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IndyCar Series: Honda 200

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Honda 200

IndyCar Series: Honda 200

Ryan Briscoe
July 20, 2008


THE MODERATOR: Guys, thank you very much.
Now joined by race winner Ryan Briscoe. His second win of the season. Ryan, with his win, moves into fifth place in the points standings.
Ryan, if you would, take us through your day out there today.
RYAN BRISCOE: Yeah, thanks. Interesting race, you know. There was one point where we fell back in the pack, staying out a bit too long on the wets. I was thinking to myself, I was like, I know it can be done. I know with Roger calling my strategy, we'll get up the front. If we win this, it's going to be awesome. I actually thought that to myself. And here we are.
An amazing race. I think, you know, my experience with Penske Racing throughout all last year, with the sports car racing, often you get yourself in those situations where something would happen, you'd fall back in the pack, but Roger with his experience, you know, he always finds a way to pit at the right time and get you back up the front.
Today was a perfect case of that. So once we got back up there, we had the pace to run fast and pull away. It was just perfect.

Q. Can you try to go through the strategies, the different strategies, that you used today?
RYAN BRISCOE: Yeah. Basically it was all about just pitting as soon as theoretically you could to go to slicks. I think we just played it too safe. We stayed one too many laps on wets. So instead of becoming -- did it become a two-stop strategy? I guess it did. But after that, we were on slicks. It was all about pitting for us as soon as we thought we'd be able to do one more stop. So it became a three-stop strategy instead of a two-stop strategy as it would have been in a full dry race.
You know, we took the gamble of pitting a bit early for that second stop to try to gain track position in case a yellow came out because you don't lose a lap on a road course pitting under green. So that's what we did. That was the key stop for us because two laps later the yellow did come. We'd already done our stop. Everyone else had to stop under yellow. We got to the front. That was really the turning point in the race for us. From there, it was all about speed.

Q. What does this win mean, especially concerning the last two races, had some bad luck?
RYAN BRISCOE: Yeah, you know, the last couple of races have been unfortunate. It certainly feels good to get that win again, you know, show what's possible, what's possible with this No. 6 car. You know, it's been unfortunate. But, you know, they're different races. You just move on from tough breaks, just keep your chin up and move forward.
I think we definitely did that here.

Q. May be difficult for you to answer. But this is Helio's team, he's the front person, but you're sitting there with two wins. A little bit more attention go your car's direction?
RYAN BRISCOE: You know, I think the two wins I've gotten this year, you know, Helio has been right there. He's been there all year long, you know. I think it's just been maybe a bit of bad luck or whatever. But he's been racing that car to win races. You know, it will come for him. I think we've just gotten the timing right to have the races go our way and win those two races, Milwaukee and here.
But, you know, this is definitely a hundred percent even effort between the two cars. Everything is completely transparent. You know, today just went our way.

Q. In sort of the last maybe quarter of the race, Bruno Junqueira was behind you. Everybody knew he was going to have to make a pit stop. What were they telling you? What was your strategy there with him?
RYAN BRISCOE: Yeah, I wasn't aware that he actually had to pit. I knew that, you know, head-to-head I'd have more pace than him. I really wanted to take advantage of that last restart and pull out a gap. I knew that I'd be able to put in faster lap times. Really pushed hard to open up as big a gap as possible. Then, you know, when I got to lap traffic, I was able to take a bit more time getting through there, make sure I did the passes safely. You know, the last sort of four or five laps, I was really able to just back it off a bit and look after my equipment, bring the car home.

Q. What is it like to be out in front of like that with a big lead at a place like this?
RYAN BRISCOE: Oh, it's perfect. You know, I was just hoping there wouldn't be a caution. You know, I was pretty confident if there was a caution we'd be able to hold the lead. But definitely having a multi-second lead is comforting when you're coming down towards the checkered flag.
You know, it's a very demanding track round here. To be able to just put it on cruise a little bit the last five laps is very nice. You know, you don't have to take risks and you can really just look after your equipment.

Q. Obviously with road courses being what you've grown up with, you have a number still remaining till the end of the season, what is a realistic championship finish for you?
RYAN BRISCOE: I haven't actually seen where I'm sitting right now. But, you know, the goal really since the last sort of -- since Milwaukee, since I sort of jumped right back up into the top five, is to try to stay in the top five. You know, the top four are very experienced guys. It's my first year here at Team Penske. A top five in the championship would be awesome. There's a very tight battle going on for that position. I think from 5th back to like 12th, it's very close.
So that's really the goal at the moment. You know, anything better than that is definitely going to be a bonus.
THE MODERATOR: Ryan, thank you very much.

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