SPARTA, Ky. (August 8, 2008) - Team Penske secured the third row for the start of Saturday‘s Meijer Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway. Ryan Briscoe will start fifth after posting a four-lap average of 217.665 mph Friday in the No. 6 Team Penske Honda/Dallara. Helio Castroneves will start next to him in sixth place after his four-lap run of 217.642 mph in the No. 3 Team Penske Honda/Dallara.
"The Team Penske car feels really solid, and it has a nice balance,” said Briscoe, who is currently fifth in the 2008 IndyCar Series championship. “We probably could've gotten a bit more speed out of it, but I'm certainly happy with where we are. I think we have a great car, and we should be in good shape for the race tomorrow."
Castroneves remains in second place in the 2008 IndyCar Series standings, trailing only Scott Dixon, who won the pole for Saturday’s race. Still, Castroneves is confident he can gain ground with only four races remaining this season.
"The car felt really solid during the practice sessions, but we didn't seem to have the speed of the leaders, and we couldn't figure out why that was,” said Castroneves. “My engineer made the decision right before qualifying to make some changes to the car that seemed to work for us, and we ran our fastest lap of the day. We're pretty happy with our starting position, and our race car works really well in traffic, so we'll do our best to stay out of trouble and bring home another good result in hopes of keeping the championship battle alive."
The Meijer Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway will be telecast live at 6:30 p.m. EDT by ESPN2. The race will be broadcast on the IMS Radio Network.
Qualifying Friday for the Meijer Indy 300 presented by Pepsi and Edy's IndyCar Series event on the 1.500-mile Kentucky Speedway, with starting position, car number in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine and four-lap average speed:
1. (9) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 218.968 (1:37.3293 total time for four lap run)
2. (4) Vitor Meira, Dallara-Honda, 218.409
3. (10) Dan Wheldon, Dallara-Honda, 218.332
4. (27) Hideki Mutoh, Dallara-Honda, 217.696
5. (6) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Honda, 217.665 (1:37.9396)
6. (3) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Honda, 217.642 (1:38.0002)
7. (11) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Honda, 217.604
8. (20) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Honda, 217.469
9. (26) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 217.404
10. (2) A.J. Foyt IV, Dallara-Honda, 217.286
11. (25) Marty Roth, Dallara-Honda, 217.046
12. (5) Oriol Servia, Dallara-Honda, 217.015
13. (8) Will Power, Dallara-Honda, 216.729
14. (17) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Honda, 216.687
15. (15) Buddy Rice, Dallara-Honda, 216.609
16. (67) Sarah Fisher, Dallara-Honda, 216.557
17. (14) Darren Manning, Dallara-Honda, 216.321
18. (23) Milka Duno, Dallara-Honda, 215.694
19. (02) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 215.459
20. (06) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 215.263
21. (33) E.J. Viso, Dallara-Honda, 215.065
22. (34) Jaime Camara, Dallara-Honda, 214.099
23. (19) Mario Moraes, Dallara-Honda, 213.749
24. (36) Enrique Bernoldi, Dallara-Honda, 213.511
25. (18) Bruno Junqueira, Dallara-Honda, no speed
26. (7) Danica Patrick, Dallara-Honda, no speed