Everyone will be chasing Ryan Briscoe in the 2012 Indy 500.
In 95 Indianapolis 500 races, 21 winners started from the pole position—that’s over a 22 percent success rate. While winning in the pole position guarantees nothing, it’s an enormous advantage and one that Briscoe will take advantage of.
The Penske driver won the pole on Sunday in spectacular fashion. He edged out James Hinchcliffe for the victory by the minute margin of 0.0023 seconds. It happened to be the closest finish in the history of the race.
According to the Michael Marot of the Houston Chronicle, Briscoe said after his triumph: “My name will go down forever for something that I won here at the Indy 500.”
But it isn’t the only Indy 500 race that his name will be forever linked to.
Briscoe hasn’t achieved much success the last two years. A single win in 2012 is his only bright spot. But he did manage to finish third in the IndyCar Series back in 2009 so he’s definitely talented.
To win, though, a driver must combine talent with unmatched preparation, and that’s exactly what he’s doing. John Oreovicz of ESPN reported that Briscoe explained how he pulled off his Sunday W and said:
“I’ve never done so much race work going into a qualifying weekend. A week ago, I never thought I’d have a shot at the pole. But we feel really good about our race cars. We worked so hard. Chevrolet did a great job. I think the extra boost favored the Chevrolet cars, and we took advantage of it.”
Briscoe isn’t the most prestigious name in IndyCar. He isn’t the best driver either. Still, he’ll enter this year’s Indy 500 with better position than anyone, and his work ethic will push him to first place.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.