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IndyCar Series: Camping World Watkins Glen Grand Prix

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Camping World Watkins Glen Grand Prix

IndyCar Series: Camping World Watkins Glen Grand Prix

Ryan Briscoe
July 5, 2008


THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much. Let's excuse those five drivers. Congratulations, gentlemen, for making the Firestone Fast Six.
Ryan Briscoe, second career pole for the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series. He also sat on the pole at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California. This makes one more time that Team Penske has set on the pole here at Watkins Glen International. Helio Castroneves had a string of three in a row. This marks the 171st pole in Indy style competition for Penske Racing. That's quite a legacy, indeed.
Ryan Briscoe, you were the first to jump down, if I remember, in the 1 minute 29 second in terms of elapsed time. Moved to the top. Justin Wilson got up there and posted a pretty big number. Pulled it out in the end. Congratulations.
RYAN BRISCOE: Yeah, thanks. It was great to see Justin doing so well and getting right up there.
You know, my car, we made some changes overnight, nothing big, but enough where I was able to carry more speed through the corners today. That makes a big difference, having momentum around this circuit.
So we made some nice gains overnight. Just been tweaking it a little bit as we went on today. The track has been changing a little bit as it's gotten warmer. So just been chasing it a little bit.
THE MODERATOR: You got a monkey off your back with that big victory in Milwaukee. That had to feel great. Also to get a pole position for Penske Racing on a road course also has to be another step in a positive direction for a relationship with a very good team.
RYAN BRISCOE: Yeah, I mean, step by step, you know, trying to get myself well-fitted within the team, it's been great. The whole team is just fantastic. I'm feeling right at home there.
Just really excited to be here in Watkins Glen. I love this circuit. It's one of my favorites from around the world. You know, I'm having a lot of fun around here.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Ryan Briscoe.

Q. I think it was your last lap that you did in qualifying to take the pole. Did you know that was it, that was going to knock him off?
RYAN BRISCOE: If my dash was accurate, I could see -- I haven't actually seen the official timing, but I think I saw I was 3/100ths of a second under Justin's time. I started that lap and actually it was about a 10th slower than I had been in the first sector. They came on the radio and said, You just jumped down to P2 and told me what P1 time was.
I knew that was the last lap. So I just sucked it in. Pretty much had to almost, you know, slow it down a bit to go faster because I'd been overdriving a little bit and just going a bit wide around the fast bends.
I just slowed it up a little bit and I could see my splits were getting quicker. So close. I was expecting it to be close going into the session. But to come down to the last lap, that was nice for me.

Q. Could you talk a little bit about you're starting first, your teammate is starting last, how basically you'll see the team splitting the pit stop strategy to keep you guys on two different things to try to get you both up front?
RYAN BRISCOE: Yeah, I mean, I'm sure Tim Cindric will work his magic as usual. I wouldn't be surprised to be racing with Helio partway into the race. With these races, such long laps and so on, I've often seen at this track different strategies, pit strategies. I'm sure they'll do whatever it takes to give themselves a shot at being at the front at the end of the race.
But it's tough, especially with 26 cars. I'm very happy to be at the other end of the field. I think it just makes life a little bit easier, you know, starting the race.

Q. Tomorrow, you're obviously going to have to defend well. Where do you see some overtaking points, what parts of the track?
RYAN BRISCOE: Well, I think as Justin mentioned, it's difficult to get a run on guys when everyone is driving so well. But I think as tires start to go off, you know, we'll see different cars starting to handle a bit differently. That's where the passing will probably start.
You know, at the start, obviously when everyone's close, it's a very long back straight, and there could be some passing into the Bus Stop. Always turn one is a typical place if someone gets off the last corner quick.
But it's a little bit difficult around this track. But, really, it's going to come down to not making mistakes and coming off the corners well.
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations.
RYAN BRISCOE: Thank you.

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