Briscoe Wins Kansas Pole Position for Team Penske
April 30, 2010
Photo courtesy of IMS Photo
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (April 30, 2010) - Team Penske produced three strong qualifying efforts on Friday - including the best of the day - in preparation for the Road Runner Turbo Indy 300 at Kansas Speedway.
Hard rain in the morning delayed both the IZOD IndyCar Series practice and qualifying sessions Friday. The three Penske cars, led by Ryan Briscoe's pole-winning effort, will start among the top-eight positions for the first IZOD IndyCar Series oval race of the season.
Briscoe recorded a four-lap average of 212.145 mph in the No. 6 Team Penske Dallara/Honda and will start from the pole position for Saturday's 200-lap race at the 1.5-mile tri-oval. It marked Team Penske's fourth straight pole of the season, after Will Power won the previous three consecutive poles. The effort is also Team Penske's first pole at Kansas Speedway.
"It felt great," said Briscoe, who earned his ninth career pole and his first of the season. "The car really ran well. We made some changes coming out of the practice session. We were hoping to pick up a couple of tenths from what we had in practice, and we did. Everything went according to plan. It was a perfect qualifying setup for us."
Power, the current series points leader, will start seventh after a four-lap average run of 210.672 mph in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Honda.
"The Verizon Team Penske car felt pretty good out there today," Power said. "It was good to do some oval laps. I would have liked to qualify a bit better, but we should be good in the race tomorrow. I'm just going to go out there and do my best to bring home a strong result and earn the maximum points possible."
Helio Castroneves, who trails Power by just 42 points in the standings entering Sunday's race, will start next to Power in eighth place after his effort of 210.467 mph in the No. 3 Team Penske machine.
"It was good to get on track after the rain today," said Castroneves. "Qualifying was pretty good for Team Penske. We expected to do a little better and I think my teammates have a little more speed right now. But we will keep working hard. This is a challenging place. We're still trying to figure out the right setup and the right lines, but I know we'll be in good shape for the race tomorrow."
Briscoe enters the race ranked seventh in the series standings. After posting two oval race victories (Kentucky, Chicago) last season, the native of Sydney, Australia will be looking for his first win of 2010 on Sunday. Briscoe led 53 laps at Kansas Speedway last season on his way to a fourth-place finish.
"It's a great result for the team," said Briscoe. "Everything really went according to plan today. We were able to pick up right where left off on the ovals from Homestead last year. It's good to start up front, especially with so many cars in the race tomorrow and you never know what can happen."
Coverage of Saturday's race begins at 1:30 p.m. ET and will be televised live by ABC-TV.