Briscoe to balance races at Pocono, Lime Rock on Holiday weekend: The Fourth of July weekend will be eventful for National Guard Panther Racing driver Ryan Briscoe, who will sandwich an ALMS race at Lime Rock Park in between testing and competing in the Pocono INDYCAR 400 Fueled by Sunoco on July 7.
Briscoe, who tested the team's No. 4 Chevrolet at Pocono on June 25 will miss on-track activity on July 6 and not make a qualification attempt.
"It will be a busy weekend between racing the National Guard Chevrolet at Pocono and the Level 5 car at Lime Rock," Briscoe said. "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 on (July 4) to get as much track time as possible."
The July 7 race will mark Briscoe's fourth start in the No. 4 National Guard Chevrolet and the race will be Panther's first career start at Pocono's "Tricky Triangle" - a unique tri-oval where Indy cars last competed in 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," 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 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, and former 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 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 on Sunday."
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