The 100th anniversary running of the Indy 500 was a day Ryan Briscoe and Will Power would rather forget.
Racing for Roger Penske at Indy means you are always among the favorite runners. When you are leading the Championship like Power coming into the race you are amongst the most favored drivers.
Sadly it all came apart fairly early for Power. Power, who started fifth, lost a wheel on the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Honda during the team's first pit stop on the 23rd lap. The car eventually lost its brakes as a result of the mishap and the ensuing repairs left Power running a lap down to the race leaders. He continued to work hard and managed to battle back for the team's top finish of the day in 14th place.
Despite the result he holds onto the series lead with a 194-178 lead over Dario Franchitti.
"Our day went bad early when we had a problem in the pits that resulted in the wheel falling off as the Verizon car was leaving the pit lane," said Power "That caused the brake line to get loose and I lost the brakes. When we came in to fix that I lost a lap. I fought hard all day trying to get that lap back, but it didn't work out. It just wasn't our day, unfortunately, but we'll learn from this and come back strong at Texas."
The story wasn't much better for Briscoe who having qualified back in the field was always looking at a long day. It started well when Briscoe actually looked to be in the best position to post a solid result for Team Penske. He went from a 26th-place starting position to running inside the top-10 in the No. 6 IZOD Team Penske Dallara/Honda midway through the race before making contact with Townsend Bell. It appeared that Bell swerved into Briscoe and both cars made contact with the wall as Briscoe's day ended at Indy with contact for the second consecutive season.
"I saw Townsend brush the wall in Turn 4," said Briscoe. "Everyone was going down the inside. I was just following through on the inside into Turn 1. I just think he didn't know I was there and he just came down and pinched me. As soon as we made contact, the wheels interlocked. And that was it. It's a shame. We were following our game plan and we looked to be positioned for a solid finish before that."
Dan Wheldon claimed victory Sunday after rookie J.R. Hildebrand hit the wall on the final turn while heading for the checkered flag in a amazing finish to the American classic.