Briscoe Leads The Penske Charge In Joliet Time Trials

Joliet, IL: With on again-off again rain showers in the area and only a few thousand spectators in the massive, Chicagoland Speedway grandstands, Team Penske’s Ryan Briscoe captured the pole position for Saturday night’s Peak Antifreeze Indy 300.

Briscoe, the current Indy Racing League point leader, edged his teammate, three time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves by a split second over the course of his 4 lap run to complete a Penske sweep of the front row.

“I’m glad the rain held off, but I guess we would have had the pole either way as the point leader”, Ryan Briscoe remarked following qualifications. “Helio made a heck of a run, and I was surprised we beat him. I know that tomorrow night will be extremely intense, but I think we’re ready. I’ve never had a better car on an oval”.

Given the fact that Ryan Briscoe nearly lost his life in a horrific, fiery crash at Chicagoland in 2005, things are definitely looking up for the IRL point leader.

With only a two second gap between Briscoe’s pole time for four laps and Robert Doornbos in 22nd starting position, the action should be memorable tomorrow night.

Every is hoping that a good crowd will be on hand Saturday evening to witness what should be a barn-burner, in spite of an unusually late starting time of 9PM. However, with the unhealthy overall economic climate which ultimately seems to effect everyone, it may be time for the Chicagoland Speedway management to re-think their “Track Pack” ticket plan, which requires race fans to purchase tickets for all events during the season. Over the years, we have yet to speak to a single paying customer who approves of this plan; most in fact seem to feel that they are being made to pay a ransom to attend their favorite races at Joliet.

Given the less-than-capacity crowd at Chicagoland for the July NASCAR race, combined with what we’ve seen so far this weekend, it would appear that the time has come to create a new ticket plan for the loyal Chicago area race goers. Continuing the current “Track Pack” plan could soon prove to be disastrous for the Chicagoland Speedway.

Starting Line-up for the Peak Antifreeze 300:

1 Ryan Briscoe 6 215.364
2 Helio Castroneves 3 215.202
3 Dario Franchitti 10 214.973
4 Tony Kanaan 11 214.661
5 Graham Rahal 2 214.556
6 Scott Dixon 9 214.494
7 Marco Andretti 26 214.428
8 Mario Moraes 5 214.331
9 Oriol Servia 6 214.126
10 Danica Patrick 7 214.104
11 Dan Wheldon 4 213.808
12 Ed Carpenter 20 213.331
13 Hideki Mutoh 27 213.256
14 Tomas Scheckter 43 213.218
15 Justin Wilson 18 213.011
16 Mike Conway 24 212.671
17 Raphael Matos 2 212.387
18 Ryan Hunter-Reay 14 212.337
19 Sarah Fisher 67 212.125
20 EJ Viso 13 211.586
21 Milka Duno 23 211.465
22 Robert Doornbos 33 211.169
23 Jaques Lazier 98 208.333

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