[media-credit name=”milwaukeeindyfest.com” align=”alignright” width=”210″][/media-credit]WEST ALLIS, Wis. (June 16, 2012) – Helio Castroneves’ sixth-place finish led Team Penske’s effort Saturday in the Milwaukee IndyFest at The Milwaukee Mile.
Teammate Will Power held on to the lead in the IZOD IndyCar Series championship race by finishing 12th In the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet, while Ryan Briscoe finished 14th in the No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske machine.
Castroneves led the 225-lap race on two separate occasions for a total of 50 laps around the historic oval in the No. 3 Penske Truck Rental Dallara/Chevrolet – the third highest total among the race leaders on the day. The three-time Indianapolis 500 champion effectively ran a two pit-stop strategy in the race and he is now ranked fifth in the championship standings with 231 points with Saturday’s finish.
“We took a gamble today with the pit strategy in the No. 3 Penske Truck Rentalcar,” said Castroneves. “The car was running really well and we thought we could be aggressive with our plan. We definitely had a car that could win the race today but I am still happy with our result. I will take sixth place and look to do better next week at Iowa.”
Power and Briscoe were both penalized 10 starting grid positions after Friday’s qualifying for changing engines before the race and they were not able to fight through the traffic to get to the front of the field. Power, who has a series-high three wins at the midpoint of the 2012 season, briefly flirted with the top five in the running order before continuing to run just outside the top 10.
“The entire Verizon crew fought hard out there today,” said Power. “I thought we had a pretty good car but the restarts were really difficult. Not the worst result today, but we expect to do better every time we come to race. We are still on top of the points, which is where we want to be, and now will look forward to Iowa.”
Briscoe, who finished a team-high third last week at Texas Motor Speedway, is now ranked ninth in the standings with 193 points. The 2008 Milwaukee Mile winner spent the majority of the race fighting to overcome imbalances with his car.
“Really tough day out there for the No.2 Hitachi Team Penske car,” said Briscoe. “We completely missed the balance at the start of the race, but by the end of the race we were really strong after we changed the rear wing and aero balance. I think we ended as strong as anyone out there so it was a really positive finish.”
Saturday’s race was won by Ryan Hunter-Reay of Andretti Autosport, representing the sixth winner in eight series races this season.
Team Penske will head to Iowa next Saturday looking to claim its first victory at Iowa Speedway. Live coverage of the Iowa Corn Indy 250 begins June 23 at 10 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports Network.
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