Briscoe beats Wilson to Mid-Ohio pole

Last year's race winner Ryan Briscoe continued his run of success at Mid-Ohio by securing pole for the 2009 event

Briscoe beats Wilson to Mid-Ohio pole

The Penske driver faced a strong challenge from star underdog Justin Wilson in the Dale Coyne Racing entry. But after closing to within 0.0193 seconds of championship leader Briscoe, Wilson had to settle for second.

The Briton completed his final run a couple of minutes early, leaving Briscoe to cruise around in case any of the other contenders could close the 0.3s gap between the top two - who were the only ones to save fresh tyres for the Fast Six segment - and their rivals. They were unable to, and Briscoe duly clinched his third pole of the season.

Friday pace-setter Scott Dixon was Ganassi's top qualifier in third, having been quickest of all in the preliminary sessions, with his team-mate Dario Franchitti three places further back.

Graham Rahal snatched fourth late on in the Fast Six session, the Newman/Haas/Lanigan driver squeezing Briscoe's Penske team-mate Helio Castroneves back to fifth.

Ryan Hunter-Reay just missed out on a top six spot in an extremely impressive performance for AJ Foyt's team. He will start seventh, ahead of Andretti Green's lead driver Tony Kanaan, who could not replicate his Friday practice form, but made it through to the top 12 session despite spinning near the end of his initial group qualifying.

HVM's EJ Viso did likewise - going off at almost exactly the same time as Kanaan in group one, before taking ninth on the grid. Paul Tracy, back at KV Racing deputising for Mario Moraes while the Brazilian attends his father's funeral, completed the top ten.

Oriol Servia was squeezed out of the top 12 late in the group sessions, and will start his return to the IndyCar Series from 14th on the grid. Robert Doornbos, who Servia has replaced at Newman/Haas/Lanigan, was 18th on his return to his former Champ Car squad HVM.

Pos Driver Team Time 1. Ryan Briscoe Penske 1m06.6814s 2. Justin Wilson Coyne 1m06.7007s 3. Scott Dixon Ganassi 1m07.0238s 4. Graham Rahal Newman/Haas/Lanigan 1m07.0640s 5. Helio Castroneves Penske 1m07.1809s 6. Dario Franchitti Ganassi 1m07.3791s 7. Ryan Hunter-Reay Foyt 1m07.2364s 8. Tony Kanaan Andretti Green 1m07.5083s 9. EJ Viso HVM 1m07.5712s 10. Paul Tracy KV 1m07.6129s 11. Hideki Mutoh Andretti Green 1m07.6699s 12. Danica Patrick Andretti Green 1m07.7440s 13. Marco Andretti Andretti Green 1m08.1779s 14. Oriol Servia Newman/Haas/Lanigan 1m08.4314s 15. Raphael Matos Luczo Dragon 1m08.2311s 16. Mike Conway Dreyer & Reinbold 1m08.5495s 17. Dan Wheldon Panther 1m08.8176s 18. Robert Doornbos HVM 1m08.5734s 19. Richard Antinucci 3G 1m08.8516s 20. Milka Duno Dreyer & Reinbold 1m14.5371s 21. Ed Carpenter Vision 1m09.7141s 
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