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Hamilton returns to Texas for pre-race test

can win these two at almost mid-season, it can be a pivotal point to going on and winning the championship. Not saying that the two winners always win the championship, but it definitely helps a lot with the team morale.”

A win at Texas Motor Speedway has eluded both Briscoe and Andretti. For the Australian, victory slipped out of his grasp during last year's race. He dominated the Bombardier Learjet 550k, leading a race-high 160 of 228 laps, but a disappointing final pit-stop put him just behind Penske team-mate Helio Castroneves and could never retake the lead.

Briscoe, who is winless on the season, feels the test session can help him secure his first TMS victory and prepare him for one of the IndyCar Series most physically
demanding races on the schedule.

“It's good when you have a good car,” he said, “It gives you a lot of confidence when you can run wherever you want to and pass cars whether it's the high side or low side. The racing is always so close. It's at night-time, which makes it feel a little bit faster too. And it's not very smooth around here either - at the end of a race here, if you've been working all night, you certainly sleep well.”

For Andretti, the test could be a much-needed boost for a driver who currently sits 13th in the IndyCar Series point standings. The 23-year old has just one top-five finish on the season, which came at Barber Motorsports Park, but he posted personal bests for starting (eighth) and finishing (fourth) positions in last year's race at Texas, and the test could provide some valuable data and an edge for his return in June.

“The moment you say you have something figured out, you don't,” Andretti said, “It's different every year. This year, as far as competition, it's as tight as it's been. The teams and drivers are at the top of their games. Every year, it's like starting over. There is always some little rule that kind of makes you adjust a lot of other things. We've run well here in the past. In '08, we almost had a shot to win against Dixon, but you have to do everything right now these days to even have a shot at it at the end of the race. That's what makes it interesting.”



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Indy Racing League. 25 May 2009. Indianapolis 500.  Indianapolis Speedway. Indianapolis, Indiana. Davey Hamilton.
Team Chevy sweeps the podium as Tony Kanaan (center), driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Saturday, August 30, 2014, during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Teammate Scott Dixon (left), driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6, finishes second, and Ed Carpenter, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet V6, finishes third. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Gregg EllmanLAT for Chevy Racing)
Confetti falls on the podium trio Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan and Ed Carpenter celebrate after the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan and Ed Carpenter celebrate after the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon spins during practice (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Mikhail Aleshin slides into his machine prior to the evening Open Test session at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves slides into his machine prior to the first session of the Open Test at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves crosses the start/finish line during the Open Test at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud and Ryan Briscoe go wheel-to-wheel during the Open Test at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon streaks across the start/finish line during the Open Test at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon crosses the start/finish line during the Open Test at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power sits on pit lane prior to the evening Open Test session at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud preps on pit lane prior to the evening Open Test session at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Will Power in his pit stand prior to track activity during the Open Test at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon leaves pit lane (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Crossing the start/finish line during testing (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
The confetti flies as Scott Dixon celebrates winning the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)

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