INDYCAR SERIES ABC Supply Co. Inc./A.J. Foyt 225Final
Briscoe earns first IndyCar win at MilwaukeeJun 1, 2008 - 11:53 PM WEST ALLIS, Wisconsin (Ticker) -- A week after stirring up controversy, Ryan Briscoe raced his way to Victory Lane.
The Australian held off Indianapolis 500 winner Scott Dixon to win his first IndyCar race Sunday in the ABC Supply/A.J. Foyt 225.
Briscoe's victory came a week after a controversial pit road incident that knocked series starlet Danica Patrick out of the Indianapolis 500.
A crash involving Marco Andretti and Ed Carpenter in Sunday's closing laps caused the race to end under caution, but Briscoe was able to slip past unscathed and capture the 300th win for Team Penske.
"A million things went through my mind when I saw all that smoke," Briscoe said. "With a couple of laps to go, I knew how to keep Dixon behind me. I think I'd have been in tears if I didn't get through."
The Australian, who replaced Sam Hornish Jr. at Team Penske, became the 15th winner for the team.
"It's nice, I'll tell you," Briscoe said. "The car was just magic today. We just came through the field and it felt so good."
Last year's race winner Tony Kanaan was third, followed by Dan Wheldon and Helio Castroneves.
After a miserable rookie season at Target/Chip Ganassi Racing in 2005, Briscoe was without an IndyCar ride in 2006 before returning last year with Luczo Dragon Racing, a team co-owned by Penske's youngest son, Jay, and entrepreneur Steve Luczo.
Briscoe continued to impress in Penske's American Le Mans Series Porsche effort last season, so when Hornish made the move to NASCAR, Briscoe got the call.
He started slowly this season with just a pair of top-10s through the first five races, but the win at Milwaukee boosted Briscoe 11 spots up to eighth in the standings.
"This will help in the points and, hopefully, we can just keep getting some front-running positions in the rest of the championship," Briscoe said.
On the strength of his second-place finish, Dixon increased his lead atop the standings to 28 points over Castroneves.
The New Zealander appeared to be in line for a second straight win after dominating the majority of the 225-lap race.
But Briscoe caught Dixon and passed him on lap 177. All the top-running drivers made green-flag pit stops before the finish, but Briscoe came out of the pits in front on lap 207 and held off Dixon in the closing laps before the final caution flew.
"Briscoe, you've got to give him credit," Dixon said. "He drove the wheels off that 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 toward the end."
Oriol Servia finished sixth and was the last car on the lead lap. Justin Wilson, EJ Viso, Patrick and Buddy Rice rounded out the top-10, all finishing a lap down.