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Q&A: Ryan Briscoe.


Erstwhile IndyCar Series points leader Ryan Briscoe entered the 2009 season as one of the favourites to take the title after a strong end to 2008 - and is living up to the mantle.

Q:
Good afternoon. We're joined today by Ryan Briscoe, driver of the #6 Team Penske entry. Ryan won the 2009 season-opening race at St. Petersburg and finished fourth at Kansas, putting him second in the point standings as the month of May begins. This will be Ryan's fourth Indianapolis 500. He finished 10th in 2005 and fifth in 2007. Last year, he qualified on the front row and finished 23rd.

Ryan, let's get your take a little bit on the season so far. A win at St. Pete, some bad luck cost you another potential win at Kansas, but still second right now heading into Indianapolis has got to feel pretty good.

Ryan Briscoe:
Yeah, it feels great. I think especially our performance in Kansas was very encouraging coming into the month of May. Last year at Kansas we struggled a little bit and it really looks like we've picked up our game a little bit at these one-and-a-half-mile ovals and hopefully that translates over into Indianapolis as well.

But it's great. Certainly kicked off the season much better than I had last year. I'm just so excited it's May already.

Q:
For just about every race you can ask a driver about that weekend and you can hear him say, 'If we can't win it, we need to get a good points finish for the championship.' I don't know that I've ever really heard anyone say that about the Indy 500. Is the focus on Indy solely on winning the race?

RB:
Well, yeah. I can pretty much say we've put the championship on hold for a few weeks here. We're just focused on trying to get the big trophy here this month. You can pretty surely say it's bigger than the championship, this race. You don't really get remembered for coming second at the Indy 500. Definitely a lot of focus on trying to win this race.

But, being my fourth start here, it's really the first time, though, coming into it where I feel as though I've sort of got the confidence and the experience where I can actually have a legitimate shot at it. Just really excited that we're carrying good momentum coming into the race this month.

Q:
With that being said, what's the game plan as you come into the month? You have a couple days, obviously qualifying and pole day on Saturday. What is the game plan as you approach the month?

RB:
It gets going pretty quickly. The first week is all about getting the balance into the car, getting it tuned in, and then by the end of the week feeling confident enough to start trimming out and getting ready for qualifying. Saturday we're already going for pole. Most importantly, if you can't get the pole, you need to try to at least get qualified on that first day so you can start working on race preparation.



Related Pictures

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Indy Racing League. 3-5 April 2009. Honda Grand Prix of St Petersburg. St. Petersburg, Florida. Race winner, Ryan Briscoe.
Justin Wilson and Ryan Hunter-Reay discuss practice at IMS (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud will carry Avaya colours at Indianapolis
Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 AAA.com Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, races fastest to win the pole during qualifying Saturday, April 24, 2015 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 AAA.com Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates winning the pole during qualifying Saturday, April 24, 2015 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Gregg Ellman/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, finishes second fastest during qualifying Saturday, April 24, 2015 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. Power will start in the front row next to teammate Helio Castroneves who won the pole position. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Penske Truck Rental Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, finishes third fastest during qualifying Saturday, April 24, 2015 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. Pagenaud and Team Penske teammates Helio Castroneves and Will Power had the fastest qualifying times. Castrovenes won the pole position. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Chevrolet sweeps the podium as Juan Pablo Montoya (l to r), driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar; Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Verizon Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V-6 and Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet V-6, celebrate Saturday, April 18, 2015 after finishing third, first and second in the Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Long Beach through the streets of Long Beach, California. (Photo by Russell LaBounty/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates winning the pole Saturday, April 18, 2015 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Long Beach through the streets of Long Beach, California. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates winning the pole Saturday, April 18, 2015 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Long Beach through the streets of Long Beach, California. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, qualifies fastest, winning the pole Saturday, April 18, 2015 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Long Beach through the streets of Long Beach, California. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves and team boss Roger Penske in conversation on pit lane during practice for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Friday April 17 2015. (Photo by Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves and team boss Roger Penske in conversation on pit lane during practice for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Friday April 17 2015. (Photo by Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay enters Turn 10 during practice for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Friday April 17 2015. (Photo by Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 races to a seventh-place finish Sunday, April 12, 2015 during the Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Louisiana at NOLA Motorsports Park in Avondale, Louisiana. (Photo by Russell LaBounty/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 races to a fifth-place finish Sunday, April 12, 2015 during the Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Louisiana at NOLA Motorsports Park in Avondale, Louisiana. (Photo by Russell LaBounty/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 races to a second-place finish Sunday, April 12, 2015 during the Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Louisiana at NOLA Motorsports Park in Avondale, Louisiana. (Photo by Russell LaBounty/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Simon Pagenaud berates Ryan Hunter-Reay after their crash in turn 3 near the end of the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana on Sunday April 12 2015. (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)

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