Ryan Briscoe Puts Chevrolet on the Pole for the 96th Running of the Indianapolis 500
James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay Made it an All-Chevrolet Front Row; Historic Run is 17th Indianapolis 500 Pole for Team Penske
INDIANAPOLIS (May 19, 2012) – Ryan Briscoe, No. 2 IZOD Team Penske Chevrolet, will lead the 33-car field to the green flag for the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500. With a four-lap average speed of 226.484 MPH and a time of 2:38.9514, Briscoe captured his career-first pole position for the Indy 500 and the 17th for Team Penske by the closest margin in the history of the race.
Briscoe bested fellow Chevrolet IndyCar V-6 driver, James Hinchcliffe, No. 27 Team Go.Daddy.com Andretti Autosport Chevrolet, by .0023 of a second. Hinchcliffe’s qualifying run was 2:38.9537/226.481 mph. The difference is the equivalent of 9.168 inches.
“This is unbelievable,” said Briscoe. “Those four laps were so good and so consistent. It was lap four that won me the pole today; that was the set up I had on it. Everyone at Team Penske has worked so hard. Chevrolet, man, they gave us the horsepower. I’m really proud of them and IZOD. Getting a pole at Indy, this is huge. I certainly had good schooling from Rick Mears and Helio Castroneves. It feels good to get my first one here.
“I can’t tell you how proud I am to run with the Bowtie here with the history of Chevrolet, and their involvement. They’re there, every step of the way. They continually give us updates and they just don’t stop working. We’re extremely happy to have Chevrolet engines. That was certainly the motor to have today. They have, I believe, all year long. We’re going to work hard to continue to bring those wins home for them.”
Said Roger Penske, team owner, on the pole-winning run by Briscoe: “It is all about our people, the team and certainly Ryan (Briscoe) needed this one. He’s done a great job for us. Today he stretched himself. The guys did a great job. It was just a pleasure to bring that Chevrolet engine down home to the front with IZOD as our sponsor. I want to thank everybody that has supported our team for so many years, especially the families. This really is one for Paul Morgan with Illmor. He helped us build the Chevy engine and was killed in a plane crash. I want to give this pole position to Paul and his family.”
Ryan Hunter-Reay, No 28 Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda Andretti Autosport Chevrolet, completes the all-Chevrolet front row for the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.
"Winning the pole for the Indianapolis 500 is exciting for Chevrolet," said Jim Campbell, US Vice President, Chevrolet Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “It has been an amazing team effort between Chevrolet, Ilmor and every Chevrolet IndyCar team to develop the Chevy IndyCar V-6 engine and integrate it with DW12 chassis. Congratulations to Ryan Briscoe and Team Penske on their pole-winning effort. It’s also great to have James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay make it an all-Chevrolet front row that will follow our Corvette ZR1 Pace Car for the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500.”
“It’s heartbreaking in a sense, you know,” said Hinchcliffe. “But at the end of the day we get to start on the front row of the Indy 500, and that’s just the coolest thing ever. It’s been a huge team effort. You’ll see our cars are starting second, third and fourth on the grid, the other two drivers, they made the show today. It’s awesome to see the kind of results we’re getting because these guys have been working so hard. Having the Go Daddy Chevy starting in the middle of the front row is pretty exciting”
Eight of the cars making it to the Fast Nine Shootout for the pole were powered by the Chevrolet IndyCar V-6 engine.
"Congratulations to Ryan Briscoe and Team Penske on winning the pole for the Indianapolis 500," said Chris Berube, Chevrolet Racing Program Manager, IZOD IndyCar Series. "It is a proud moment for everyone involved in the Chevrolet IndyCar V-6 program to have an all-Chevrolet front row and eight of the Fast Nine for the biggest race of the year. All of our Chevy V-6 teams have put forth a tremendous effort in preparations for the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500. We are looking forward to a great race next Sunday."
Starting in row two with their Chevrolet power will be Marco Andretti, No. 27 Team RC Cola Andretti Autosport Chevrolet, Will Power, No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet and Helio Castroneves, No. 3 Shell V-Power/Pennzoil Ultra Team Penske Chevrolet.
Tony Kanaan, No. 11 GEICO/MOUSER Electronics KV Racing Technology Chevrolet and E.J. Viso, No. 5 CITGO/PDVSA KV Racing Technology Chevrolet will roll off eighth and ninth in row three.
A total of 24 cars were locked into the field for the May 27 race. Sunday, traditionally referred to as Bump Day, will allow the remaining cars to secure their starting positions for the traditional 33-car field.