IZOD IndyCar Series: GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma
Topics: GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma
August 26, 2012
THE MODERATOR: We are pleased to be joined by today's race winner, Ryan Briscoe. It's his first win of the season. His previous best finish of the year was third at Texas. His last victory came in 2010 at Texas. Ryan finished second in 2008 and 2009 in Sonoma, third in 2011, now the top spot.
Walk us through today's great race.
RYAN BRISCOE: Yeah, pretty clean race actually. We were kind of expecting it to possibly go green from start to finish like the last two have done. So sort of in for the long haul.
We started on reds. The car was really strong. We were just trying to get a fuel number where we knew we were going to be safe for the rest of the race and not burning too much early on.
I was holding ground with Will at the start of the race. We went to blacks for the next two stints. The car just wasn't quite as good. I was struggling to maintain speed on the black tire. Then we got a timely yellow. The 12 car guys made a little mistake in the pits. We got the lead and finished the race on the reds.
The car was awesome again. It was the best it had been all day. Just put my head down and held the guys off behind me for the win.
Really proud of the whole team. Flawless in the pits. Roger, with the strategy. I don't know if any of you could hear our radio, but Roger was on it today (laughter). He was probably talking to me six times a lap for the whole race. He was definitely excited.
We always get excited when we come to this race. For whatever reason it is, Team Penske cars are always strong. Will and I kind of dominated all weekend. So hats off to Will, as well. Chevrolet, we got the championship this weekend. Big hats off to everybody there. It's been a strong season. They've been working so hard with us. Every race we get updates and improvements. It's been a fierce battle with Honda. So a great welcoming back to IndyCar this year.
THE MODERATOR: We'll start with questions.
Q. Ryan, I counted before I came down, 813 days since your last win. What do you take away from here, satisfaction that you won or the fact you're going to close out the season in style?
RYAN BRISCOE: Yeah, I mean, it feels good to finish the season strong, for sure. A lot of those days, unfortunately, are off-season. I wish we had more races. We have like five months on, seven off. That's my excuse. It was only last year (laughter).
It's great to get the win. You get into a slump, you know, you think, Man, am I ever going to win again? So this is definitely lifting, a confidence builder.
We've been fast all year long. I don't know how many front-row starts we had, so many, just had struggles executing in the race for whatever reason, whether it's been bad luck or whatever.
Today just fell into our hands. We raced hard, ran strong. Hopefully it's the start of maybe a couple more wins in the next two races. We'll see.
Q. I know we talked a couple weeks ago about next season. How much do you think this provides help for a little more security in putting a deal together for next season?
RYAN BRISCOE: It never hurts. Who knows what it means for next season. I just want to go out every weekend and do a good job, be professional and strong, do my job.
You know, we're sort of working hard on next year, and hopefully have something in place here soon.
Q. Go back over the restarts, how you were able to gun it, stay ahead of Will.
RYAN BRISCOE: You know Will on those restarts, he was exactly where I was for the start of the race. I knew the advantage that I had being on the left-hand side. The restarts are pretty early, and you have sort of one, two, three kinks to the left before you brake up into turn one. It's a lot shorter distance.
For me it was about gassing it, making sure I had the rpm right, wasn't going to wheel spin, be nice and clean. It went according to plan and we went from there both times.
Q. Looked like Hunter-Reay tried to push you on one of those restarts. Was that a concern at all?
RYAN BRISCOE: No, I didn't feel a thing. I could see Will on my outside. Knew that once we hit the hill, it was turning, he was going to have to lift and get in line or end up out in the dirt.
You know, I wasn't too worried. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't making a mistake. That was it.
Q. The fact that it was your teammate you were racing against on the restarts, did that give you a little more confidence than if it was somebody else pushing for the lead?
RYAN BRISCOE: I don't know. Will was trying as hard as anyone to try to get me on the start. There's not much you can do from that position. I think you're sort of relying on maybe the polesitter to make a mistake really. There's not much else. You can't cross the start/finish line in front of the leader.
You know, I was pretty confident with what I needed to do. Wouldn't have done it any different if it was Franchitti on my outside.
THE MODERATOR: Ryan, congratulations on a great race. Thank you for joining us.
RYAN BRISCOE: Thank you.
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