WATKINS GLEN, NY (July 5, 2008) – Ryan Briscoe had to slow down in order to speed up. Briscoe won the pole position for the Camping World Indy Grand Prix at The Glen by putting together one final lap around Watkins Glen International that was faster than anything he or anybody else had recorded all day.
Knocked out of the top spot by Justin Wilson, Briscoe answered with a lap of 1 minute 29.3456 seconds as time ran out on the final qualifying session. That put Briscoe and the No. 6 Team Penske Honda/Dallara on the pole position for Sunday’s race.
Briscoe said he slowed down through certain sections of the course in order to shave enough time to top Wilson’s lap. “I had to slow it down in order to go faster,” Briscoe said. “I had been overdriving it a bit and going a little wide around those fast bends. So I slowed it down a little bit and saw that my splits were better. It was so close. To come down to the last lap was nice for me.”
As Briscoe started his final lap, he was notified by radio that he no longer had the top position. “When I started that lap, I was about a tenth slower than I had been in the first sector,” he said. “They came on the radio and told me I’d dropped down to P2. They told me what Justin’s time was. I knew it was my last lap, so I just sucked it in and went for it."
It was Briscoe’s first pole at Watkins Glen International his second pole position in his IndyCar Series career. In June, Briscoe scored Penske Racing's 300th victory.
Helio Castroneves had the opposite luck, snapping a throttle cable on his first lap, leaving him stranded on the track. He will be starting 26th in the 26-car field. “The Team Penske car has been great all weekend,” said Castroneves. “Hopefully from last we can make something happen.”
This is the second time in 2008 that the IndyCar Series entrants qualified in a three-round format in which only the fastest six emerge from each group into the next round - six each from two groups in the first round, then the fastest six from the second round into the final session, which determines the order of start for the first three rows.
The Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen will take place on Sunday, July 6 at Watkins Glen International. The race will be telecast live in at 3:30 p.m. (EDT) by ABC. The race will also be broadcast on the IMS Radio Network.
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 and speed:
1. (6) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Honda, 135.787
2. (02) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 135.734
3. (17) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Honda, 135.348
4. (9) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 135.285
5. (5) Oriol Servia, Dallara-Honda, 135.241
6. (11) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Honda, 134.809
7. (26) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 134.805
8. (14) Darren Manning, Dallara-Honda, 134.729
9. (10) Dan Wheldon, Dallara-Honda, 134.715
10. (4) Vitor Meira, Dallara-Honda, 134.625
11. (18) Bruno Junqueira, Dallara-Honda, 133.876
12. (8) Will Power, Dallara-Honda, 130.656
13. (19) Mario Moraes, Dallara-Honda, 134.291
14. (7) Danica Patrick, Dallara-Honda, 133.959
15. (33) E.J. Viso, Dallara-Honda, 133.777
16. (36) Enrique Bernoldi, Dallara-Honda, 133.290
17. (15) Buddy Rice, Dallara-Honda, 133.250
18. (06) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 132.968
19. (96) Mario Dominguez, Dallara-Honda, 132.791
20. (27) Hideki Mutoh, Dallara-Honda, 132.633
21. (20) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Honda, 131.529
22. (2) A.J. Foyt IV, Dallara-Honda, 130.663
23. (34) Jaime Camara, Dallara-Honda, 128.311
24. (24) Jay Howard, Dallara-Honda, 127.685
25. (23) Milka Duno, Dallara-Honda, 126.332
26. (3) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Honda, no speed