Briscoe Qualifies Seventh On Pole Day At Indy Helio Castroneves Captures 14th Indy Pole for Team Penske Indianapolis, Indiana (May 12, 2007) - Ryan Briscoe driving the No. 12 symantec Norton 360 Dallara/Honda/Firestone qualified...
Briscoe Qualifies Seventh On Pole Day At Indy
Helio Castroneves Captures 14th Indy Pole for Team Penske
Indianapolis, Indiana (May 12, 2007) - Ryan Briscoe driving the No. 12 symantec Norton 360 Dallara/Honda/Firestone qualified seventh for the 91st edition of the Indianapolis 500 on Saturday. At the end of a dramatic day, featuring a new qualifying format, the 25-year old Australian claimed the inside third row position with a four-lap average speed of 224.410 mph.
It was anything but a mellow day for the yellow clad, newly formed Luczo Dragon Racing Team owned by Steve Luczo and Jay Penske, son of racing legend Roger Penske. An early qualifying draw put Briscoe out on the race track at the start of the day leaving the team with the entire afternoon to calculate various strategies, now afforded by the new format, with each team getting three possible attempts at qualifying for positions 1 through 11 on Saturday.
The heaviest drama played out in the last hour of qualifying between 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. when track conditions became favorable for faster speeds. Qualifying resumed with numerous teams either taking their initial attempts or forfeiting earlier speeds and re-qualifying. Briscoe, who began the day by taking the pole position, lingered in the top two rows for most of the afternoon but was at the peril of being bumped out of the top eleven depending on how many cars would attempt to qualify as track speeds improved. Luczo Dragon officials decided a second attempt might be necessary in order to defend their pole day qualification and lined up accordingly. As the last hour ran out so did any apparent threat to the solid run posted by Briscoe earlier in the day.
Briscoe said, "At first it was a bit frustrating there watching from the sidelines as the day went on and seeing us get bumped a few positions. We went out to practice before deciding to line up for a second qualifying attempt and we were running at 225 (mph), so we knew we had the speed to compete for the front row, or even pole, but we ran out of time. In the end though I'm very happy with starting seventh, and with being on the inside of the row. It's the result of a great effort by the entire Luczo Dragon Racing team. To be starting from the third row in the Indianapolis 500 is a great achievement for a brand new team."
Helio Castroneves driving for Team Penske captured the pole position with a four-lap average speed of 225.817 mph. It is the 14th pole for Roger Penske at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, matching his historic 14 Indianapolis 500 championships.
INDIANAPOLIS - Qualifying Saturday for the 91st Indianapolis 500 IndyCar -credit: ldr