Ryan Briscoe says he is determined not to repeat the mistakes that he had to recover from in order to win last night's Chicagoland IndyCar race.
The Penske driver managed to beat Scott Dixon to victory and extend his points lead, despite pit miscues dropping him as low as 13th.
"We've got to stay focused," Briscoe said. "The Target cars [Dario Franchitti and Dixon] are going to be there in Motegi and Homestead, so we just have to stay focused. We've had good cars on all the mile-and-half ovals this year.
"We've just got to keep it together. We had a couple of mistakes tonight but were able to come back. We've just have to try to avoid those situations."
Briscoe was fourth when he missed his marks on a pitstop midway through the race, which created difficulty in fueling the car and dropped him to eighth place. The Australian faded to 13th before he rallied, moving into the lead with 40 laps to go.
"It was really good racing, really close," Briscoe said. "I was just happy when after about 40 laps or so, my spotter said, 'Clear all around.' It was the best thing I'd heard in a long time."
Briscoe now leads Franchitti, who finished fourth, by 25 points and Dixon by 33 in the drivers' standings with just two races remaining in the 2009 season -- on September 19 at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan and October 10 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
"This is a big win," Briscoe said. "I didn't think I'd have enough for Scott, but the sidedraft pulled me through. What a day. I made a mistake on the first pit stop. I didn't even know if we'd won it. I was just screaming, and then I asked if we'd won it.
"It was a good night. It definitely wasn't as smooth as I would have liked, but we had a very good car. It was fast and consistent. I didn't think I was going to have enough for Scott, but as soon as I was able to get beside him, it really slowed both of our cars down a lot and really evened things out. That gave me the chance to beat him across the line."
For Dixon, it was his fourth consecutive second-place finish at Chicagoland Speedway.
"I've seen this movie several times before," Dixon said. "Unfortunately at Chicago, we just keep finishing second. The whole night, I think we drove a better race. The guys on the team did a fantastic job. The pit stops were flawless."
Dixon had more remaining uses of his push-to-pass during the final laps, but still did not have enough speed to stay ahead of Briscoe, who used the outside line to his advantage.
"We came out probably 30 car lengths ahead after that last pit stop," Dixon said. "It's pretty simple. We just didn't have enough speed."