Indy 500 2012: Why Pole Position Is Great Sign for Ryan Briscoe

Tim KeeneyContributor IMay 21, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 20:  Ryan Briscoe the pole sitter for the Indianpolis 500 and driver of the IZOD Team Penske car poses on the track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 20, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Ryan Briscoe is $100 thousand richer after securing the pole position for the Indy 500, but he's not about to stop there.

The 30-year-old Australian has had quite a bit of disappointment in his career, but this is just what the racing doctor ordered. 

Sure, Briscoe has only won six races in his career, with the most recent coming all the way back in 2010. And sure, he's only come through with the victory once out the 11 times he's held the pole position. 

Nonetheless, this pole is shaping up to be different. This pole is shaping up to give Briscoe his first win in a long time. Let's take a look at why that's true.


Penske Racing

Briscoe is arguably only Penske's third-best driver (behind Helio Castroneves and Will Power), but nonetheless, it's always a good sign to be a part of this team.

That's because Penske has sponsored the Indy 500 winner an amazing 15 times, and the next best in that category is Lou Moore, with five.

Regardless of what teammates Briscoe has, he is a party of Penske, and that means the odds are slightly more in his favor than anyone else. 


Pole position

As mentioned early, the pole position hasn't been very kind to Briscoe in his career, but that doesn't matter. 

Throughout history, 20 of the Indy 500 winners have come from the pole position, while only 11 have come from No. 2 and 11 have come from No. 3. 

Additionally, the pole position winners have been happening more frequently as of late. Helio Castroneves did it in 2009, Scott Dixon did it in 2008, Sam Hornish, Jr. did in 2006, and Buddy Rice did in 2004. 

Briscoe may be working his way through a rough patch in his career, and he may not be the most talented driver with the fastest car, but, as you can see above, this is an impressive feat. More importantly, he has history on his side.