National Guard Team Narrowly Misses Firestone Fast Six After Red Flag Spoils Briscoe’s Fastest Lap

TORONTO, Canada - (July 12, 2013) – National Guard Panther Racing driver Ryan Briscoe was making a strong run towards the Firestone Fast Six during qualifications for race one of the Honda Indy Toronto, but a late red flag during the second qualification session left the team with a tenth-place qualification position. The effort still marks Briscoe’s best start of the 2013 IndyCar Series season, and it’s the third street course race this season where Panther has advanced to the second round of qualifications.

"We’ve got a great National Guard Chevy, and I’m excited to be here,” Briscoe said. “It’s the first race we’ve come to with a little bit of continuity and we’re really getting to know one another and the preparation has been good. We’ve been fast all day, but it was a little bit of a disjointed qualification session there with the red flag, which caught us out, because we had a better car than the time I put down. But it’s just that competitive here in the IndyCar Series now; you can’t leave anything to chance. We’re happy with a Top Ten, and we can move forward from there, especially with the standing start.”

Briscoe – who was third-quick in the morning practice session – finished fifth during the first round of qualifications, and in the second round posted a best lap of 60.3843 seconds, which is an average lap speed of 104.630 mph. Takuma Sato crashed late in the second round, which brought out the red flag while Briscoe was in the middle of his best lap time, which brought out a red flag that ended the session.

Panther Racing Qualification History at Toronto:
2012: JR Hildebrand, Started 15th (finished 7th)
2011: JR Hildebrand, Started 22nd (finished 8th)
2010: Dan Wheldon, Started 15th (finished 10th)
2009: Dan Wheldon, Started 21st (finished 14th)

Race Broadcast Info:
This weekend’s double-header action in Toronto will be held on July 13-14, with both races broadcast on NBC Sports Network at 3:00 pm (ET), with additional coverage provided by the IMS Radio Network, XM/Sirius Channel 211. Practice, qualifying and race coverage is also available on the IndyCar Mobile app from Verizon. -