Briscoe to race for Ganassi in Indy 500
By Ralph N. Paulk
Published: Friday, April 12, 2013, 2:24 p.m.
Ryan Briscoe, who captured the pole at last year's Indianapolis 500, signed an agreement Friday with Target Chip Ganassi Racing to compete in this year's race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The addition of Briscoe strengthens an already powerful IndyCar Series team in pursuit of its sixth victory at the Brickyard on May 26. Briscoe teams with Dario Franchitti, who won his third Indianapolis 500 last year, 2008 champion Scott Dixon and Charlie Kimball.
Briscoe considered offers from several other teams, but Ganassi appealed to his competitive instincts. Briscoe said he figured he'll be challenged by a team of drivers with whom he's often battled during his eight-year career.
“We put my name out there a little bit, and certainly there was a lot of interest,” Briscoe said. “When the offer came from Ganassi, it became priority No. 1 for us to close a deal.
“I've been racing against these guys for quite a few years. It's great to be teammates with guys who have won Indy. I'm sure they're hungry to win more, and I'm hungry to get my first win at Indianapolis.”
Briscoe, who spent the past five seasons with Team Penske, will pilot the No. 8 Honda. Briscoe, who twice had career-best finishes of fifth at the Brickyard, replaces Graham Rahal, who switched to Rahal-Letterman Racing earlier this year.
“We couldn't believe Ryan was available,” CGRT managing director Mike Hull said on TribLive Radio.
Surprisingly, Roger Penske did not re-sign Briscoe for this IndyCar Series season, mostly because of a lack of sponsors. Still, Team Penske expects to be among the favorites with three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves and perennial title contender Will Power.
“It's really cool to be coming back where it all started for me,” said Briscoe, who spent the 2005 season with CGRT. “I'm more knowledgeable of the sport, and I'm coming on to a team where there a lot of familiar faces. These are a lot of the same guys working on the cars when I was last there.
“We'll get down to business at Indy quickly. Having Scott, Dario and Charlie as teammates, I look forward to working with them.”
Ganassi, who seeks his 100th IRL victory at next weekend's Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, didn't hesitate to bring back Briscoe, who has started on the front row three times at the Brickyard.
“We all know Ryan is a talented driver, having had him in our Indy car system previously,” Ganassi said. “He will get up to speed quickly because he understands the ins and outs of how we operate our race program.
“The opportunity to have him back in a fourth car with us alongside Dario, Scott and Charlie is big.”
Briscoe hopes to be an ideal teammate for a team that's expected to challenge every weekend. Kimball is off to a fast start and is sixth in points, and Dixon is second behind Castroneves.
Briscoe is uncertain about his future beyond the Indianapolis 500, but there's little doubt he's bolstered CGRT's chances of winning at Indianapolis for the third time in four years.
“I'm really excited. I couldn't ask for a better opportunity and have the potential to win the race,” Briscoe said. “I look forward to the challenge, which it is every year.”
Ralph N. Paulk is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or via Twitter @RalphPaulk_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Motivated quarterback Roethlisberger fights to prop up Steelers
- Penguins center Sutter is thriving despite unsettled 3rd line
- Steelers notebook: Worilds loses sack; Big Ben gets 1st career catch
- Century III new owner seeks to reverse vacancy trend with new theater
- Police: Fayette man took money from foreigners in exchange for passing driver’s license exam
- Health-insurance mandate poses potential hitch for volunteer fire companies
- Kovacevic: Why give credence to Heisman?
- Pirates not yet talking extensions with Alvarez, Walker
- Pirates sign free agent pitcher Volquez
- Baldwin-Whitehall School Board eliminates controversial administrative position
- Pitt’s Donald wins Lombardi Award