Ryan Briscoe was in the No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing car June 25 during a Chevrolet manufacturer test day at Pocono Raceway and will participate in an IZOD IndyCar Series Open Test on the 2.5-mile tri-oval July 4.
But because of his full-season commitment to Level 5 Motorsports in the American Le Mans Series, which is competing this weekend at Lime Rock Park, Briscoe will not make a qualifying attempt July 6 (1:15 p.m. ET; IMS Radio Network call and real-time Timing & Scoring on www.indycar.com and the INDYCAR 13 app). He'll start from the rear of the 24-car field for the Pocono INDYCAR 400 Fueled by Sunoco on July 7 (noon ET on ABC).
"It will be a busy weekend between racing the National Guard Chevrolet at Pocono and the Level 5 car at Lime Rock,” said Briscoe, who will make his fifth IZOD IndyCar Series start of the season and fourth with Panther Racing. “It’s great that Panther is giving me the opportunity to race at Pocono even though I won't be here Saturday for practice and qualifying. Fortunately, I will be able to prepare the car for the race and it was a big bonus having the test day last week and then the Open Test to get as much track time as possible.”
Briscoe and Panther Racing will make their first start at the "Tricky Triangle" as Pocono Raceway welcomes back Indy car racing for the first time since 1989.
“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 said. “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 on Thursday, we can get to the front."
Panther Racing will be running a special red, white and blue National Guard livery in honor of the Fourth of July weekend that also highlights the 150th anniversary of the Medal of Honor. Panther hosts many Medal of Honor recipients as part of its “Operation: Hire Our Guard” veteran employment program. U.S. Marines Capt. (Ret.) James E. Livingston, who received the Medal of Honor for his heroic efforts in the Vietnam War, will be a guest of the team this weekend.
“This is obviously a big weekend for us with it being the Fourth of July and we’ve got some important guests that will be attending the race, so we’re looking forward to getting to Pocono and getting to work,” Panther Racing managing partner John Barnes said. “I’m not concerned about missing qualifying and having to start in the back of the field; Pocono is a big place and we’ll have 400 miles to help Ryan work his way to the front. This is the first time we’ve had an extended period of time to test with him and that will pay off for us.”