The Team Penske drivers say they are determined to strike back at Watkins Glen next week after both crashed out of last night's Richmond race, allowing Ganassi's Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon to pull away in the championship.
The 2009 IndyCar Series title race had been building into a four-way contest between the Ganassi and Penske quartet, but Franchitti and Dixon are now one point apart at the top of the standings, with Penske's Ryan Briscoe and Helio Castroneves 26 and 54 points adrift respectively in third and fourth places.
Briscoe was running a close third behind the Ganassi pair when he spun into the Turn 2 wall on lap 27.
"The car just snapped on me and caught me by surprise," he said. "It's obviously very disappointing and hopefully we can start catching back up next week in Watkins Glen. I feel bad for the Team Penske guys, they worked hard all weekend and it's a shame we ended the race they way we did."
Although Castroneves had not been fighting for victory, he had hoped to salvage a strong finish when he slid into the wall in traffic while set for at least sixth place.
"I'm extremely disappointed with the way our race ended tonight," said the Brazilian. "We didn't have a winning car but we had a top five car and we were just trying to stay on the lead lap and score some championship points.
"Unfortunately, for some reason a car slowed down in front of me and in order for me to not crash him, I ended up crashing myself. I had to get out of the throttle which just pushed my car up into the marbles and then the wall.
"We just have to focus on Watkins Glen and move forward."
The victorious Dixon was delighted that Ganassi was able to capitalize on Penske's poor night with a one-two finish.
"Anytime you can get a gain on Penske, you've got to take it and run with it," Dixon said. "It's not too often they make mistakes like they did tonight. We've got to hope we can continue to be a little bit more consistent than them and gain points when we need to."
But Franchitti said he was taking nothing for granted yet.
"The stretch of results we've had is nice, but it can turn around in an instant," Franchitti said. "We've just got to take each week as it comes, each week as a new thing. Nothing carries over."IndyCar must improve its racing immediately