Briscoe making most of second chance
By Michael Marot
INDIANAPOLIS ó Ryan Briscoe made all the mistakes expected from young racers.
He was driving too fast, running too hard to bother learning the most valuable virtue in oval racing ó patience. Now, the more experienced 26-year-old is recasting his image with the most prominent team in IndyCar racing, Team Penske.
Call it redemption.
iI had to learn what it took to finish races and be competitive and work on a race car during a race and be there at the end,î Briscoe said Sunday, hours before the second day of qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 was rained out.
iYou know, Iím still working on that. It helps to have people like Roger Penske and (team consultant) Rick Mears around. Theyíre all about patience.î
Briscoe learned what it took the hard way, losing one of the coveted full-time jobs in the Indy Racing League.
His big break, with Target Chip Ganassi in 2005, turned into a disaster when he crashed seven times in 15 races. Ganassi and Briscoe parted ways after the season, and Briscoe bouncing around in different series for two years.
The comeback began in 2007, when he competed for Penske in the Le Mans Series and drove for Luczo Dragon Racing in last yearís Indy 500. One of that teamís co-owners is Penskeís son, Jay.
Briscoe qualified seventh for the race and finished fifth. Roger Penske decided to give the young Aussie a second chance after Sam Hornish Jr. jumped to NASCAR.
iI think I came over here and had, you know, too many accidents,î Briscoe said. iI had to look back at myself and see what I needed to do to become a better driver. That doesnít stop.î