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Jul 07, 2013 - 07:19 AM
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2013 Pocono: Panther IndyCar Qualifying Recap
Posted by: newsla on Jul 07, 2013 - 07:16 AM
IndyCar Weekend Team Reports
2013 Pocono: Panther IndyCar Qualifying Recap

National Guard Panther Racing driver Ryan Briscoe may have missed all of the IndyCar Series track activity Saturday at Pocono Raceway, but the 31-year-old made the most of his time away by winning the P2 class during today’s ALMS race at Lime Rock.


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With just three minutes to go in the race, Briscoe had contact with Guy Cosmo as the two drivers were battling for the lead, causing Cosmo to go off-course while Briscoe took the lead. Cosmo was able to recover to finish second in class. The result was Briscoe’s second ALMS class victory of the season and the third for his Level 5 Motorsports team.

Briscoe will make the three-plus hour drive from Lime Rock to Pocono himself this evening andwill start 24th in tomorrow’s 160-lap event, which marks IndyCar’s return to the “Tricky Triangle” for the first time since 1989. Marco Andretti captured the pole position in an Andretti Autosport sweep of the front row with a two-lap average speed of 221.273 mph. He will be joined on the front row by teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay (P2) and James Hinchcliffe (P3). IndyCar announced earlier this week that it was moving to three-wide starts for all Triple Crown races.

Briscoe spent two full days testing the No. 4 National Guard Chevrolet; last Tuesday during ateam test day and on Thursday of this week. Tomorrow will make his fourth start with the team since originally making his debut in the No. 4 entry during the Chevrolet Duel in Detroit and his last start came three weeks ago at the Milwaukee Mile.

Panther Welcomes Special Guest; Medal of Honor Recipient James Livingston:
Panther is pleased to be joined by Medal of Honor recipient James E. Livingston during this weekend’s event at Pocono Racing. Livingston is a retired United States Marine Corps general who received the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in 1968 during the Vietnam War. Livingston is scheduled to speak at Panther’s “Operation: Hire Our Guard” veteran employment program on Sunday at 10:00 am (ET) in the team’s hospitality unit.

Livingston is the latest in a long list of Medal of Honor Recipients who have been an instrumental part of Panther’s program to fight veteran unemployment. During the week of the Indianapolis 500 in May Panther hosted a total of seven Medal of Honor Recipients, who were all included in the pre-race ceremonies for the iconic event. Panther has utilized many Medal of Honor Recipients as part of “Operation: Hire Our Guard” to help highlight the benefits of hiring veterans to all the local employers who attend the team’s program.

Livingston, then a Marine Captain, earned his honor in the Dai Do Republic of Vietnam in May of 1968 during an assault on the heavily fortified village. During the attack CPT Livingston was injured on three occasions – twice by grenade fragments – to the point he was unable to walk, but refused medical treatment and continued tolead his men through the assault. His men were responsible for the destruction of over 100 bunkers, driving the enemy from their positions, halting an enemy counterattack and supervising the evacuation of casualties. Despite his owninjuries CPT Livingston did not allow himself to be evacuated until he was assured the safety of all his men.

Operation: Hire Our Guard is a Panther Racing initiative to raise awareness and educate business leaders around the country about the increasing unemployment crisis facing our National Guard, with the ultimate goal of making the connectionsnecessary between the military and business leaders to secure quality employment for National Guard Soldiers. Unemployment is the No. 1 issue facing returning and demobilizing National Guard members and their families. Overall unemployment is 13% - as high as 30% for Veterans between 18-30 – and, in total, there are currently 65,000 unemployed National Guard members. Last year our events provided Veterans exposure to approximately 9,300 job opportunities and based on a conservative approach, potentially over 4,300 Guardsmen havebeen employed as a result of our program.

Media are welcome to attend the Operation: Hire Our Guard program at 10:00 am (ET) in the Panther Racing hospitality tent.

SSG Michael Kacer Named Panther’s Pocono Hometown Hero:
Panther Racing has named SSG Michael Kacer as its honorary Hometown Hero for the Pocono IndyCar 400 weekend. Panther began its Hometown Hero program in 2008 to help highlight an extraordinary Soldier from each respective state’s National Guard. Each hero participates in the IndyCar Series driver autograph session during the raceweekend and sits next to the team’s driver while signing a specialty-made hero card. The hero also takes an IndyCar Experience two-seater ride, is honoredduring an awards presentation in the team’s hospitality unit prior to the race and is also recognized on the pre-race stage in front of the crowd prior to the start of the race.

Additional notes on SSG Kacer are posted below:
•SSG Kacer is a native of Throop, Pennsylvania and joined the Pennsylvania National Guard in 1999 while still a junior in highschool.

•Before his medical retirement in 2010 SSG Kacer was deployed to Germany, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. During his deployment inZerok, Afghanistan insurgents fired rockets into the combat operations post and SSG Kacer sustained numerous injuries to his head, ribs, lungs, abdominal area and he ultimately had his left arm amputated.

•The loss of his arm has done little to slow SSG Kacer, who now represents the Army in the military’s premiere Paralympics competition, and in 2012 he collected a total of seven medals in both track& field and swimming events. When not training SSG Kacer spends time as a motivational speaker and assists local high school track teams.

•SSG Kacer has received the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, two Army Commendation Medals, the National Defense Service Medal, three Army Achievement Medals, two Army Reserve Component Medals, the NATO Medal, the NATO ISAF Medal, two Army Good Conduct Medals, the Thomas J. Stewart Medal, the Keystone Freedom Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and many other recognitions.

Race Broadcast Info:
The Pocono IndyCar 400 will be broadcast on ABC on July 7th at 12 pm (ET), with additional coverage provided by the IMS Radio Network, XM/Sirius Channel 211. Practice, qualifying and race coverage is also available on the IndyCar Mobile app from Verizon.

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