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Bonus points offer some consolation for Briscoe.


Ryan Briscoe has led the most laps in the past three IndyCar Series races - by a wide margin - and what does he have to show for it? Runner-up finishes in each of those events.

There is some succour for the Team Penske driver, however, as he continues to lead the championship chase by three points over two-time race winner Dario Franchitti heading into this weekend's SunTrust Indy Challenge at Richmond International Raceway. Moreover, Briscoe is the only driver to have so far managed to keep the overall lead for more than one race, such is the competition at the head of the championship, and it is his front-running performance in each of the last three races that he has to thank for that statistic.

The Australian has been the beneficiary of six bonus points by pacing the field in laps led over those race - 154 of 225 at Milwaukee, 160 of 228 at Texas and 85 of 250 at Iowa - and, with the season not yet at halfway, he stands poised to obliterate the record for most laps led in a single season. Briscoe currently has 509 laps out front to his credit, with the record, set by reigning series champion Scott Dixon last year, standing at 899.

"I don't think we're doing anything wrong," said Briscoe, who finished second to Franchitti in the Iowa Corn Indy 250, having similarly trailed team-mate Helio Castroneves in Texas and Dixon in Milwaukee, "We're doing an extraordinary job as a whole team. It's going to be like this for the rest of the season. It's going to be very close. Every race we go to, it's going to be tough."

Castroneves may be the ideal person for Briscoe to be teamed with, a man able to shed some light on the value of finishing second when victory isn't meant to be. The Brazilian recorded three consecutive second-place finishes in the second half of the 2008 campaign - among eight overall for the season - to put him in position to keep the pressure on championship pacesetter Dixon.

The Kiwi was 48 points clear of Castroneves heading to Richmond last year, but the Brazilian finished second to Tony Kanaan, while Dixon was third in the race under the lights. Castroneves then reeled off a string of seven podium finishes in eight races, including two victories, ensuring that the championship was decided in the season finale.

As Briscoe forecasts, he's poised for a similar scenario. Dixon is currently twelve points off the lead, and the top five - with Castroneves in fourth and Danica Patrick fifth - are separated by just 52 points.

"We're just going to have to keep on our game and keep doing what we're doing," the Australian, who has finished 15th and 21st on his two previous visits to Richmond, admitted, "Hopefully, we'll start with those last few laps instead of the first few laps."


Tagged as: Iowa , Penske , Milwaukee , Ryan Briscoe , points , Texas

Related Pictures

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Indy Racing League. 30-31 May 2009. Milwaukee Mile. West Allis, Wisconsin USA. Ryan Briscoe.
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Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, and his team perform the traditional kissing of the bricks after racing to victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
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Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates his victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Scott R. LePage/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, crosses the finish line as he races to victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Will Power (left), driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, finishes second. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Andy Frame/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya is congratulated by his Penske team mate Helio Castroneves after clinching victory in the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Penske team mates Juan Pablo Montoya and Will Power race side-by-wide during the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya crosses the line ahead of Penske team mate Will Power to win the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe steps into the #5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsport Honda in place of the injured James Hinchcliffe. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, May 21 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe steps into the #5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsport Honda in place of the injured James Hinchcliffe. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, May 21 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe steps into the #5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsport Honda in place of the injured James Hinchcliffe. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, May 21 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe steps into the #5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsport Honda in place of the injured James Hinchcliffe. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, May 21 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies third fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, and will start on the outside of the front row for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Pagenaud will be joined in the front row by by polestar Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet and Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet who qualified second fastest for the May 24 race. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies second-fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, and will start in the middle of the front row for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Power will be joined in the front row by pole sitter Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet and Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet  who qualified third for the May 24 race. (Photo by Scott R. LePage/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates after qualifying fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, winning the pole for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Dixon will be joined in the front row by Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet who qualified second fastest, and Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet  who qualified third for the May 24 race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, winning the pole for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Dixon will be joined in the front row by Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet who qualified second fastest, and Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet  who qualified third for the May 24 race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Simon Pagenaud on track in the Penske #22 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during practice on Friday May 15 2015. (Photo by: Mike Harding for IndyCar Media)

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