If you don’t know that name by now, you should probably get used to hearing it in the world of IndyCar. The CFH Racing driver is in his fourth year with the Verizon IndyCar Series and in his first year with the newly formed team. It would appear that working as part of a multi-car team has helped progress Newgarden’s career in a very favorable fashion. He has already won two races this year – the first of his career at Barber Motorsports Park in April and his sophomore win coming in Toronto this past month.
This weekend in Milwaukee, he topped the boards in both practice sessions (Saturday evening and this AM) and decided to stay true to form by clinching his first career pole position here at the Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, WI. Can Ryan go “four-for-four” in on-track sessions this weekend? It’s very possible and the awesome part is that we don’t have to wait until tomorrow to find out.
Ryan Briscoe, interim driver of the No. 5 Arrow/Lucas Oil car for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, came in right behind Newgarden. Briscoe starts from P2 in only his 4th race of the season, as James Hinchcliffe recovers from an accident in practice back in May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (Side note: Hinch reports that he is ahead of schedule in his recovery and preparing for his final surgery at the end of this month.) Briscoe’s previous best start of the season was two weeks ago at Auto Club Speedway when he starting P16. He was quite the showman maneuvering through traffic and even leading the field prior to a spectacular incident at the end of the race – a tangle with Ryan Hunter-Reay which led to him digging into the grass and the No. 5 flipping over.
Thankfully, no one was injured and Briscoe had a very good attitude about the whole thing. He praised the racing in Fontana, and even went back to the scene of the accident to make jokes and show the size of the “divot”… by laying down in it. Briscoe’s sense of humor is an underrated one in the paddock, but it’s one that many of us want around permanently. Briscoe has already made his mark in the opportunity afforded him this year, by finishing significantly higher than he started at both the Indy 500 (P31 to P12) and Firestone 600 in Texas (P19 to P8). Incredibly, even with his wreck at Fontana, he did not finish any worse than he started! He’ll be a force to be reckoned with today, even joking in a post-qualifying presser that he intended on taking the outside at the green and leaving Josef in his dust!
Briscoe isn’t the only reason Schmidt Peterson Motorsport has a reason to smile today – Briscoe’s teammate James Jakes, in the No. 7, starts from inside Row 3 today. The SPM team is the only representation of Honda in the Top 5 for today’s starting lineup.
Today’s ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 will run on the historic Milwaukee Mile and air live on NBC Sports at 5:00 PM ET/4:00PM CT. You can also watch live on the NBC Sports Live Extra app from your wireless device by logging into your cable or satellite provider account when prompted. The IndyCar 15 app is available on Android and iOS devices, with additional live camera and audio features accessible if your device is powered by the Verizon Wireless network, the title sponsor of the IndyCar Series.