Briscoe Takes Maiden IRL Pole

Rookie Ryan Briscoe claimed his maiden IRL pole position after claiming the fastest time in the single-lap qualifying as well as the 10-minute Top Six shootout for Sunday's inaugural Argent Indy Grand Prix at the Infineon Raceway

Briscoe Takes Maiden IRL Pole

Briscoe's pole position is also the first for the Chip Ganassi Racing team since 2003.

Briscoe lapped the Sonoma road course in one minute and 16.491 seconds, with an average speed of 108.248mph. His previous best starting position was third, in Richmod.

"We've had a really difficult season, so this is a nice feather," team owner Chip Ganassi said. "But we still have a race tomorrow."

The top six fastest drivers in the one-lap qualifying session had a chance to improve their positions with new tyres in a ten-minute shootout. However, all six remained in the same position.

Second place went to Helio Castroneves, who improved his time to set a 1:16.906 - the only driver other than Briscoe to go under the one minute and 17 seconds mark.

The second row of the grid sees Tony Kanaan and Tomas Enge, with Sam Hornish Jr. and Buddy Rice on the third row of the grid. Series points leader Dan Wheldon starts from seventh position.

Dario Franchitti, who was fastest in the morning practice session, spun out during his qualifying run and did not set a time. He starts tomorrow's race at the back of the grid, in 21st position.

Pos Driver Make-Engine Time Speed 1. Ryan Briscoe Panoz-Toyota 1:16.4913 108.248 2. Helio Castroneves Dallara-Toyota 1:16.9057 + 0.4144 107.664 3. Tony Kanaan Dallara-Honda 1:17.1336 + 0.6423 107.346 4. Tomas Enge Dallara-Chevy 1:17.4534 + 0.9621 106.903 5. Sam Hornish Jr. Dallara-Toyota 1:17.6236 + 1.1323 106.669 6. Buddy Rice Panoz-Honda 1:17.6778 + 1.1865 106.594 7. Dan Wheldon Dallara-Honda 1:17.7804 + 1.2891 106.454 8. Bryan Herta Dallara-Honda 1:17.8099 + 1.3186 106.413 9. Scott Dixon Panoz-Toyota 1:17.8452 + 1.3539 106.365 10. Alex Barron Dallara-Toyota 1:17.8679 + 1.3766 106.334 11. Vitor Meira Panoz-Honda 1:17.9738 + 1.4825 106.190 12. Patrick Carpentier Dallara-Toyota 1:18.0621 + 1.5708 106.069 13. Giorgio Pantano Panoz-Toyota 1:18.4477 + 1.9564 105.548 14. Tomas Scheckter Dallara-Chevy 1:18.7626 + 2.2713 105.126 15. Kosuke Matsuura Panoz-Honda 1:18.8987 + 2.4074 104.945 16. Danica Patrick Panoz-Honda 1:19.2495 + 2.7582 104.480 17. Jeff Bucknum Dallara-Chevy 1:19.4114 + 2.9201 104.267 18. Roger Yasukawa Dallara-Honda 1:19.8319 + 3.3406 103.718 19. Scott Sharp Panoz-Honda 1:19.9138 + 3.4225 103.612 20. Ed Carpenter Dallara-Toyota 1:22.3532 + 5.8619 100.543 21. Dario Franchitti Dallara-Honda No Time 
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