BRISCOE'S CLIMB THROUGH POCONO FIELD ENDS WITH NATIONAL GUARD PANTHER TEAM IN 14TH PLACE
National Guard Panther Team Misses Top Ten After Late-Race Pit Stop for Splash of Fuel
LONG POND, PA. - (July 7, 2013) – National Guard Panther Racing driver Ryan Briscoe was poised for a Top Ten finish Sunday at Pocono Raceway before having to make a late-race pit stop for a splash of fuel, which dropped the National Guard team to a 14th-place finish in the Indy Pocono 400. Briscoe, who was making his fourth career start in the No. 4 entry, started in the 19th position after missing Saturday’s practice and qualifications to run the ALMS race in Lime Rock, where he and teammate Scott Tucker took the P2 class victory.
Briscoe was able to make a methodical climb from his 19th-place starting position at the start of the 160-lap race, and he moved up to 17th before the team’s first pit stop on Lap 31. He was up to 14th by the end of his second stint as the team pitted on Lap 61, just before the second caution flag of the day came out for an accident on pit road involving Ryan Hunter-Reay and Takuma Sato.
"We were working a lot on our fuel mileage there late in the race and had to jump in the pits for a splash of fuel, which cost us some positions right at the end,” Briscoe explained. “That was a bit unfortunate because the National Guard Chevy was quite racy, especially once the fuel burnt off and we got to the end of each stint. We were working on our downforce levels during some of the early pit stops, and the Panther crew was really quick in the pits all day.”
In what was a day filled with great pit stops from the National Guard pit crew, Briscoe was up to 12th when the field restarted on Lap 71. The crew followed that up with another quick stop on Lap 96, which helped Briscoe reach the 11th position on the grid by Lap 111.
The team stayed in 11th as Briscoe battled with Sebastian Bourdais while trying to save fuel in the National Guard Chevy as race laps quickly continued to wind down. But with Briscoe at the lead of his group of cars, and without the fuel-saving benefit of the draft, it quickly became evident to the team that they were going to have to make a late-race pit stop for a splash of fuel. With just four laps remaining Briscoe ducked into the pits for the few gallons of fuel he needed to finish the race, which caused the team to fall a lap behind and slip to 14th-place in the final finishing order.
“I'm really thankful Panther gave me the opportunity to run today knowing we'd have to miss practice and qualifications,” Briscoe said. “We continue to gel each time we go out and I'm looking forward to the next one."
Ganassi Racing driver and former series champion Scott Dixon took the race victory and was joined on the podium by teammates Charlie Kimball (P2) and Dario Franchitti (P3).
Race Broadcast Info:
The IndyCar Series will now travel to Toronto, Canada for a doubleheader weekend on the city street course, with races on both July 13-14, and both of which will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network at 3:00 pm (ET), 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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