From the Kentucky Speedway
SPARTA, Ky. (Aug. 1) Team Penske Racing driver Ryan Briscoe came from behind to score a 0.0162-of-a-second victory over Vision Racing driver Ed Carpenter in a 300-mile IndyCar Series thriller Aug. 1 at Kentucky Speedway.
Ryan Briscoe celebrates his
victory (above) Aug. 1 at Sparta
after outdueling Ed Carpenter
at the finish line (below).
After Briscoe and Chip Ganassi Racing driver Scott Dixon exchanged the lead five times in the first half of the race, Carpenter, who started 14th, flexed his cars muscle during second half of the race by taking his first of five race leads on Lap 137. He would exchange the lead with Will Power four times over the next 39 laps before diving to the pit road for tires and fuel with 26 laps to go.
Following the green-flag pit stop cycle, Carpenter claimed the lead for last time on Lap 180. Briscoe made his way back through the pack and edged his car past Carpenters for the first time on Lap 192. The two battled side by side through the closing stretch of the race before Briscoe emerged with his second victory of the season.
He took over the top spot in the championship standings from seventh-place race finisher Scott Dixon.
Those last couple laps were tough. I dont know if I was imagining, but Ed Carpenters line getting wider and wider every lap. I knew that every lap I would get the edge on him across the start/finish line. Roger was in my ear, too, saying just keep doing what youre doing, youre getting better off of Turn 4 and thats where we need to be good. I dont know if Ive ever been more happy to cross a finish line. It was hard fought out there, a big win for me, Briscoe said.
Carpenter earns his career-best finish and fourth career top-five finish. He posted his third straight top-10 series finish at Kentucky Speedway and his fifth of the season through 12 events.
I was trying, I was giving it all I had for my team. They did a great job in the pits keeping us up there. I was trying to hold up my end of the bargain. This was really close and Im really happy to get second, but it hurts to be that close and not win, Carpenter said.
Andretti Green Racing driver Tony Kanaan took third, Briscoes teammate Helio Castroneves claimed fourth and Newman-Haas-Lanigan Racing driver Graham Rahal rounded out the race top five.
The margin of victory marked the second-closest finish in Kentucky Speedway history, the closest IndyCar Series finish in track history and the 11th-closest finish in IndyCar Series history.
Adrian Fernandez took the previous closest series finish at Kentucky Speedway when beat Buddy Rice to the line by 0.0581 of a second on August 15, 2004. Scott Lagasse Jr. took the closest finish in Kentucky Speedway history when he finished .014 of a second in front of Wade Day in an American Speed Association event on May 7, 2004.
The estimated attendance was 48,000. The race concludes the 2009 Kentucky Speedway season.