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Briscoe takes pole at Mid-Ohio

Ryan Briscoe made the most of a set of alternate tyres to secure pole for the Honda Indy 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The Penske driver went into the final stage of qualifying having managed to keep a set of stickered tyres and used them when it mattered to set a record-breaking lap of 1min 06.6814secs and take pole ahead of Justin Wilson – winner earlier in the season at Watkins Glen.

"Mid-Ohio has treated Team Penske well,” he said. “It's a lot of fun around this track. It's been tricky conditions so far with the rain and some patches in the corner. It changes the balance of the car from corner to corner. The red Firestones in final qualifying were awesome. A lot of grip, and as usual, a lot of fun to drive. The team has a lot of history here. We love the track. All the credit to the engineers and mechanics at Team Penske. They give us a fantastic car to drive and make my job a whole lot easier."

Wilson was also pleased to secure a place on the front row, although the Dale Coyne Racing ace admitted there was frustration to just miss out on pole.

"It went well,” he said. “The car was working well and everyone on the team has done a great job. I was hoping we could get the Z-line Design Furniture car on the front row, if not the pole, and we missed it by a fraction. That's frustrating, to know that your that close and it didn't quite happen. This is hopefully a repeat of Watkins Glen."

Practice pace-setter Scott Dixon was third quickest for Ganassi and will share the second row with Graham Rahal, with Helio Castroneves and Dario Franchitti completing the top six.

Ryan Hunter-Reay enjoyed his best qualifying performance of the season to take seventh, which was also the best showing for the AJ Foyt team since the 2007 campaign, although he was disappointed not to make the fast six.

"We worked together well as a team this weekend , we made the ABC Supply car better from yesterday to today,” he said. “We made the right changes on it. I did the driving and A.J. did the right changes and together we got it up to seventh. I wish we could have made the fast six because it was close but that's how it goes. We're glad to get the team its best start this year and now we can work on getting its best finish."

Tony Kanaan, EJ Viso and Paul Tracy completed the top ten, with the latter chasing a strong result for the absent Mario Moraes in Sunday's race.



Related Pictures

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Indy Racing League. 4-5 July, 2009. Watkins Glen International Raceway. Watkins Glen, NY.  Ryan Briscoe and Tracy.
Juan Pablo Montoya celebrates with team owner Roger Penske after winning the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson at the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Eric Anderson for IndyCar Media)
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)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, drinks the traditional bottle of milk while celebrating 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 Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
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)
Justin Wilson resplendent in the Rolling Stones livery for the #25 Andretti Autosport Honda in pit lane on Carb Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Friday May 22 2015. (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson resplendent in the Rolling Stones livery for the #25 Andretti Autosport Honda on track on Carb Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Friday May 22 2015. (Photo by: Jim Haines 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)
James Hinchcliffe during practice prior to Qualifying for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race (Photo by: Leigh Spargur)
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)

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