Team Penske driver Ryan Briscoe will be looking to start a surge toward the top of the IZOD IndyCar Series championship this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Considering that Penske drivers have won four of the last six IndyCar races at TMS (including last year with Helio Castroneves), he couldn't have picked a much better track for beginning the mission.
Starting on pole for Saturday's Firestone 550K (8 p.m. ET, Versus) could also help in that regard. The Sydney, Australia native had just enough speed to keep P1 away from Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti, posting an four-lap qualifying average of 215.273 m.p.h. that bested the Scotsman's average of 215.261 m.p.h.
Briscoe had put together three straight top-10s before crashing last Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and finishing 24th. He currently sits seventh in the standings, 72 points behind his teammate Will Power.
Power (215.158) will start on the inside of Row 2 for Saturday's 228-lap affair, with Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon (215.152) on the outside. Row 3 features defending race champion Castroneves (214.411) and Dale Coyne Racing's Alex Lloyd (214.408), who will look to continue his momentum after finishing a surprising fourth at the Brickyard.
You can check out the full starting order below the dash marks.
IZOD IndyCar Series
Firestone 550K - Texas Motor Speedway
(Car #-driver, team, qualifying avg. speed)
1. 6-Ryan Briscoe, Penske, 215.273.
2. 10- , Ganassi, 215.261.
3. 12-Will Power, Penske, 215.158.
4. 9-Scott Dixon, Ganassi, 215.152.
5. 3- , Penske, 214.411.
6. 19-Alex Lloyd, Coyne, 214.408.
7. 06-Hideki Mutoh, Newman/Haas, 214.380.
8. 7-Danica Patrick, Andretti, 214.098.
9. 32-Mario Moraes, KV Racing Tech., Dallara-Honda, 213.800.
10. 26-Marco Andretti, Andretti, 213.785.
11. 5-Takuma Sato, KV Racing Tech., 213.692.
12. 22-Justin Wilson, Dreyer & Reinbold, 213.602.
13. 11-Tony Kanaan, Andretti, 213.346.
14. 8-E.J. Viso, KV Racing Tech., 213.336.
15. 4-Dan Wheldon, Panther, 213.316.
16. 67-Sarah Fisher, Fisher, 213.256.
17. 18-Milka Duno, Coyne, 213.222.
18. 24-Tomas Scheckter, Dreyer & Reinbold, 212.904.
19. 14-Vitor Meira, Foyt, 212.805.
20. 77-Alex Tagliani, FAZZT, 212.526.
21. 66-Jay Howard, Fisher, 212.448
22. 36-Bertrand Baguette, Conquest, 212.349.
23. 2-Raphael Matos, DFDragon, 212.327.
24. 37-Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti, 212.298.
25. 34-Mario Romancini, Conquest, 212.101.
26. 78-Simona de Silvestro, HVM, 211.289.