Mike Stevens | Apr 20, 2009
Photo by Gerry Calub.

Hours after Mark Webber’s second place finish in Shanghai, IndyCar star Will Power continued a stunning 24 hours for Australian motorsport by finishing second at the Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Entering the event as reigning champion after winning in the last ever CART World Series race, Power started from pole, leading for the first 16 laps before finally losing first place to eventual race winner, Scotsman Dario Franchetti.

The result boosted his chances of securing a permanent race seat with Penske after Helio Castroneves was acquitted on tax fraud charges in Florida.

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Photo by Jim Nista.

Racing in a hastily prepared third Penske entry, Power was thrilled to secure his best finish in the IndyCar Series.

"We had no radio and no telemetry, so I was doing it off the steering wheel and off the pit board," he said.

"I'm very happy; second is very good. I feel happy for all the guys. They put a lot of effort in. I really want to thank Roger Penske and Tim Cindric for bringing this car here for me. They've given me a fantastic ride and I can't thank them enough."

The race wasn’t as successful though for Ryan Briscoe, who struggled home to finish 13th despite his supreme ability on road circuits.

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Meanwhile, Marcos Ambrose equalled his second-best result of the season by crossing the line 14th at the NASCAR Sprint Series Cup event in Phoenix.

Ambrose has been troubled by a run of bad luck in recent weeks, and was pleased to finish in a points scoring position.

“It’s nice to run well and be able to bring the car home to the finish and get the points we need to keep moving forward,” he said.

“We’ve got something great going here. We’ve had strong runs on all different sorts of tracks and now we go to a superspeedway in Talladaga and I’m pretty confident that we can go well there as well."

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