Briscoe claims pole at Kansas

Ryan Briscoe beat Scott Dixon to pole by a comfortable margin in qualifying for the IndyCar Series' first oval round of 2010 at Kansas

Briscoe claims pole at Kansas

The Penske driver had been second to Dixon (Ganassi) in the delayed practice session, which had started four and a half hours later than planned and been amalgamated from first one-hour sessions to a single 105-minute practice due to early rain.

But when it mattered in qualifying it was Briscoe who had the edge, out-pacing Dixon by 0.4 seconds over their respective four-lap runs.

"It felt great. The car really ran well," said Briscoe. "We made some changes after practice and we were hoping to pick up a couple of tenths - and we did. So it went to plan and was a picture perfect qualifying session for us."

Dan Wheldon was third, potentially his best qualifying result since rejoining Panther Racing last year, but there remains a question mark over his run, with race control evaluating whether the former champion crossed the white line at the bottom of the track during his run - an infringement that would see his time disallowed.

Dario Franchitti put the second Ganassi car fourth, with highly impressive performances from underdogs Alex Tagliani (Fazzt), Hideki Mutoh (Newman/Haas/Lanigan) and Vitor Meira (Foyt) placing them in fifth through seventh positions.

Championship leader Will Power was only eighth, ahead of his Penske team-mate Helio Castroneves.

It was a tough session for Andretti Autosport, although Danica Patrick at least squeezed into the top ten. Eleventh-placed Marco Andretti's position is also in doubt due to a potential white line infringement, while Tony Kanaan and Long Beach winner Ryan Hunter-Reay struggled to 17th and 24th respectively. John Andretti, making his debut for the team ahead of his Indianapolis 500 outing in its fifth car, was 19th.

KV's Takuma Sato will start his first oval race from 13th place. Fellow rookie Mario Romancini did not run in qualifying as the Conquest team worked to repair his car following his practice crash.

Pos Driver Team Speed 1. Ryan Briscoe Penske 212.15mph 2. Scott Dixon Ganassi 211.22mph 3. Dan Wheldon Panther 211.22mph 4. Dario Franchitti Ganassi 211.19mph 5. Hideki Mutoh Newman/Haas/Lanigan 211.11mph 6. Alex Tagliani Fazzt 210.86mph 7. Vitor Meira Foyt 210.66mph 8. Will Power Penske 210.62mph 9. Helio Castroneves Penske 210.49mph 10. Danica Patrick Andretti 210.41mph 11. Marco Andretti Andretti 210.40mph 12. Mike Conway Dreyer & Reinbold 210.38mph 13. Takuma Sato KV 210.35mph 14. Mario Moraes KV 210.17mph 15. Raphael Matos Luczo Dragon/de Ferran 209.91mph 16. Sarah Fisher Sarah Fisher 209.89mph 17. Tony Kanaan Andretti 209.72mph 18. EJ Viso KV 209.73mph 19. John Andretti Andretti 209.73mph 20. Simona de Silvestro HVM 209.43mph 21. Bertrand Baguette Conquest 209.32mph 22. Justin Wilson Dreyer & Reinbold 209.18mph 23. Jay Howard Sarah Fisher 208.77mph 24. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti 208.41mph 25. Alex Lloyd Dale Coyne 208.30mph 26. Milka Duno Dale Coyne 207.88mph 27. Mario Romancini Conquest 
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