Ryan Briscoe ensured that for the fifth consecutive year - as long as the IndyCar Series has been competing at Watkins Glen International - a Team Penske car will start from the pole on Sunday for the Camping World Grand Prix.

Briscoe earned his second PEAK Performance Pole Award of the season with a track-record lap of 1 minute, 28.5970 seconds (136.935 mph) during the 10-minute Firestone Fast Six session on the 3.37-mile, 11-turn circuit.

"I'm excited for Team Penske," said Briscoe, who also started from the pole at The Glen last year too.

"I love this place. I came in after qualifying 2 and had the run on the new red tyre, then posted the lap of 1min 28.1322secs. I haven't had this much fun in so long. It's unbelievable the speeds you can carry through the turns out there today.

"The balance of the car has been great. Hopefully we can now follow through and have a good race tomorrow."

Justin Wilson meanwhile will start alongside Briscoe on the front row in the #18 Z-Line Designs for Dale Coyne Racing.

Wilson was competing in the Firestone Fast Six for the third time in as many road/street circuit events and was happy with P2.

"I'm very pleased," stated Wilson. "Everyone at Dale Coyne Racing has done a great job. These guys here have worked hard to get here.

"We tested, and it's always a flat-out mad rush, so I've got to thank them and everyone at Z-Line Designs. Hopefully tomorrow will be a good day."

Scott Dixon, who has won the first three IndyCar Series races at The Glen, was next up and third. It was his best effort on a street/road course this season and he is optimistic about what he can do in the race.

"I think the #9 car seems to race better than we qualify, and that's definitely been the tale today," said the Target Chip Ganassi Racing man. "We kind of hit on a set-up later in the afternoon in the last few practices - and I think we're getting pretty close now.

"Briscoe in the Penske car is certainly quick, and it's going to be tough to beat him. Of course, it was like that last year though, but we were able to come through in the race. We can win from here."

KV Racing Technology's Mario Moraes, who is starting in the top-ten for the fifth time this season, was fourth, while series points' leader Dario Franchitti will start fifth.

Franchitti's #10 Polaroid car for Target Chip Ganassi Racing spun entering Turn 11 in the Fast Six and he made rear contact with the tyre barrier, creating a full-course yellow midway through the session that limited the laps. As a result he lost his two fastest tours.

He had been due to start sixth, but was bumped up to P5 as Graham Rahal was penalised 10 grid positions after his car failed a post-qualifying technical inspection.

"Qualifying is always fun here; it really physically tests you those three sessions if you make it to the Fast Six," Dario reflected. "You're really hanging it out there, and that's what I did in the Fast Six.

"I knew I had a guaranteed top six and the Polaroid car felt really good, so I just pushed hard and I got a little loose on the entry to that last corner, and it just bit me. There's so much grip in those Firestone reds (tyres) and you have to take advantage of it, and that's what I was trying to do."

Further down the order, Mike Conway and Andretti Green Racing trio, Danica Patrick, Marco Andretti and Tony Kanaan rounded out the top ten - although all of course move up a position as a result of Rahal's penalty.

"I think we could have gotten a little more out of the Boost Mobile/Motorola car," said Danica. "The last lap was our quickest, but we had gained some understeer by then. If the car had been able to stay more consistent, we definitely could have started higher on the grid.

"There are so many good drivers this year though; the field is super-competitive, so to be eighth [now seventh] is still good.

"This is the highest start I've had on a road course this year, so I think we can still pull out a strong finish."

EJ Viso was just outside the top-ten on the original timesheets, followed by Dan Wheldon and then Hideki Mutoh and Penske's Helio Castroneves.

Castroneves, the pole winner in 2005-07, was bumped in the first 20-minute segment by Wheldon's final lap of 1min 29.6398secs.

"Needless to say, qualifying was a bit frustrating because the Team Penske car is better than where we qualified," Castroneves stated.

"It took us a little longer to get up to speed than we thought it would, and we just didn't have enough time to get a fast lap in there at the end of the session.

"I was hoping we'd be able to get one more lap before the end, but we just didn't have the chance."

Of the rest Paul Tracy will start 14th, followed by Graham Rahal, who drops from fifth to 15th as a result of his penalty and then Ryan Hunter-Reay, Robert Doornbos, Raphael Matos and Milka Duno.

Richard Antinucci and Ed Carpenter bring up the rear, the former making his IndyCar Series debut.


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