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Briscoe Puts Penske On Pole

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Saturday, July 4 2009
Ryan Briscoe celebrates his pole win at Watkins Glen. (IndyCar Series photo by Ron McQueeney)

Ryan Briscoe celebrates his pole win at Watkins Glen. (IndyCar Series photo by Ron McQueeney)

RacinToday.com

Ryan Briscoe gave Team Penske its fifth consecutive pole at Watkins Glen International when he led qualifying Saturday for Sunday’s Camping World Grand Prix IndyCar Series race.

Briscoe’s lap at 136.935 set a track record. It was his second pole of the season.

“I love this place,” Briscoe said. “I came in after (qualifying session) 2 and had the run on the new red tire, then posted the 28.1 (lap of 1:28.1322). I haven’t had this much fun in so long. It’s unbelievable the speeds you can carry through the turns out there today. The balance of the car has been great.”

Briscoe was over a mile per hour faster in qualifying than was Justin Wilson of Dale Coyne Racing, who was second fastest and will start on the outside of the front row.

Scott Dixon, the defending series champion, qualified third fast for Target Chip Ganassi Racing while Mario Moraes was fourth.

Series points leader Dario Franchitti qualified sixth and will start in the third row next. Graham Rahal qualified fifth but was penalized 10 spots for an illegal car.

“I think the No. 9 car seems to race better than we qualify, and that’s definitely been the tale today,” Dixon said. “We kind of hit on a setup later in the afternoon in the last few practices, and I think we’re getting pretty close now. Briscoe in the Penske car is certainly quick, and it’s going to be tough to beat him. Of course, it was like that last year, but we were able to come through in the race. It was unfortunate for Dario (Franchitti) with that crash, because now he’ll start sixth, but I think he could have been on the pole. But both Team Target cars are in the top six, and we can win from there.”

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Qualifying Saturday for the Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen IndyCar Series event on the 3.37-mile Watkins Glen International, with starting position, car number in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, time and speed in parentheses:

1. (6) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Honda, 1:28.5970 (136.935)

2. (18) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 1:29.3106 (135.841)

3. (9) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 1:29.7279 (135.209)

4. (5) Mario Moraes, Dallara-Honda, 1:29.8003 (135.100)

5. (10) Dario Franchitti, Dallara-Honda, no time (no speed)

6. (24) Mike Conway, Dallara-Honda, 1:29.1715 (136.052)

7. (7) Danica Patrick, Dallara-Honda, 1:29.2076 (135.997)

8. (26) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 1:29.3539 (135.775)

9. (11) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Honda, 1:29.4131 (135.685)

10. (13) E.J. Viso, Dallara-Honda, 1:29.5661 (135.453)

11. (4) Dan Wheldon, Dallara-Honda, 1:29.9137 (134.929)

12. (27) Hideki Mutoh, Dallara-Honda, 1:29.7943 (135.109)

13. (3) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Honda, 1:29.8662 (135.001)

14. (15) Paul Tracy, Dallara-Honda, 1:30.6167 (133.883)

15. (02) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, no time (no speed)

16. (14) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Honda, 1:30.4001 (134.203)

17. (06) Robert Doornbos, Dallara-Honda, 1:30.6266 (133.868)

18. (2) Raphael Matos, Dallara-Honda, 1:30.4981 (134.058)

19. (23) Milka Duno, Dallara-Honda, 1:33.6824 (129.501)

20. (98) Richard Antinucci, Dallara-Honda, 1:31.1910 (133.039)

21. (20) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Honda, 1:31.6852 (132.322)

Note:

Franchitti lost his two fastest laps for causing a full-course caution during Firestone Fast Six.

Rahal was penalized 10 grid positions after his car failed post-qualifying technical inspection.

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POLE QUALIFYING NOTES:

•Ryan Briscoe earned his second PEAK Performance Pole Award of the season in the No. 6 Team Penske car. His other pole came at Milwaukee, on an oval. Briscoe’s last pole on a road/street course came in 2008 at Edmonton.

•Ryan Briscoe earned his sixth career IndyCar Series pole.

•This is Ryan Briscoe’s second consecutive pole at the Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen.

•Ryan Briscoe set an event qualifying record of 1:28.5970. The previous record was 1:29.1919 by Helio Castroneves in 2007.

•Team Penske has started from the pole at Watkins Glen every year of this event, with Helio Castroneves from 2005-07 and Ryan Briscoe in 2008-09.

•This is the 45th IndyCar Series pole for Team Penske/Penske Racing.

•Justin Wilson will start second, tying a season best set at St. Petersburg.

•Five teams had drivers earn spots in the Firestone Fast Six. Target Chip Ganassi Racing had two drivers, Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti.

•Scott Dixon qualified third, his best effort on a street/road course this season. He qualified eighth at St. Petersburg, sixth at Long Beach.

•Scott Dixon has qualified eighth or better for all nine races this season.

•Mario Moraes qualified fourth, a career best. His previous best was fifth this year at Milwaukee, on an oval. His previous career best on a street/road course was 10th in 2008 at Edmonton.

•Graham Rahal qualified fifth. He has qualified in the top seven for all three street/road course events this season – on pole at St. Petersburg and seventh at Long Beach.

•Dario Franchitti qualified sixth. He had qualified in the top six for all three street/road course events this season – fifth at St. Petersburg and second at Long Beach.

•Dario Franchitti has qualified in the top eight for eight of the nine races this season. His only start outside of the top eight was 20th at Kansas.

•Helio Castroneves will start 14th at this event, the second consecutive year he will start outside of the top 10 after winning three consecutive poles from 2005-07. Castroneves started 26th for this race last year after a mechanical problem during qualifying.

•Rookie Mike Conway qualified seventh, a career best. His previous best was 11th on the ovals at Milwaukee and Richmond.

•Danica Patrick qualified eighth, her best qualifying position on a street/road course this season. Her previous best was 15th at St. Petersburg.

•Richard Antinucci qualified 20th for his IndyCar Series debut.

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Saturday, July 4 2009
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