IndyCar Series: Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen
Topics: Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen
July 5, 2009
WATKINS GLEN, NEW YORK
THE MODERATOR: We've been joined by Ryan Briscoe. He's second place tied in points with Dario Franchitti, 19 points behind Scott. And this is his fifth top three finish of the season. He has a road and/or street course victory at St. Petersburg.
Ryan, you by the way do keep the record of pole winners not winning in this event. You were second in the early stages, you were second in the late stages. You had some pretty major adventures in between.
RYAN BRISCOE: Yeah, no, it was definitely an exciting race. And I think both Scott and I got caught up with that yellow early on and found ourselves way back in the pack and had to work pretty hard to come back through, make some passes and have some good pit stops. Definitely made it exciting.
You know, Justin certainly got the luck of the draw there pitting a lap earlier, missing the caution and just staying out in fronts, sort of going easy out in front today.
But I was pretty surprised and happy when I came out of my last pit stop and was side by side Justin coming down the hill. At first I wasn't sure if I was racing him for the lead or if I was a lap down or what was going on. I thought, wow, this is pretty good, let's go.
But, yeah, it was great to be able to come back up to second, and then hold Scott off for the position.
THE MODERATOR: You actually went from 7th to 2nd on the second pit stop rotation. Questions for Ryan Briscoe.
Q. On the Red tires, did you know that Scott had 28 laps on his tires? Did your team know that?
RYAN BRISCOE: Which stop?
Q. Scott just said he had 28 laps on the Red tires. Did you guys know that he used the same set that he had tried to qualify on?
RYAN BRISCOE: No, I didn't know that.
Q. Today, the course very fast. Wilson was a little better. What of the pit stops that you felt today, was there any difference in your car today? Anything that was a little off? Anything you noticed in the cockpit throughout the day?
RYAN BRISCOE: Did we look that slow (laughing)? I thought we definitely had the speed. And I think giving Justin the chance in the final six or seven new tires he definitely would have been challenging for the pole.
But the car was good. I think at the end that very last stint I probably looked a bit off the pace because I was running on the harder compound tire compared to Justin and Scott. And on the restart, it really showed what the difference was.
I thought I was actually quicker than Justin before that caution came out and I was able to catch back up to him. But, yeah, as soon as the tires cord off, it was really hard going for the first three or four laps getting up to speed, and then the race was over.
Q. Which one of the yellows was for the race more detrimental? The first one where you had to pit again or the last one because of the raw tires?
RYAN BRISCOE: I think the first one, because we had been running very close to Justin and saving a bit more fuel. We were going a lap further than him. So, in theory, I was going to come out in front of him in that first pit stop. Instead of coming out in the lead we came out in whatever position it was. I couldn't see the safety car. We were way back.
So I'd say for sure the first one. Certainly the risk factor of the race as well. You saw what happened to Dario. I haven't seen it, but the kind of stuff that can happen when you end up getting back in the pack and not just running the race in the front.
Q. In kind of a round about way when you were part of the series in '05, you left for a couple of years. You had to kind of fight your way back into it. Now here you are scratching and clawing for a points championship. Now when you look at a story like that, do you see a few parallels with a guy like Dale Coyne. He had to pretty much fight and scratch his way to a race victory. So how do you feel about seeing a little guy like that win? And discuss how you reached the point that you're out there seriously contending for this year's title?
RYAN BRISCOE: Just echo what Scott said about Dale Coyne. It's awesome. It shows they can certainly get the job done. And Justin's a great driver.
For me it's exciting to be in this title hunt. First time that long time I've been going for a championship. And, you know, it is a lot of fun. It's going to be a tough one, I think. It's going to go right down to the wire. But it's great. We're racing with a bunch of very good drivers and it's a lot of fun.
Q. Scott talked a little about the two races coming up in Canada. What did you learn today that you can possibly put to use in Toronto and then Edmonton after that?
RYAN BRISCOE: I don't know. They're very different tracks. I haven't seen Toronto yet. But street courses, I think, will be sort of reflecting a bit more back on what happened in St. Petersburg in Long Beach.
Moving into these races, you know, I think the car set-ups will be a little bit different. But, you know, I don't know. We just try to take something from every race and see what happens.
Q. At the start of the race you got the lead and three or four laps into it within a couple of laps Justin was kind of making moves on you and he finally got it done lap four, lap five. Can you take us through that part of the race and how he got around you?
RYAN BRISCOE: Yeah, we sort of had a fuel number we needed to reach, you know, to make this a two stopper. And, you know, Justin was all over me. And in order to hold him off I was going to have to run rich.
So we went lean, and you know, the second try we just sort of let him go and pass me. Then I was able to stay in his stream and save even more fuel. At the time it seemed like it was going to work out good, you know. I thought I was making a bit better mileage than he was and staying right there under his rear wing.
You know, it was very early in the race, so I thought we were in very good position.
Q. How satisfying was it to finish off the top two finish that you probably should have had last year, not the one from the team perspective today?
RYAN BRISCOE: It's good. Every time you go out you want to try to win. But, you know, Justin and the whole Dale Coyne operation did a great job today and all weekend.
You know, the racing is tough. I just love this track. It's definitely my favorite road course that we go to. It's always a lot of fun to come here and battle for the win.
Q. I believe it was lap 7 when you and Justin were out there racing and you came up on Marco who was about to be lapped. But he didn't race like he was about to be lapped. At any point were you wondering like what is he doing? Why is he in our way? Why isn't he moving over?
RYAN BRISCOE: I've been pretty disappointed. We've been seeing a lot of that this year with lap traffic blocking the leaders as the leaders come around to lap cars.
I think something should be said to have a bit more respect for lead cars coming around and lapping the field. Because several times this year lapping cars there have almost been accidents with cars that are not in it.
You know, I think at a certain point some guys out there should have a bit more respect and let the race unfold.
Q. What does it do for you when you're in the points position you're in?
RYAN BRISCOE: Yeah, I mean it might have been a small one, but it's so early in the championship that there's a lot of stuff that's going to still happen.
It definitely keeps things close, that's for sure. All of us are sort of looking at the championship so far and saying, man, if that didn't happen here if that didn't happen there, I could have had a big lead in the championship at the moment. But, you know, it is very close. Scott's got a bit of a lead at the moment. But it's pretty small for where we are in the championship.
THE MODERATOR: Gentlemen, thank you very much for your time. Congratulations on your performances today. And good luck in Toronto next week.
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