IZOD IndyCar Series: Firestone 550K
Topics: Firestone 550K
June 5, 2010
FORT WORTH, TEXAS
THE MODERATOR: We are joined by the winner of tonight's race, Ryan Briscoe. This is Ryan's first career win at Texas Motor Speedway and sixth of his career. With the victory, Roger Penske becomes the winningest IndyCar Series owner at Texas Motor Speedway with six.
You led 102 laps tonight. You're the sixth driver to win from the pole. In 2005, you started 12th and finished 12th. 2008 started 3rd and finished 3rd. Last year started 2nd and finished 2nd. Now tonight you're on the pole and you're in Victory Lane. Talk about your evening.
RYAN BRISCOE: That's amazing, isn't it? It was a great night. I mean, there were some amazing racing out there. I thought Texas, as usual, gave us some really good side-by-side action. You know, with Firestone really mixing it up a bit, there was a bit of tire management out there tonight that added a little extra challenge that we're not used to here in Texas.
We fell back a little bit in the first two pit stops. Unfortunately, where we were pitted, we had Hunter-Reay in the IZOD Andretti Green car. Twice the first two stops we had to wait for him as he was coming in. We wanted to leave. We lost some track position. After that, it was pretty smooth sailing. I had some slight contact with Dixon at one point which I was a bit worried about, but thankfully the car held up.
With Danica, she did an amazing job tonight. Had a lot of run racing side-by-side with her. Good on her for the race she had.
THE MODERATOR: We'll open it up for questions.
Q. To you talk about what it is like being another winning Penske driver here.
RYAN BRISCOE: Yeah, we always come here with confidence that we've got good cars. The stats show that, that Team Penske is the best here.
We made a lot of changes today to the setup. It wasn't just smooth sailing. Every year we come here, the track conditions are changing. It was very hot tonight, and with a new tire this year. There were changes. I think the preparation we have with the engineers with Team Penske and everyone at home, you know, it all adds up.
After warmup last night, we weren't a very happy bunch. We did a lot of work overnight and during the day today to change the setup and make sure we could make the car work, and it did.
This one definitely goes to my engineer.
Q. Ryan, it must feel like you erased a few demons. You should have won last year when you dominated. Last week at Indy you had a great car, ended up getting in the marbles. There's going to be a lot of people who won't only remember that you won this race but they're going to remember who you passed to win it.
RYAN BRISCOE: Surprised I didn't have anything thrown at me (laughter).
Q. Must feel good to overcome it after what happened here last year and last week.
RYAN BRISCOE: Yeah, this is a huge win. I mean, not just the prestige of winning such a marquee event here in Texas. You know, just to get the championship rolling for the No. 6 car. It's been a rough start. You know, my two teammates have won races this year. It's a great feeling to join them in the winning list.
Indy was disappointing, for sure. We were running decent. But Dario was strong. We needed to come back, you know, show them we're not going to give up in this championship and fight back. I think I'm still a long way back, but I'm not going to give up. Hopefully we can get a few more victories this year.
Q. When she got past you coming out of the pits, did you know you had the speed to get back by her again?
RYAN BRISCOE: Absolutely not. She had been running strong all night long. That whole second-to-last stint, she was in my mirrors and attempted a couple of times to get around me. I knew she had a very strong car. She must have had a good pit stop as well. I was hoping having gone the lap extra, I was going to be able to pull some distance. But she got me in three and four as I was coming out of the pits. You know, I let her go. But I was able to sort of slingshot back, carry some momentum, use the Honda 'push to pass' button on the exit of four which really helped me. Instead of hitting the limiter, I sort of drove through it and was able to clear her into one. That was key. If I didn't get her there, I'm not sure if I was going to get her at all. That was huge.
I knew it was going to be an important time and that's why I was being aggressive, to get right on her while I had fresh tires and the high line was still going to work.
I want to congratulate Brad Keselowski for winning at Penske Racing at the Nationwide race tonight. It's a good night for Penske overall. Roger is a happy man.
Q. I know you're not the type of guy that goes out and looks for attention. When the attention that Will got for his start and the attention that Helio got at Indy, you're a competitive guy. Do you sometimes sit there and go, Hey guys, what about me? Tonight you were able to get the attention. How fulfilling is that?
RYAN BRISCOE: It's a good feeling. You're not winning races, you're not getting any attention. It's just a great feeling to go out and win.
I don't want people to forget what we were able to do last year. It's been a really difficult start for this part of the team sitting seventh in the points into this race. I think we've moved up a little bit now. But we've got a long way to go. It's so competitive this year. It's not easy to run consistently in the top three or five. There are so many good cars and teams and drivers. You really have to be on it.
We're going to be focused going into Iowa. I had a good car there last year. Really good race with Dario. Hopefully we can carry some momentum from here in Texas.
Q. After the race, Roger said in Victory Lane that he thought you demonstrated the qualities of a championship driver that he saw when he hired you. You've been beating yourself up pretty good for the last week. What does it mean to have Roger give you those kind of words?
RYAN BRISCOE: Yeah, you know, racing for this team, there's no better feeling than coming into Victory Circle and getting congratulated by the captain. He's just such an amazing person. To receive compliments from him, it's a great feeling. I want to get many more of them this year. We got to keep our heads down. It's a long way to go. I want to win more races.
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations.
RYAN BRISCOE: Thank you.
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