Mike Stevens | Jul 14, 2009

AUSTRALIA'S SUCCESS ON the global motorsport scene wasn’t confined to Formula One over the weekend after our contingent of NASCAR and IndyCar stars posted impressive results.

Penske stars Ryan Briscoe and Will Power claimed second and third at the IndyCar event at Toronto, despite each puncturing a tyre in the chaotic opening lap of the race.

However, the duo were able to overcome the opening lap calamities through a strategy switch, leading Penske to its second dual-podium finish of the season.

indycar_will-power_long-beach_03

Power’s performance in particular drew recognition from team boss Roger Penske after he fell to the rear of the grid in the aftermath of his off-the-track excursion.

"He (Penske) just said, ‘Good job.' I'm sure he's going to say more when I get back to the bus. It was a good job for Ryan to get up to second. That's what we want for the championship for him, and it was really good for me,” Power told the official Penske website.

Briscoe, meanwhile, remains in contention for the IndyCar championship following his fifth runner-up finish in the last six races, although he lost ground to series leader Dario Franchetti, who won the Canadian event.

"Team Penske will definitely take a second on a day like this. We struggled in qualifying. It's just so competitive at the moment on these road and street courses. I was learning the track,” Briscoe said.

"The car felt really good today. We were able to make some good passes and come through the field. I had a cut tire at the beginning, which set us way back, but we had some good strategy. Second place is definitely good on a day like this."

nascar-marcosambrose-01-thumb.jpg

Meanwhile, in the Chicago round of the NASCAR Sprint Cup, fellow-Aussie Marcos Ambrose made a late charge to finish 11th after struggling in the early stages of the race.

Ambrose was stuck in the midfield scrap for the majority of the race, but was able to significantly improve his speed after making a number of changes to his set-up mid-race, to record his 12th top 20 finish of the season.

"After fighting hard all day we ended up having a good night to finish with an 11th place finish,” Ambrose said.

“We had some troubles and went a couple laps down but pit strategy got us back on track. We got some track position and made the most of it - just a great night for our team. We just don't give up.”

Follow Mike Stevens on Google+
Filed under Racing News