Briscoe earns Texas pole, Team Penske six for six

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Briscoe earns Texas pole, Team Penske six for six

Ryan Briscoe earned his tenth career IndyCar Series pole and his fifth on an oval after averaging 215.273 mph for four laps around the 1.455-mile Texas Motor Speedway. Team Penske has now won six consecutive poles starting with Will Power at St.

Ryan Briscoe earned his tenth career IndyCar Series pole and his fifth on an oval after averaging 215.273 mph for four laps around the 1.455-mile Texas Motor Speedway. Team Penske has now won six consecutive poles starting with Will Power at St. Petersburg. Power also earned poles at Barber and Long Beach. Helio Castroneves started from the pole at Indianapolis and Briscoe's first pole of 2010 was at Kansas.

Ryan Briscoe, Team Penske.
Photo by Andy Sallee.

"It's an impressive stat," said Briscoe. "It all stems from preparation. The cars have been fast when we unload them."

With ambient temperatures in the mid-90s, heat has been an issue and may be a factor in the race. "It's going to be a tough race," said Briscoe, referencing the heat. Track temperatures of 131 degrees at the start of qualifying are expected to change for the race, which is scheduled to start at 7:30 pm local time. Briscoe said the different conditions would be "challenging."

Fourth in the qualifying line, Briscoe's only challenge for the pole came from 2010 Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti.

"It's a great feeling to get the pole here," Briscoe said. "Thanks to Dario for falling off on that last lap." After four laps at speed, Franchitti missed Briscoe's time by 0.0057 of a second.

Franchitti's qualifying run came five days after winning the 94th Indianapolis 500. With the Texas race less than a week after the Indy 500, Franchitti was asked if he wanted more time off to celebrate his second victory in the historic race. "I would have liked six months off," said Franchitti, before noting he had Tuesday off.

Despite qualifying second, Franchitti seemed pleased his run. "It wasn't bad. I was surprised we were as quick as we were. We did a qualifying simulation and it wasn't as quick as that. I wasn't sure how close we were to Ryan but I guess it was pretty close in the end."

The three Penske drivers will line up on the inside row with Will Power qualifying third and Helio Castroneves fifth.

Franchitti's teammate Scott Dixon will start on the outside of the second row.

Alex Lloyd put together a solid qualifying run and will start sixth. The Dale Coyne Racing cars were fast in practice with Milka Duno logging the sixth fastest lap in practice while Lloyd was 11th.

In the one hour practice session the field of 26 cars was separated by 0.4222 of a second.

This is a two-day event at Texas Motor Speedway. A one hour practice session preceded qualifying. A second and final practice session will follow qualifying at 7 pm. local time.

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Series INDYCAR