IndyCar Series: Bombardier Learjet 550
Topics: Bombardier Learjet 550
June 7, 2008
FORT WORTH, TEXAS
THE MODERATOR: We are now joined in the media center by tonight's third-place finisher, Ryan Briscoe. It's his second straight podium finish, best finish at Texas Motor Speedway. Ryan, you had an up-and-down night tonight. Talk about your night.
RYAN BRISCOE: Crazy stuff going on out there tonight, but I'll tell you, third almost feels like a victory for me tonight. It was a really hard-fought race. You know, I made that mistake in the first pit stop, and I'll make sure it doesn't happen again, but I missed my box and we got penalized, as well, so we had to come from a lap down. Had to have a bit of luck to get the lap back.
Then coming through the field, car was great in traffic and we could run anywhere. Unfortunately when I caught the leaders with Hunter-Reay, he had a bit of a wobble coming off of Turn 2 and got out of throttle, and I actually ran up his back, which damaged the car somehow. We had to change nose, which put us back in the field again, but the car was never quite as good from that point. I think we might have knocked the toes out a little bit or something. But great recovery, and like I said, third almost feels like a victory for me tonight.
Q. Ryan, it was a mistake-filled race, not just for you. It seemed like everybody was having trouble. Was it the heat or something? Even the officials messed up because you got to pit after you got a wave-around, which seems a little odd.
RYAN BRISCOE: I was on the lead lap.
Q. That's normal? Everybody else is complaining.
RYAN BRISCOE: I was on the lead lap.
Q. But it was a mistake-filled race. Can you talk about that, not just from your point of view, but everybody seemed to be having some troubles.
RYAN BRISCOE: I don't know. I think it was just very close racing tonight. You know, we didn't have any particular problems with the car as such, but definitely consistency on the tires is really important, and I think, you know, on our 6 car over the last two races we're really proving to be probably one of the most consistent cars over the duration of the tire life, which is great, and I think that's where we've been making a big of difference in traffic the last two rounds.
Q. Ryan, do you think the IndyCar Series should consider something like NASCAR does with a green-white checkered finish or something like a red flag so that you guys are racing those last few laps for the fans to get to the finish?
RYAN BRISCOE: I mean, I don't mind. You know, whatever the rule is, I'll do my best in whatever situation. But I'm not sure what complications that might create because if we did that tonight you probably would have seen everybody coming down Pit Road for fuel. So I'm not really sure. I'm not probably the best guy to ask about that.
Q. Ryan, Davey Hamilton kept coming on the radio broadcast and said that's the hardest you've probably had to race because you had to come from two laps, a lap and a half down, and you end up finishing third. You get up there and you go back and you came back again. That team and yourself have really got to be connected right about now.
RYAN BRISCOE: Yeah, it was tough, let me tell you, but it was a lot of fun coming through the field. It's always a little frustrating to get yourself in those sort of situations, and we really shouldn't have been in that situation we were in at the back and having to catch up. But you just never give up.
I think at Team Penske, my experience last year in the American Le Mans Series in those long endurance races it teaches you a lot about never give up, and you can always come back and win races even from a lap down. Roger is a genius at doing that and just really keeping everyone motivated and pumped up and relaxed at the same time, which is also important. Tonight was definitely a good case of that.
Q. Following up on that, what was Roger telling you when you did fall a lap behind? And second of all, given how well the car was running, at least before you had the little incident with Hunter-Reay, do you look at this as a missed opportunity or a moral victory?
RYAN BRISCOE: A bit of both, a bit of both. We might have had a car that could have won tonight, but it's so tight, the competition, and at the end there with sort of old tires, third, I'll take that. But Roger was just really telling me, just take your time, we'll get them one at a time out there, one at a time, and that's what he always says, and it really just keeps you focused and doesn't get you -- so you don't get too excited about it.
Q. You had some trouble early in the year, and then you obviously had your win last week and then tonight you started with trouble and then you battled on. Do you feel like now you've kind of jumped that hump and now you can ride smooth the rest of the season?
RYAN BRISCOE: Well, I mean, probably one of our smoothest races was Homestead until Duno spun out in front of me and took us out of the race. But I think in the first few rounds I had a bit of bad luck. Definitely this wasn't a picture-perfect race for us, but as I said, it was a great recovery, and maybe it's a sign of a bit of luck turning our way to be able to come back from being in a difficult situation.
But I've got to really focus on not making those mistakes that got us in that situation. You know, on these ovals I'm learning every single race we go to, and I just hope to keep getting better and better as the season goes on.
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