Saturday, June 5, 2010

Briscoe Starts on Pole for Saturday's IndyCar Race at Texas

Photo Credit: Steve Swope

The week after Indianapolis race has long been a mainstay event at the Milwaukee Mile oval. Of course, because of issues surrounding promotional rights and financial tie-ups, this traditional stop was stricken from the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series schedule. Instead, the open wheel tour has proceeded to the popular IZOD IndyCar Series at Texas Motor Speedway for the Firestone 550k.

26 cars join the 7th event on the 2010 schedule around the ultra-fast 1.5 mile speedway expanded by the presence of a two-car team from Sarah Fisher Racing. Owner/driver Sarah Fisher is joined by Jay Howard what will be the third race of 2010 (this race will actually be Howard's second start since his car failed to qualify into the Indy 500). Also in the lineup is South Africa's Tomas Scheckter rejoining Dreyer & Reinbold Racing as a substitute for regular Mike Conway. Experiencing a dramatic last lap crash in the Indy 500, the British driver Conway was taken to Methodist hospital following the accident for evaluation. Mike Conway could be out of the race car for 3 months as injury to his thoracic vetebrae was discovered. In a back brace, Conway was thankful to the physicians and medical staff confident he will be back to the track.

Taking the Peak Pole Award, Ryan Briscoe driving the Penske Racing #6 set an average fast lap of 215.273 miles per hour. Briscoe was able to nick the #10 Target/Chip Ganassi Racing's Dario Franchitti. With Briscoe's Texas pole in 2010, all three Team Penske drivers have taken poles in this season's IZOD IndyCar Series.

The top-5 starting positions have all been claimed by the IndyCar superteam cars belonging to Penske Racing and Target/Chip Ganassi Racing. 3rd to 5th through Texas qualifying were Will Power, Scott Dixon and Helio Castroneves suggesting that the Saturday night race is geared to be another all-out war between the two dominant operations. While Team Penske, propelled by their new star Will Power, was able to claim three of the four road races that started to the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series schedule, the complexion of team dominance has shifted to the red cars of recent races. The collective efforts of Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti within the Target/Chip Ganassi Racing team have snake-bitten the Verizon Penske machines. With Penske's Helio Castroneves the defending winner, the team intends to use the Firestone 550k as an atonement to their oval racing efforts.

Outside of the Team Penske vs. Target/Chip Ganassi Racing feud, Dale Coyne Racing rookie Alex Lloyd found momentum to break into the Firestone Fast Six with a speed of 214.408 miles per hour for an average lap in the #19 car. In fact, Lloyd wasn't the only surprise in the top 10. Behind the #19 Dale Coyne Racing car, Hideki Mutoh delivered another strong start on an oval for Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing with 7th place. Running near the front for much of the Kansas race last month, Mutoh has ambition of finishing prominently at Texas Motor Speedway. Danica Patrick starts a season-high 8th fastest effort in the #7 car. Patrick leads the Andretti Autosport race effort which sees Marco Andretti in 10th, Tony Kanaan in 13th and Ryan Hunter-Reay starting deep in the field in a 22rd place starting spot.

Firestone 550k
2010 IZOD IndyCar Series
Starting Positions

1. 6 Ryan Briscoe/Australia/ Penske Racing
2. 10 Dario Franchitti/Scotland/ Target/Chip Ganassi Racing
3. 12 Will Power/Australia/ Penske Racing
4. 9 Scott Dixon/New Zealand/ Target/Chip Ganassi Racing
5. 3 Helio Castroneves/Brazil/ Penske Racing
6. 19 Alex Lloyd/England/ Dale Coyne Racing
7. 06 Hideki Mutoh/ Japan/ Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing
8. 7 Danica Patrick/United States/ Andretti Autosport
9. 32 Mario Moraes/Brazil/ KV Racing Technology
10. 26 Marco Andretti/United States/ Andretti Autosport
11. 5 Takuma Sato/Japan/ KV Racing Technology
12. 22 Justin Wilson/England/ Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
13. 11 Tony Kanaan/Brazil/ Andretti Autosport
14. 8 EJ Viso/Venezuela/ KV Racing Technology
15. 4 Dan Wheldon/England/ Panther Racing
16. 67 Sarah Fisher/United States/ Sarah Fisher Racing
17. 18 Milka Duno/Venezuela/ Dale Coyne Racing
24 Tomas Scheckter/South Africa/ Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
19. 14 Vitor Meira/Brazil/ AJ Foyt Racing Enterprises
20. 77 Alex Tagliani/Canada/ FAZZT Race Team
21. 66 Jay Howard/England/ Sarah Fisher Racing
22. 36 Bertrand Baguette/Belgium/ Conquest Racing
23. 2 Raphael Matos/Brazil/ Luczo Dragon/de Ferran Motorsports
24. 37 Ryan Hunter-Reay/United States/ Andretti Autosport
25. 34 Mario Romancini/Brazil/ Conquest Racing
26. 78 Simona De Silvestro/Switzerland HVM Racing

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