Ryan Briscoe, who closed the 2009 IZOD IndyCar Series season with a victory and runner-up finish in two of the final three ovals, will start at the front of the 27-car field in the first oval of the 2010 season.

Briscoe, the penultimate qualifier, ripped of a four-lap average of 212.145 mph on the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway to earn the PEAK Performance Pole Award for the Road Runner Turbo Indy 300.

He unseated Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon (211.298) - who led a field-high 134 laps in winning at Kansas Speedway last year.

"I was listening to [Scott] Dixon's stats before he was going out and they said he was going for [pole] #17 and I thought, 'that's too many. I need to take that from him.' I'm glad I did. It's great to win the pole," Briscoe reflected. "Team Penske has picked up from where it left off at Homestead last year. That's a good sign. Hopefully it's a sign of speed to come at Indy, as well."

Dixon, who started from the pole at Kansas in 2008 and '03, meanwhile extended his series-record streak to 37 races in the top ten by securing P2 on the grid.

"We made some minor changes before qualifying. The car didn't seem to have the speed it should have. Not sure where we lost the speed, but Briscoe seemed to stay consistent and fast. Hopefully we can find some of that tonight," Dixon noted.

"The car was good in traffic and it drove well. Since we only had one practice session, it was harder to find and make any changes before the qualifying session. Kansas has been a stand out for our team the last 3 or 4 years. We come into this event with confidence and it is a nice place to race."

Dario Franchitti (211.236 mph) in the #10 Suave car and Hideki Mutoh (211.039), driving the #06 Newman/Haas Racing entry, were next up and will share row two.

"We didn't have a good balance in practice when we were in qualifying trim. The boys did a good job though getting a good balance for qualifying. We just weren't quite fast enough so we still have some work to do," Franchitti said.

"We were expecting to have a good car in qualifying because the team was very strong in qualifying here last year," Mutoh added. "I knew the car would be good and I think I had four good, consistent laps so I am very happy.

"I'm very proud to be a member of this team and I know they have been working very hard in the off season to build new things for ovals. It looks like it worked out today. I'm very pleased to qualify the Formula Dream / Panasonic car in the top-four. We still have work to do on the race setup but I am confident we can come up with something good."

Dan Wheldon, driver of the #4 National Guard Panther Racing car, had qualified third (211.242) but the effort was disqualified because he drove beneath the white line ringing the inside of the track.

Marco Andretti in the #26 Team Venom Energy car for Andretti Autosport also was sent to the rear of the field for the same infraction.



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