Team Penske ready for Spring Training It's been nearly four months since the final checkered flag dropped on the 2008 season and no one is more anxious to get back behind the wheel than Team Penske drivers Ryan Briscoe and Will Power. The 2009 IndyCar Series season is almost upon us, and the pair of Australian drivers are certainly looking forward to getting back out on the track at Homestead-Miami Speedway next week.
For Briscoe, 2009 will mark his second season with Team Penske, as he looks to continue the success he found in 2008 and build upon the momentum he established at the end of the season. Not only did the 27-year-old earn his first IndyCar Series victory at Milwaukee, but he also earned two more wins (Mid- Ohio and the non-points race at Surfers Paradise) and three poles during the course of the year. In the final seven events of the season (including the nonpoints exhibition at Surfers Paradise), Briscoe earned two poles and started in the top-five each time; he also earned seven top-ten finishes including two wins and four top-three finishes. With his win in Australia, Briscoe rounded out his open-wheel resume by winning on each type of IndyCar Series track in 2008 - an oval, a permanent road course and a temporary street circuit.
"I'm really pumped up to get the season started," said Briscoe. "It's been a long off-season, but the upside is that it's given us a great opportunity to spend time in the race shop to talk about how we can improve and be stronger in 2009. We haven't been in the car since Australia and everyone is excited to get out there. We don't get to do a lot of testing throughout the year, so I think we'll really be looking to take advantage of the track time in Miami and at the Barber test so we're ready to go racing when the season starts in St. Petersburg. I'm also looking forward to working with my new race engineer, Eric Cowdin. Our first event together was last October in Australia, so we've set the bar pretty high already. So far we've worked very well with one another and I'm anxious to see what the 2009 season has in store for us."
Briscoe will be joined by a new face to Team Penske at the pre-season tests as fellow Australian, Will Power, will get behind the wheel of the #3 Team Penske Dallara/Honda for the first time on an oval. Power will step in for two-time Indianapolis 500 Winner Helio Castroneves, who has driven for the Team for nine seasons capturing 18 wins and 30 poles, should Castroneves be unavailable to drive, when the 2009 IndyCar Series season begins on April 5th.
"I'm really looking forward to getting in the car next week," said Power. "It's a tremendous opportunity for me to be able to drive for such an accomplished organization as Team Penske. I'm especially excited to test on ovals in the Team Penske car. I struggled on the ovals last year and I'm looking forward to getting some practice in as well as working with my new crew. This Team has definitely proven that they know how to find success on all types of circuits and I can't wait to work with them."
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