Target Chip Ganassi Racing’s Dario Franchitti’s final lap Saturday in IZOD IndyCar Series qualifying proved to be just enough, as the Honda-powered driver edged defending series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay by just under six hundredths of a second to claim the pole for Sunday’s Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Takuma Sato continued his run of strong early-season performances, as he once again made the “Fast Six” final round of knockout qualifying and will start fourth on Sunday for A.J. Foyt Racing.
Making his first IndyCar start of the season, 2011 Long Beach winner Mike Conway will start fifth for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, while Charlie Kimball produced his second consecutive top-10 qualifying performance and will start ninth for Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing.
Sunday’s 80-lap race, the third round in the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series, starts at 4 p.m. EDT, with live television coverage on the NBC Sports Network.
Dario Franchitti (#10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda Dallara) pole qualifier, his first pole of 2013 and 30th career IndyCar pole: "This [pole] means a lot. We had a very fast car at Barber [for the Honda Grand Prix of Alabama], but we made a mess of qualifying. Today, it was nice to go out with a great car and really get everything out of it.
That last lap [we] just threw caution to the wind in a couple of places and I just got [the pole]. So it feels good, especially with the field as tight as it is. It was nice for Honda to get a pole here, too, on their home ground.”