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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