Franchitti was quickest in the climactic Firestone Fast Six - Long Beach qualifying

Dario Franchitti strapped on a set of used Firestone alternate tires for his final bid and actually lapped the street circuit three hundredths of a second faster than when the set was new in the prior qualifying segment.

“Firestone Fast Six” Qualifying Results (mph): 1. Dario Franchitti; (105.369) 2. Ryan Hunter-Reay (105.282); 3. Will Power (105.118); 4. Takuma Sato (105.042); 5. Mike Conway (104.806); 6. Helio Castroneves (104.235).

Dario Franchitti, Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
Dario Franchitti, Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Photo by: IndyCar Series

Firestone qualifying highlight: Dario Franchitti (Target Chip Ganassi Racing) commemorated his 250th IndyCar start today by capturing the pole position for Sunday’s race. Capitalizing on the extended life of his Firestone Firehawk alternate (red-sidewall) tires, Franchitti was quickest in the climactic Firestone Fast Six.

Franchitti strapped on a set of used Firestone alternate tires for his final bid and actually lapped the street circuit three hundredths of a second faster than when the set was new in the prior qualifying segment. (Due to technical issues, the driver tire use chart for qualifying is unavailable but will be distributed when ready).

Qualifying temperatures: Track temperatures ranged from 121°-122° F (49°-50° C) and the ambient temperatures ranged from 67°-70° F (19°-21° C).

From pole winner Dario Franchitti, #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It’s great to start on the pole anytime, especially for your 250th start. The car felt really, really good this morning and in all three segments of qualifying. I was able to attack and that’s something I haven’t had for a while. …

The Firestone reds (alternates) hung on really, really well, so I was pretty happy with that. We’re always managing that situation because the Firestone reds have got such great performance, but they do go off a little more than the Firestone blacks (primaries) do. There’s going to be a bit of strategy (in the race). If you get the car balanced, they don’t seem to go off so much.”

From Al Speyer, Executive Director, Firestone Racing: “It’s great to see Dario Franchitti starting up front for this milestone race in his career. Dario has been a longtime advocate for Firestone Racing and he undoubtedly got the most out of his Firehawk tires today.

For him to put the same set of alternates on for the Firestone Fast Six and go even faster than the lap time he put down when the set was new shows how good of a driver he is and how well the red-sidewall alternates are performing this weekend.

Tire strategy between the primary and alternate compounds will play a role in tomorrow’s race, which is just the way the series, drivers and Firestone Racing want it.”

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Series INDYCAR
Article type Qualifying reports
Tags firestone, franchitti, hunter-reay, indycar, long beach, power