Briscoe Defeats Dixon In Milwaukee Mile Thriller

West Allis, WI: Roger Penske proved to the world once again that he knows how to pick race drivers as Ryan Briscoe beat Indy winner Scott Dixon in a straight fight on the historic Milwaukee Mile Sunday. It was the Australian’s first ever major open wheel victory.

A great crowd was on hand for the excellent pre-race ceremonies featuring driver introductions, t-shirt launchings and special awards. Marco Andretti received 10K for becoming the youngest pole winner in Indy Car history, and Vitor Meira was awarded 5K for the best move in last weekend’s Indy 500.

The most youthful front row in major open wheel racing history brought the 26 car field down for a clean start under sunny skies with temperatures in the mid-seventies. Marco Andretti beat Graham Rahal into turn one, as 21st starting Townsend Bell blew by 9 cars on lap one to claim 10th position! The yellow flew at the completion on lap one, however, as Oriol Servia damaged his front wing after slight contact with Briscoe.

When the green flag reappeared on lap 10, Andretti moved to a fairly comfortable lead over Rahal, with Scott Dixon in close pursuit. Meanwhile, Bell continued his charge, moving into eighth position. E.J. Viso was also impressive early, running comfortably within the top 10.

Scott Dixon finally chased down Andretti, moving into P-1 on lap 41 down the backstretch. By lap 50, the top 5 were: Dixon, Rahal, Marco, Castroneves, Wheldon and defending Milwaukee winner Tony Kanaan.

On lap 63, the yellow was displayed for debris. Following the ensuing round of pit stops, Scott Dixon retained the lead, followed by Castroneves, Rahal, Wheldon and Kanaan. Things remained fairly static until lap 130, when sixth running Rahal, intensely battling with Briscoe, ran up on slower traffic coming through turn 4 and pushed up into the Safer Barrier. In an accident reminiscent of his Indy crash, Rahal was uninjured but through for the day.

When racing resumed on lap 140, Scott Dixon continued to lead Castroneves by an almost comfortable margin. It was at this point that Ryan Briscoe began to make his presence felt, moving up into second by lap 160. Seventeen laps later, the Penske driver blasted under Dixon entering turn one to assume the lead. Briscoe was now leading his first ever laps on an oval.

Behind the battle for the lead, an intense war was was being waged for sixth position between Servia, Carpenter, Marco Andretti and Hideki Mutoh…a conflict which was destined to continue until the end.

The final round of pit stops began as Briscoe stopped first among the leaders on lap 194. After all the front runners had received their final service, the running order was: Briscoe, Dixon, Dan Wheldon, Kanaan, Castroneves, Oriol Servia, Ed Carpenter, Andretti and Mutoh, all running hard on the lead lap.

As the race wound down, Ryan Briscoe continued to hold off the furious charge of Dixon as, behind them, the battle for sixth position appeared to be the race to watch.

Finally, with two laps to go, Marco Andretti made a desperate lunge under Carpenter going into turn one; Andretti made contact sending both cars spinning into the wall. An unfortunate Vitor Meira came upon the scene, and had no where to go, except over the top of Andretti! The leading pair of Briscoe and Dixon were forced to nearly stop to avoid the mess. This, of course, froze the field, and Ryan Briscoe idled around to receive the yellow and white flags. The race was over…

None of the drivers involved in the big crash were injured.

As noted, this was Ryan Briscoe’s first victory in the Indy Car series, coming in his 25th start. He becomes the 15th different driver to drive a Roger Penske car to glory in America’s premier open wheel circuit. Today’s win also marks Penske Racing’s 300 victory in motorsports.

Post Race Quotes:
Ryan Briscoe, “It feels good to win, my first IndyCar (Series) win and it feels so good to do it here in Milwaukee. I’m really happy.” (How will you celebrate?): “We’ve got Texas next week, so there’s not too much time to enjoy it.” I’m certainly going to enjoy it for the next few days.” (About boucing back after incident last week at Indy): “Ever since Indianapolis, we had that get-together in pit lane, and it was really unfortunate. I was having a really good race and looking at a top-five (finish). We just had to put it behind us and move on to this race. It’s a long championship, and it’s just great. We were focused on this race. We knew we had a good car off of last’s year’s results of Helio (Castroneves) and (Sam( Hornish. Just stayed focused in the race, It’s great to win my first race for Team Penske.”

Scott Dixon, “It was a pretty good day for Team Target. We were dominant early on, and the car was really good early on in the stint. I think where we struggled was towards the end of the stint. It didn’t seem to be a problem early on, because the other guys were falling off, too. Briscoe, you got to give him credit. He drove the wheels off the thing. He could really take advantage of the high line when I tried a couple of times and nearly ended up in the fence. It was the most fun I’ve had in a long time, to be honest. It was a hell of a race towards the end. I’m just glad it didn’t come down to traffic being the deciding factor, and it almost was with Briscoe almost being taken out by those guys crashing. It was a tough race. I’m a little disappointed we didn’t come up with the win, but it’s fantastic points for the championship.”

IndyCar Series
ABC Supply/AJ Foyt Indy 225
WEST ALLIS, Wis. – Results Sunday of the ABC Supply/AJ Foyt Indy 225 IndyCar Series event June 1 at the 1-mile Milwaukee Mile, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):
1. (11) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Honda, 225, Running
2. (3) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 225, Running
3. (6) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Honda, 225, Running
4. (7) Dan Wheldon, Dallara-Honda, 225, Running
5. (5) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Honda, 225, Running
6. (9) Oriol Servia, Dallara-Honda, 225, Running
7. (22) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 224, Running

8. (10) EJ Viso, Dallara-Honda, 224, Running
9. (13) Danica Patrick, Dallara-Honda, 224, Running
10. (19) Buddy Rice, Dallara-Honda, 224, Running
11. (21) Townsend Bell, Dallara-Honda, 224, Running
12. (14) Hideki Mutoh, Dallara-Honda, 224, Running
13. (20) Darren Manning, Dallara-Honda, 223, Running
14. (4) Will Power, Dallara-Honda, 223, Running
15. (12) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Honda, 223, Running
16. (8) Enrique Bernoldi, Dallara-Honda, 222, Running
17. (18) A.J. Foyt IV, Dallara-Honda, 222, Running
18. (15) Bruno Junqueira, Dallara-Honda, 222, Running
19. (16) John Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 222, Running
20. (17) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Honda, 221, Contact
21. (1) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 221, Contact
22. (26) Vitor Meira, Dallara-Honda, 220, Contact
23. (23) Mario Moraes, Dallara-Honda, 218, Running
24. (24) Jaime Camara, Dallara-Honda, 218, Running
25. (2) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 129, Contact
26. (25) Mario Dominguez, Dallara-Honda, 107, Handling
27. (DNS) Marty Roth, Dallara-Honda, 0, Did not start

Race Statistics
Winner’s average speed: 133.428 mph
Time of race: 1:42:41.7387
Margin of victory: Under caution
Cautions: 4 caution flags for 29 laps Lead changes: 5 among 4 drivers

Lap leaders: Andretti 1-40, Dixon 41-176, Briscoe 177-193, Dixon 194-204, Castroneves 205-206, Briscoe 207-225.

Point standings: Dixon 234, Castroneves 206, Wheldon 185, Kanaan 174, Patrick 144, Andretti 142, Servia 140, Briscoe 134, Carpenter 132, Mutoh 131.

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