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IndyCar Series: Meijer Indy 300

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Meijer Indy 300

IndyCar Series: Meijer Indy 300

Ryan Briscoe
August 1, 2009


SPARTA, KENTUCKY

THE MODERATOR: Ed, T.K., thank you very much.
We're now joined by race winner Ryan Briscoe. His second win of 2009. Fourth IndyCar Series victory in his 48th start.
Ryan, what a finish. Maybe take us through the last 10 or 11 laps.
RYAN BRISCOE: Or 20, 30 (laughter). It was great. You know, I don't know how on cold pressure I found myself skipping up the track, getting myself into a bit of trouble early in that stint in three and four. Had to come sort of back through the field and had a really good car I would pass with. Worked my way up to second place about 19 to go.
At that point Roger said, Use your 'push to pass' every lap from here, let's see what you got. I went for the high line. It looked like, when I'd been following Ed, didn't look like he could hold the low line as well through one and two. I thought that my best option was going to be to go to the outside of him, see what I got.
He surprised me. He was actually really good. He could run it low. He held it low until about five to go, I think. Then it started getting pretty racy to the finish.
But it was exciting. He did a great job. I was trying to time my pressing of the button so I'd get a good push through three and four, a run down to the start/finish line. The way the timing of it works, you get 12 seconds of power, then you got to wait 10 seconds till you can use it again.
Basically you're using it once a lap. I found where I thought it was going to help me most, as far as leading laps. Yeah, Roger just told me, Keep doing what you're doing. You're better off of four. That's where we need to be good. It was just close. I was thinking, I don't need to touch wheels with Ed Carpenter here. Started getting closer and closer.
I don't know if I've ever been so excited crossing a finish line. It was very hard-fought out there. Big win for me.
THE MODERATOR: We'll open it up to questions.

Q. It seems your two wins this year, you've been the heartbreaker for Vision Racing.
RYAN BRISCOE: Sorry about that (laughter).

Q. You had that battle at St. Pete, now you deny Ed Carpenter a victory. If you're racing a Vision car, it's going to end up being a victory for you?
RYAN BRISCOE: We're not going to give it to them. You know, that win is important as far as points go. You get very well-rewarded with this points system for getting a win. At least 10 more over a second-place car. It means a lot to win races here.
I don't care who it is, I want to get that win. It's been a while coming. I haven't had an oval win since Milwaukee last year. We've been leading laps. We've been running at the front; just haven't been able to get the job done.
This was important for me and the whole team I think moving forward.

Q. When you brushed the wall coming out of four, was there any thoughts the race was over for you at that point?
RYAN BRISCOE: No. No. Did I hit the wall? I was close. I think I may have just missed the wall. Pretty scary. Saw that wall coming at me quick. It doesn't take much, you bend the suspension, the day's over. Got to thank whatever that I was able to catch it before going up there. I knew why it happened. On low pressure, on the high groove, the car just bottomed out and skipped me up the track. I knew what to do to avoid that. Once I figured it out, I was able to start working on where my car was best. Straightaway I felt that there was no damage. The tires were clean, not cut. I just put that behind me and worked on not letting it happen again.

Q. To clarify, you had one 'push' left on the last lap, correct?
RYAN BRISCOE: You tell me (laughter). I was just hitting that button. I know with 19 laps to go I had 17. You can use about one per lap. I had been pushing it on the front straight. I skipped a lap. I didn't use it for a lap. I started using it on the back straight. I knew I could keep using it every lap until the finish. So I knew it was going to be close.

Q. You started on the backstretch, that's where you start the push?
RYAN BRISCOE: Yes.

Q. Are you surprised some of your team members went to Ed's pit before coming to Victory Lane?
RYAN BRISCOE: That's great. It's a big day for Vision, Ed Carpenter. That's great to see. I think in this series, the Indy Racing League, there's a lot of camaraderie between teams. It's always great to see these teams doing a good job out there. Also from my part, a big congrats to the whole team.

Q. With the aero changes they made in the car, did it make it easier to run side-by-side or get by somebody? Everybody didn't use the same options. Did you feel it was an easier car to drive?
RYAN BRISCOE: Wasn't easy out there. It allowed us probably to be more aggressive. So the racing was a bit closer. But we still got turbulent air. I think we could get closer before it really affected our car so much. I think up until now, we've sort of been getting within two or three car lengths, and it starts really making the car loose. You got to get out of the throttle. Today we could run down under people, get aggressive. I think that's what made the racing better.
Aero packages, you know, the tires were great tonight, the 'push to pass', I don't think you can put your finger on one thing that made it good tonight. I think it's always going to be a package deal. The track was in good condition. Thankfully we got these weepers dried up. I know they ground the track since the Nationwide race this year. I heard it was pretty bad. We were pleasantly surprised when we got out on the track tonight.

Q. You were talking about a good points night. If my math is right, you have a pretty good points position. You're coming up to your strength of the season with a couple of natural road courses. Talk about that, please.
RYAN BRISCOE: Yeah, geez, it's been one of those years. No one can hold on to the points lead. We're not going to get too content yet. Someone told me it's eight points over second. It's so close. It's the difference between a first and second. So it's close.
As far as the tracks we're going to right now, I think we'll be strong at the road courses. But Dixon, Franchitti, they'll be strong there, too. We just got to try to keep finishing in front of those guys, keep our heads down, keep working hard. We have five to go. We just got to keep pushing forward.

Q. You had such a tight battle with Dixon the first half of the race. Were you surprised he sort of faded back?
RYAN BRISCOE: I was a little bit. Looked like he struggled in traffic a little bit. I don't know if he was maybe a bit more trimmed out. He might have been lacking a little bit of downforce tonight. He was very strong out in front. But we had a great dice, as well. I was sort of sitting behind him, saving fuel. As we got close to the pit windows, I turned it up a little bit to try to pressure him. I think we got in front of him before the first pit stop. The second pit stop we saved a bit more fuel, and he pitted while we were side-by-side. We were able to get out in front of him.
But, you know, I did think it was gonna be Scott and I down to the wire tonight. Then that yellow came out. Looked like both of us had a bit of trouble on the restart. Ed got out in front. Will was up there, as well, on the lighter fuel load. Helio and T.K. and Rahal, Moraes were all there. It was a lot of fun. A lot of different racing lines. Multiple grooves. Some worked on the low line, some worked better on the high line. You had to approach each competitor out there a little bit differently. It was a fun challenge.
THE MODERATOR: Ryan, thank you very much. Congratulations.



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