Skip to content

In choosing Briscoe, Ganassi shows that experience matters

Dec 14, 2013, 1:10 PM EDT

Grand Prix of Baltimore - Day 1 Getty Images

In the end, Chip Ganassi played it safe. Time will tell if that pays off for him.

But in signing Ryan Briscoe to take over the fourth seat at his team, Ganassi is betting on veteran leadership to win the day. And when you’re chasing a championship on an annual basis, that quality is very important to have.

It’s not the most buzz-worthy approach. Briscoe has been involved with the series for almost a decade now but one can argue he’s not a household name. Even during his time with Team Penske, one of the other powerhouse teams in North American open-wheel racing, the attention often was on Helio Castroneves and Will Power.

Would a veteran that’s never had a top-tier ride such as Justin Wilson or a young blue-chipper such as Sage Karam have provided a bigger jolt among the fans? Perhaps.

But you don’t win championships by bowing to the whims of the masses. You do it by looking out for your team. And that’s what Ganassi did when he zeroed in and brought on Briscoe.

He was thinking about how Briscoe already knows the Ganassi way of doing things, as the Australian drove for him in 2005 and again at this year’s Indianapolis 500.

He was thinking about how Briscoe is a reliable competitor on the track that rarely makes dumb mistakes and will be good for a consistent string of Top-5s and Top-10s – with the occasional win or two thrown in for good measure.

And he was thinking about how Briscoe fought for championships before with Penske, and how that valuable experience can help his entire outfit.

The Ganassi camp always wants to be in the championship hunt. And when a goal is set that high, one can assume they’re not inclined to getting a rookie or a newcomer acclimated unless he or she is something special (Tony Kanaan, now driving Dario Franchitti’s No. 10 car, is one of those exceptions).

Rebuilding is not an option. The only thing to do is reload.

And while Briscoe has only collected seven wins across both his first run with Ganassi and his five-year tenure with Penske, he gave Ganassi the best chance to keep his operation humming along after the forced retirement of Franchitti following his October crash at Houston.

That made his decision critical in the short term and in that regard, he made the right choice with Briscoe. As for the long haul, Briscoe is still relatively young at 32 years of age and if he can hold his own with teammates Kanaan, series champion Scott Dixon, and rapidly improving Charlie Kimball, he could keep the No. 8 ride for a decent period of time.

Perhaps at that point, Ganassi will take on one of those rising stars that the fans want to see – but by then, that driver will have become seasoned and more mature.

That’s what he looks for. And that’s what he’ll get with Briscoe.

Latest Posts
  1. F1 teams to follow FIA’s lead for Russian Grand Prix

    Jul 26, 2014, 6:30 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Hungary - Practice Getty Images

    Boycott of the race in Sochi this October seems unlikely.

  2. Hamilton completes his clean sweep in Hungary FP3

    Jul 26, 2014, 6:02 AM EDT

    Lewis Hamilton AP

    Clean sweep of practices for Hamilton, but Rosberg is still hanging onto his teammate’s coattails.

  3. WATCH LIVE: FP3 for the Hungarian Grand Prix

    Jul 26, 2014, 4:45 AM EDT

    Hungary F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    Lewis Hamilton looks to continue his clean sweep of practice in Hungary.

  4. Kyle Busch sweeps past John Hunter Nemechek on final turn to win ARCA CRA late-model event

    Jul 26, 2014, 1:14 AM EDT

    kyle busch nh Getty Images

    BROWNSBURG, Ind. – In an exciting finish that featured plenty of beating and banging, Kyle Busch waited until the final turn of the final lap to get by John Hunter Nemechek and win Friday night’s ARCA CRA Super Series Circle City 100 late-model event at Lucas Oil Raceway.

  5. IMSA: Action Express dominates Indy; Hawksworth wins on debut

    Jul 25, 2014, 8:45 PM EDT

    AxIMSWin Getty Images

    Action Express wins Indy; RSR, Viper and Ferrari the other TUDOR Championship class winners.

  6. Red Bull GRC enters heart of stock car country for season’s 5th event

    Jul 25, 2014, 7:00 PM EDT

    GRCLogo

    After Tanner Foust emerged as the victor of a riotous final in New York, the beat goes on for Red Bull GRC this weekend with a trip to The Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

  7. NASCAR America: Jimmie Johnson easy pick for Brickyard

    Jul 25, 2014, 6:34 PM EDT

    2014 brickyard 400 logo

    On Friday’s edition, the NASCAR America crew discussed the favorites for Sunday’s Brickyard 400. And not surprisingly, Jimmie Johnson is the easy pick — but there are a few other drivers who could contend.

  8. NASCAR America: Jimmie Johnson looking for fifth Brickyard win

    Jul 25, 2014, 6:26 PM EDT

    AAA 400 - Qualifying Getty Images

    On Friday’s edition of NASCAR America, Sam Hornish Jr. joined Leigh Diffey to discuss Jimmie Johnson’s quest for his fifth Brickyard 400 win. Hornish noted that Johnson’s first win at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was a positive turning point for his team.

  9. NASCAR America: Clint Bowyer talks keys to winning Chase

    Jul 25, 2014, 6:17 PM EDT

    (Photo: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Getty Images

    On Friday’s NASCAR America, Clint Bowyer talked about handling Indianapolis Motor Speedway, site of Sunday’s 21st annual Brickyard 400, as well as his teams’ improvement and his hopes of getting into and winning the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

  10. Juan Pablo Montoya, Will Power go looking for fun, wind up with ‘Sex Tape’

    Jul 25, 2014, 5:42 PM EDT

    sex tape

    After a long day of testing at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Penske Racing teammates Juan Pablo Montoya and Will Power went to see a movie Wednesday in Mansfield, Ohio. Check out Montoya’s hilarious tale about what they saw.

  11. Kurt Busch: No talks yet on a second Indy-Charlotte double

    Jul 25, 2014, 5:00 PM EDT

    Kurt Busch AP

    “Every day I wake up and I’m like, ‘Yes, let’s do it again.’ Then there are thoughts of ‘I finished sixth, that’s pretty special.’ I don’t know if I could achieve that result again.” – Outlaw

  12. Brickyard owes Juan Pablo Montoya one, but will it pay off Sunday?

    Jul 25, 2014, 4:45 PM EDT

    (AP Photo/Darron Cummings) AP

    INDIANAPOLIS – Juan Pablo Montoya has twice come close to winning the Brickyard 400, only to suffer maladies that kept him from kissing the finish line bricks at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in celebration.

  13. Got questions about life? “Bartender Brad” Keselowski’s here to help (VIDEO)

    Jul 25, 2014, 3:31 PM EDT

    Aaron's 499 - Practice Getty Images

    The former Sprint Cup champion steps behind the counter and serves up cold ones…Of truth.

  14. Everyone worried about a Kenseth win — except Matt himself

    Jul 25, 2014, 2:58 PM EDT

    kenseth indy AP

    INDIANAPOLIS — Everyone seems to be concerned Matt Kenseth hasn’t won a race thus far in 2014 – everyone, that is, except Kenseth himself.

  15. Jimmie Johnson remembers early Brickyard struggles

    Jul 25, 2014, 2:17 PM EDT

    Geico 400 - Practice Getty Images

    The four-time Brickyard 400 champion says he had to go against his “natural tendencies” as a driver in order to become as successful as he has been at Indy.

  16. Hungarian GP Paddock Notebook – Friday

    Jul 25, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Hungary - Practice Getty Images

    All of the latest news and analysis from the paddock at the Hungaroring.

  17. Vettel: Red Bull may be closer to Mercedes this weekend

    Jul 25, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Hungary - Practice Getty Images

    Red Bull leading the race for the podium in Hungary, but Ricciardo still has some concerns.

  18. WATCH LIVE: NASCAR AMERICA at 5 pm ET — Hornish on nuances of Indy, JJ and Bowyer, Indiana racing history

    Jul 25, 2014, 1:40 PM EDT

    140725-NASCAR-AMERICA

    On Friday’s edition of NASCAR America, Leigh Diffey will again be joined in-studio by 2006 Indianapolis 500 winner and 2014 Nationwide Series Iowa winner Sam Hornish Jr.

  19. Hamilton and Rosberg both struggling in Hungary

    Jul 25, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT

    Hungary F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    P1 and P2 in both practice sessions, but not 100% where they want to be.

  20. Ryan Newman says he’d add Wednesday night races to Sprint Cup calendar

    Jul 25, 2014, 1:20 PM EDT

    Camping World RV Sales 301 - Qualifying Getty Images

    Defending Brickyard 400 winner would push for mid-week races if he were in charge of creating the Sprint Cup schedule.

Today on NASCAR AMERICA

More from NASCAR America

What makes Brickyard 400 unique?

Featured video

Inside the Hungarian GP
Top 10 NASCAR Driver Searches
  1. E. Jones (610)
  2. J. Townley (610)
  3. K. Larson (597)
  4. B. Jones (595)
  5. K. Kahne (591)