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After Fontana
Final Driver Standings

Rank Driver Points
1 Will Power 671
2 Helio Castroneves 609
3 Scott Dixon 604
4 Juan Pablo Montoya 586
5 Simon Pagenaud 565
6 Ryan Hunter-Reay 563
7 Tony Kanaan 544
8 Carlos Munoz 483
9 Marco Andretti 463
10 Sebastien Bourdais 461
11 Ryan Briscoe 461
12 James Hinchcliffe 456
13 Josef Newgarden 406
14 Charlie Kimball 402
15 Justin Wilson 395
16 Mikhail Aleshin 372
17 Jack Hawksworth 366
18 Takuma Sato 350
19 Graham Rahal 345
20 Carlos Huertas 314
21 Sebastian Saavedra 291
22 Ed Carpenter 262
23 Mike Conway 252
24 Oriol Servia 88
25 Kurt Busch 80
26 J.R. Hildebrand 66
27 Sage Karam 57
28 Luca Filippi 46
29 James Davison 34
30 Jacques Villeneuve 29
31 Alex Tagliani 28
32 Townsend Bell 22
33 Pippa Mann 21
34 Martin Plowman 18
35 Buddy Lazier 11
36 Franck Montagny 8
Castroneves nips Briscoe for M-O IndyCar pole

by Mark J. Cipolloni
Saturday, July 19, 2008

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Helio Castroneves celebrates Peak Pole Award
Shawn Payne/IRL
Helio Castroneves will start from the pole position in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio presented by Westfield Insurance after just beating his Penske teammate Ryan Briscoe by 0.017sec.

Castroneves, driving the No. 3 Team Penske car, topped the Firestone Fast Six session with a lap of 1 minute, 07.2480 seconds (120.878) on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

"The only one I was really worried about was Gil de Ferran," Castroneves joked. "He won the pole position for ALMS, so if I didn't win the pole for the IndyCar Series I knew he would give me a hard time. In all seriousness, it was a great battle between Ryan and I," said Castroneves who also won the pole at the 2007 event. "This morning, we were talking about what a great chance we had to start on the front row with both cars, and we did it. It was a tough battle. Team Penske did a great job, and I'm extremely happy to part of this organization."

Marco Andretti and Justin Wilson will share Row 2 and Tony Kanaan and IndyCar Series points leader Scott Dixon will be on Row 3.

Buddy Rice had the quickest lap of the qualifying in Round 1 (1:07.4874; 120.449 mph in Group 2) and will start seventh - his third consecutive top 10 in the No. 15 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing car.

Danica Patrick, who started on the front row last year in the No. 7 Motorola car when she had a weight advantage, but this year that was mostly taken away by a rules change to equalize weights and, hence, did not get past the first round. She'll start 20th.

It will be the 175th time a Penske open-wheel car will start first in a race and the 27th pole in Castroneves’ IndyCar career.  It’s also his second in a row - he won the pole the previous week at Nashville Superspeedway. 

Castroneves may have secured the No. 1 starting position, but Briscoe gave him a run for it. The No. 6 Team Penske Honda/Dallara recorded a lap of 1:07.2657, good enough to start on the front row next to Castroneves.

“It was hard-fought, as usual," said Briscoe. "You have to hang it out there. I thought we had a really good day - the car was handling well and it was so close. You can definitely see our Team Penske cars are very strong here."

The Honda Indy 200 at Mid Ohio will air live on Sunday, July 20, at 1:30 p.m. (EDT) by ABC and will be broadcast live on the IMS Radio Network.

QUOTES:

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Team Penske, qualified first): “It feels great. The only one I was really worried about was Gil de Ferran (laughing). He won the pole position for ALMS, so if I didn't win the pole for the IndyCar Series, I knew he would give me a hard time. In all seriousness, it was a great battle between Ryan (Briscoe) and me. This morning we were talking about what a great chance we had to start on the front row with both cars, and we did it. It was a tough battle. Team Penske did a great job, and I'm extremely happy to part of this organization.”

RYAN BRISCOE (No. 6 Team Penske, second): “It was good. It was hard-fought as usual. You have to work so hard to get into the (Firestone) Fast Six, and then you have to hang it out there. I thought we had a really good day. The car was handling well. We just weren’t quite quick enough, but it was so close, and you can definitely see our Team Penske cars are very strong here.”

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 26 Blockbuster, third): “It was the toughest couple of runs of my life physically. The steering was so heavy. I will definitely need a bit of rest before the race tomorrow. I gave it everything I had, and well that is all we had.”

JUSTIN WILSON (No. 02 McDonald’s Racing Team, fourth): “I’m really pleased. This morning, I was asking what the deal is if we don’t make the top 12. It was a little tricky to drive so I couldn’t get it all out. I thought I might be able to sneak up a little bit closer, but at the end of the day I’m pretty happy with where we are.”

TONY KANAAN (No. 11 Team 7-Eleven, fifth): “We had a lot of understeer in the car. We tried to improve, but obviously we didn’t. We had a problem with the throttle cable. One of the wires came loose, and my idle was at 6,000 rpm. That doesn’t make it easy to stop the car in the hard braking zones. We managed to put a lap together, and I’m pretty pleased. Despite the circumstances we made it to the Firestone Fast Six again, and we’ll see what’s going to happen tomorrow.”

BUDDY RICE (No. 15 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, seventh): “You’re pushing, it’s hard, it’s a narrow line. What I’m personally disappointed with is myself. I ran a (1:07.4) in that previous session. There’s no reason I shouldn’t have been able to back that up, and I didn’t. We should have been in the Firestone Fast Six. The Dreyer and Reinbold team did a great job. I’m happy with everything. I’m just disappointed we didn’t put the Roll Coater Honda in the Firestone Fast Six.”

ORIOL SERVIA (No. 5 KV Racing Technology, eighth): “When you miss making the Firestone Fast Six Shootout by so little, it is a little disappointing, but I am really happy with the KV Racing Technology team and the improvement we made. It shows a lot. Obviously, you want to come to a track and be fastest right away, but I think it shows that we can learn and are a capable team. We were 20th yesterday, and today we almost made it into the top six. I am just very happy with the team, the improvement we made and the performance we had today.”

Results

Pos

Driver Name Best Time Best Speed Best Lap Total Laps
1 Helio Castroneves (3) 1:07.2480 120.878 4 7
2 Ryan Briscoe (6) 1:07.2657 120.846 7 8
3 Marco Andretti (26) 1:07.4107 120.586 4 7
4 Justin Wilson (02) 1:07.5442 120.348 4 7
5 Tony Kanaan (11) 1:07.5750 120.293 4 6
6 Scott Dixon (9) 1:07.5930 120.261 4 9
7 Buddy Rice (15) 1:07.7551 119.973 4 9
8 Oriol Servia (5) 1:07.8447 119.815 11 11
9 Bruno Junqueira (18) 1:07.8689 119.772 10 10
10 Hideki Mutoh (27) 1:07.9031 119.712 3 11
11 Vitor Meira (4) 1:08.0034 119.535 9 11
12 Will Power (8) 1:08.0678 119.422 9 9
13 Dan Wheldon (10) 1:08.3379 118.950 10 14
14 Graham Rahal (06) 1:08.0459 119.461 9 12
15 Ryan Hunter-Reay (17) 1:08.3444 118.939 10 12
16 Mario Dominguez (96) 1:08.0742 119.411 12 13
17 E.J. Viso (33) 1:08.4668 118.726 11 11
18 Enrique Bernoldi (36) 1:08.2645 119.078 10 11
19 Mario Moraes (19) 1:08.5580 118.568 8 8
20 Danica Patrick (7) 1:08.3609 118.910 11 11
21 Darren Manning (14) 1:09.1560 117.543 8 10
22 Ed Carpenter (20) 1:09.0310 117.756 16 16
23 A.J. Foyt IV (2) 1:09.3607 117.196 11 14
24 Marty Roth (25) 1:10.9141 114.629 13 14
25 Jaime Camara (34) 1:10.5110 115.284 9 11
26 Milka Duno (23) 1:12.2709 112.477 9 9

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