s car felt very comfortable and very good. It was unfortunate because right away something did not feel right as I went into Turn 1 and I lost a couple of spots in the initial start. I was hanging on going into Turns 3 and 4 the car was so loose and I lost tons of spots maybe 6 or 7 spots. Something did not feel right going back into Turn 1 and I let up for the second lap and I was trying to be careful but as I went into Turn 1 something snapped. I couldn’t hang on. I feel bad for the others involved. It was horrible.”
Winner's average speed: 172.677 mph
Time of race: 1:55:16.1670
Margin of victory: 0.3904 of a second
Cautions: 3 caution flags for 26 laps
Lead changes: 7 lead changes among 4 drivers
Lap leaders: Franchitti 1-10, Briscoe 11-56, Castroneves 57-
58, Carpenter 59, Briscoe 60-111, Castroneves 112-113,
Briscoe 114-175, Castroneves 176-228.
Point standings: Briscoe 199, Dixon 196, Franchitti 188,
Castroneves 186, Patrick 167, Wheldon 152, Kanaan 146,
Andretti 141, Rahal 126, Hunter-Reay 116.
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