IZOD IndyCar Series driver Ryan Briscoe will miss Saturday’s qualifying for the first open-wheel race at Pocono Raceway in 24 years.
Instead, Briscoe, according to reports, will compete in the American Le Mans Series Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut.
Driving the No. 4 Chevrolet, Briscoe will start Sunday’s Pocono IndyCar 400 from the back of the field. He did turn several practice laps at the 2.5-mile tri-oval on Thursday.
Briscoe has competed in just four of the first 10 IndyCar series races this season, with a best finish of 12th in the Indianapolis 500. He also had top-15 finishes at Belle Isle (13th) and Milwaukee (15th).
“Last week, we spent our time working on our race prep and we worked hard on trying to find something that will get us through the field during the race on Sunday,” Briscoe told The Associated Press. “Pocono’s a big track and it’s a long 400-mile race, so we feel plenty confident, even having to start in the back.
“I know the National Guard crew will work hard, and with all the track time we’ll have (had) on Thursday, we can get to the front.”
Marco Andretti wanted to do something really special to honor the 25th anniversary of grandfather Mario Andretti’s final Indy car win in 1993 at Phoenix International Raceway (now known as ISM Raceway).
So the third-generation Andretti, along with his team, Andretti-Herta Autosport, came up with a plan and design that will take longtime race fans back in time when it appears early next month for the Phoenix Grand Prix.
Marco Andretti’s No. 98 Oberto Beef Jerky Circle K/Curb Honda will be decked out in the colors of the car his grandfather won his last race on the one-mile short track 25 years ago.
“When the idea of a throwback livery celebrating my grandfather’s final win was thrown around, Oberto was ready to get to the drawing board,” Marco Andretti said in a media release. “The black, white and red car resembles many of my family’s race cars and was a big part of my life growing up.
“It’s really cool to be able to add one of my cars to that family legacy.”
The car is a virtual double of the legendary Newman-Haas Racing and Texaco/Havoline-sponsored car Mario drove on that celebratory day in the Valley of the Sun 2 ½ decades ago.
Various events and ceremonies during the April 6-7 race weekend will honor the senior Andretti. That includes several of his former competitors who will be on hand to celebrate with Mario, including Emerson Fittipaldi, Bobby Rahal, Jimmy Vasser, Paul Tracy, Arie Luyendyk, and of course, son Michael Andretti and grandson Marco Andretti.
Check out what happened on that day 25 years ago: