Team Newcomer Has to Battle Weather During Shotgun Wedding with National Guard Team

DETROIT, Mich. - (May 31, 2013) – Panther Racing and driver Ryan Briscoe wasted little time getting acquainted Saturday, as the day featured just one caution-filled practice session before rain soaked the early goings of qualifications for the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit’s first race. Briscoe, who was just officially signed by the team yesterday afternoon, qualified in the 22nd position in the No. 4 National Guard Chevrolet and will make his first start for the team tomorrow afternoon.

“Obviously the mixed conditions today made it difficult to really get the most out of the National Guard car on the first outing,” Briscoe said. “I’m still really just getting familiar with the racecar, the wheel, and everything that goes along with it. I was really hoping that qualifying would be dry, because I felt like we all had a good feeling coming out of morning practice.”

Briscoe finished 11th in his group during the first round of qualifications and turned a total of six laps. The former Indy 500 polesitter posted a top lap speed of 92.336 mph, 1:31.6222 seconds, just behind reining Indy champ Tony Kanaan.

“The beauty of this weekend being a doubleheader is that we’ve got two shots at it – we’ll see what tomorrow morning brings us,” Briscoe continued. “I really feel like a Top Ten is a good goal for qualifying tomorrow and we’ll try to build on that.”

Panther’s Qualification History at Belle Isle:
Saturday will mark Panther’s fourth year of competition on the Streets of Belle Isle, where the test has a best finish of 5th (Kosuke Matsuura, 2007) and a best starting position of tenth (Vitor Meira, 2007).
Panther Racing’s Qualification History at Barber:
•2012 – JR Hildebrand, qualified 19th (finished 14th, Running)
•2008 – Vitor Meira, qualified 14th (finished 17th, Running)
•2007 – Kosuke Matsuura, qualified 14th (finished 5th, Running)
•2007 – Vitor Meira, qualified 10th (finished 15th, Accident)

Race Broadcast Info:
The Chevrolet Indy Duel in Detroit will be the first double-header race weekend on the IndyCar Series schedule. The races will be held each day of the weekend at 3:30 pm (ET) and broadcast live on ABC, with additional coverage provided by the IMS Radio Network, XM/Sirius Channel 211. Practice, qualifying and race coverage is also available on the IndyCar Mobile app from Verizon.

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