Ganassi signs Ryan Briscoe to run Indianapolis 500 - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Ganassi signs Ryan Briscoe to run Indianapolis 500

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Ryan Briscoe (from his Twitter feed) Ryan Briscoe (from his Twitter feed)
INDIANAPOLIS -

Ryan Briscoe will return to the Indianapolis 500 this year in a car fielded by Chip Ganassi Racing.

The long-rumored pairing wasn't completed until last weekend at Barber Motorsports Park. It will be formally announced Friday, but Ganassi confirmed the hiring Thursday night to The Associated Press.

Follow Ryan on Twitter.

Briscoe will drive the No. 8 Honda with sponsorship from IT services and consulting company NTT Data.

Briscoe won the pole for the 500 last season with Penske Racing. He split with the team at the end of the season, and AJ Allmendinger will drive his old car in the 500 this year.

The Australian has seven career IndyCar victories and drove for Ganassi in 2005. Briscoe has seven career starts at Indy and last year tied his career-best finish of fifth.

NOTES OF INTEREST:

Ryan's Return:  Briscoe started his Indy car racing career with Target Chip Ganassi Racing in 2005 when the team was a three-car effort comprised of Dixon and Darren Manning.  He competed in 14 rounds in the No. 33 Target car, had a team-best finish of 10th at the Indianapolis 500 and won his first Indy car pole position at Sonoma Raceway before a season-ending accident at Chicagoland Speedway.

NTT DATA at the Brickyard:  NTT DATA began its relationship with the Indianapolis 500 in 2010 with sponsorship of the "NTT DATA Buckle Award" – a custom-made belt buckle presented to the race winner which continues through this year's race.  The integration of performance, precision, technology and collaborative team skills is a winning formula for success – one that is representative of NTT DATA's brand – making this an ideal partnership for the global IT services innovator.

Chip at the Brickyard:  Last season's win in the Indianapolis 500 with Dario Franchitti marked Chip Ganassi's fifth Indianapolis 500 victory as a team owner (1989-Fittippaldi, 2000-Montoya, 2008-Dixon and 2010-Franchitti).  He won his first Indianapolis 500 after joining Pat Patrick to field Emerson Fittipaldi in 1989.  His past four victories have been with Target Chip Ganassi Racing.  With his fifth win in the Indianapolis 500 as an owner, Ganassi tied Lou Moore for second all-time in Indianapolis 500 wins behind only Roger Penske.  Ganassi has also won NASCAR's Brickyard 400 with Jamie McMurray in 2010, making him the only team owner to win both marquee races at IMS.

Briscoe at The Brickyard:  The reigning Indianapolis 500 polesitter has seven career starts at IMS, including three from the front row (2008-third, 2009-second).  Briscoe's best finish is fifth (twice), coming in the 2007 and 2012 races.  He has led the Indianapolis 500 in three of his seven starts for a total of 31 laps and has previously run the numbers 33 (CGRT-2005), 12 (2007), 6 (2008-2011) and 2 (2012).

By the Numbers:  In eight seasons of IZOD IndyCar Series racing, Briscoe has 102 starts, seven wins, 12 poles, 27 podiums and over 1,400 laps led with a best finish of third in the 2009 championship.

The History of car No. 8 at Indianapolis:  Number of Indianapolis 500 wins by car No. 8 – three (1912-Joe Dawson, 1936-Louis Meyer and 1956-Pat Flaherty).  Last win by car No. 8 – Pat Flaherty, 1956 (started on pole).  Number of poles by car No. 8 – five (1929-Cliff Woodbury, 1932-Lou Moore, 1956-Pat Flaherty, 1977-Tom Sneva and 2001-Scott Sharp).  Last car No. 8 in Indianapolis 500 starting field – Rubens Barrichello (2012).

Did you Know?:  Briscoe will reunite with former teammate Scott Dixon at CGRT this May.  The two were teammates during the 2005 IZOD IndyCar Season, both driving for Target Chip Ganassi Racing.

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