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Briscoe Wins Pole at Chicagoland to Lead Team Penske

August 27, 2010

Photo courtesy of Steve Swope



JOLIET, Ill. - Ryan Briscoe claimed his third consecutive Chicagoland Speedway pole position on Friday, leading Team Penske to an impressive result in qualifying for Saturday's Peak Antifreeze and Motor Oil Indy 300. Winners of the last two races at Chicagoland, Team Penske earned three of the top-four starting spots for tomorrow's race.

Briscoe recorded a two-lap lap qualifying run of 50.5857 seconds - an average of 216.346 mph - around the 1.5-mile oval and will start from the point on Saturday night.

Friday's effort marked Briscoe's third pole of the season and his first since he claimed the No. 1 spot at another 1.5-mile oval, Texas Motor Speedway, where he went on to win the race in June. It also is the third consecutive pole at Chicago for Briscoe, who won the race last year and finished third in 2008.

"I just hope I can be as competitive in the race as we have been the last two years," said Briscoe. "It's always an exciting race. There's always a lot of side-by-side and three-wide action. We've got a huge field of 29 cars, which is going to make it very busy."

Team Penske teammate Will Power, who leads the IZOD IndyCar Series standings, qualified third, while 2008 Chicagoland winner Helio Castroneves will start fourth.

Power, who has a 59-point lead over Dario Franchitti with four races remaining in the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series season, will start one position behind Franchitti. Power recorded an average of 215.521 mph in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Honda.

"The Verizon car felt really solid out there today," said Power. "Our car is fast in race trim and this track is all about the racing. I am looking forward to tomorrow night. We have been knocking on the door on some of the earlier oval races, and we are due for our first oval win."

Castroneves was clocked at 215.475 mph and will start next to Power in the second row. He has now qualified among the top four in five consecutive races at Chicagoland. This weekend's event marks the first time the IZOD IndyCar Series has been on an oval track since June 20 at Iowa Speedway.

"It's good to be back on the ovals, especially here at Chicagoland," said Castroneves. "The car was good for qualifying. I was really kind of expecting to go 216 mph, but maybe the track was a little slower than practice this morning because of the different rubber on the track. It will be good to start from the second row tomorrow night and I think it's going to be another exciting race here. Congratulations to Ryan for winning the pole. Team Penske is in good shape for the race."

Live coverage of Saturday's race will begin at 8 p.m. ET on Versus.