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Indy 500 Qualifying: Pole Win Will Doom Ryan Briscoe in Classic Race

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
Wes ODonnellFeatured ColumnistMay 24, 2012

Ryan Briscoe won the the 11th pole of his career in Indianapolis 500 qualifying. Unfortunately for him, he's won only twice in his career when sitting on the pole.

To make matters worse, he hasn't been to victory lane since the Firestone 550k in 2010, and that is only one of six victories in an eight-year career

On top of that, he's being closely followed by Marco Andretti, Will Power and Helio Castroneves in the second row.

Helio knows this race course all too well, Andretti has three top-10 finishes in the last four years and Will Power has won the last three races on the IndyCar circuit.

Briscoe will have an incredibly hard time keeping these three off his back, let alone the rest of the field.

Riding in the front row with Briscoe is Ryan Hunter-Reay and James Hinchcliffe. Hunter-Reay has three top-six finishes this season and Hinchcliffe has four top-six finishes this season.

To say Briscoe is riding in anything less than the best company would be foolish.

The 30-year-old American has finished no better than 15th in the Indianapolis 500 since joining Penske Racing in 2008, and he's been considerably inconsistent this season.

Now he has the daunting task of holding off some of the very best racers in the circuit today in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

The task would be daunting even for the likes of Castroneves, a three-time Indy 500 winner.

Congratulations to Briscoe for winning the pole, but good luck to him trying to hold the lead.

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