Franchitti Hits Milestone As He Wins Pole For Milwaukee 225

Dario Franchitti's 25th Indy car pole, tying Paul Tracy for ninth all time, could be the most direct path to retrieving some of the points he lost to IZOD IndyCar Series leader Will Power in last week's Firestone Twin 275s.

Franchitti, who earned one point for the PEAK Performance Pole Award by topping the 26-driver field with an average speed of 170.841 mph on the Milwaukee Mile oval, is 20 points arrears of Power heading into the Milwaukee 225. Power, who topped the speed chart in the initial practice session June 17, will start a season-low 17th in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car.

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

Photo by: Michael C. Johnson

"I am glad to be back at the Milwaukee Mile and this is a great place to start from for tomorrow's race," said Franchitti, who won the first IZOD IndyCar Series race at the historic track in 2004 by charging from the seventh starting position. "It is going to be a tough day because it is like a one-lane track out there with the marbles on side and the black asphalt lane. I think the double-file restarts will work well here at the Milwaukee Mile and the fans are in for a hell of a show."

Power's teammate, Helio Castroneves, will join Franchitti on the front row (169.999 mph) in the No. 3 Guidepoint Systems entry. Scott Dixon, who won the 2009 race from the second row, will be on the inside of Row 2 (169.582) in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car.

The KV Racing Technology-Lotus group of Tony Kanaan, Takuma Sato and E.J. Viso made waves. They'll start in that order fourth through sixth.

MILWAUKEE 225 POST-QUALIFYING QUOTES:

DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 10 Downy, PEAK Performance Pole Award winner): "The Target car was great today. It was a combination of the car and the setup was really close to being perfect and I just hung on to it. There was lot of oversteer in Turn 3 but the upside to that was it was good everywhere else. I am glad to be back at the Milwaukee Mile and this is a great place to start from for tomorrow's race. It is going to be a tough day tomorrow because it is like a one lane track out there with the marbles on side and the black asphalt lane. I think the double-file restarts will work well here at the Milwaukee Mile and the fans are in for a hell of a show tomorrow.

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Guidepoint Systems Team Penske): "I am very happy and this is the best qualifying run of the year. After a good result in Texas things started turning around for us and this is what we needed. Yes I would like a pole position, but at the end of the day I will take second place right now. It is a good position to start the race from and my team strategy is right on this weekend. My GuidePoint car is very fast this weekend so hopefully we will be in good shape for tomorrow. This track is challenging and you are going to see people take chances here. When the team has the car dialed in, it is going to be awesome. I got my first victory in Detroit in 2000 on Father's Day so I am hoping that tomorrow is day."

ED CARPENTER (No.67 Direct Supply/Sarah Fisher Racing): "Our qualifying run wasn't good. We're just not having a very good weekend. It's been a discouraging one. We've been chasing the car all weekend, and it was the best it's been during my qualifying run, but we've still got a lot of work to do. It's frustrating; definitely not where we wanted to be here, especially having a local company, Direct Supply, on board and with it being an ABC race we want to perform well. We're going to have a lot of cars to pass tomorrow because we're going to be starting at the back, but that's where we are, so we'll have to deal with it."

SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA (No. 34 Conquest Racing): "We're positive about the improvements we've made throughout the weekend. I believe from where we came to where we are right now, we made a huge jump. We were expecting faster times in the qualifying session, but we had an upset car which I wasn't able to hold enough to bring it with a really good time.

Now we are just looking towards the race. I feel comfortable in traffic, so tomorrow is a completely different deal. It's not the fastest around this place, but the guy that uses his head, the driver that doesn't rush on his decisions. I feel positive and confident that were going to improve even more tomorrow and bring home very interesting race for the entire conquest Racing team."

RYAN BRISCOE (No.6 Transitions Adaptive Lenses Team Penske): "That was a good solid qualifying effort for the No. 6 Transitions Adaptive Lenses car. We were flat-out all the way around the track and the car felt great. In retrospect, maybe we should have trimmed the car out a bit more, but we have been chasing the balance on the car this weekend, so I am satisfied with a top-10 starting spot. With the help of my Team Penske pit crew and Roger (Penske), we should be in great shape for the race tomorrow."

ALEX TAGLIANI (No. 77 Bowers & Wilkins/Schmidt Pelfrey Racing) "It's been a pretty difficult weekend so far. Obviously, we are struggling a little bit with the car. We're not a team that is going to give up, so we're going to re-group in the trailer tonight. The car seems better now than it has been all weekend. We're a little bit late on it, but we have good guys and I'm sure that we're going to come out tomorrow with a good car for the race. We're struggling with the balance, the car is pretty loose. But at the same time, it has a little bit of understeer. We can't take away the understeer because the car gets pretty neutral. Other than that, it's a fairly new car for me to drive, and we just need to get the bugs out."

Graham Rahal, Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport
Graham Rahal, Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport

Photo by: Michael C. Johnson

DANICA PATRICK (No. 7 Team GoDaddy): "I'm disappointed we didn't have the speed we were looking for today. I was hopeful that after our solid practice sessions that the GoDaddy.com car would have qualified better. We will have to work hard tomorrow to work our way through the field."

MIKE CONWAY (No. 27 Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda): "The DHL/Sun Drop car was OK. We just need a little bit more in terms of balance, but I think it was OK. It was better than what we did earlier on, so that was the main thing. It's very, very close here, so we'll see what happens tomorrow."

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 Team GoDaddy.com): "Our run was pretty good, but I thought it was going to be a lot quicker than that. The GoDaddy.com car was great. We'll look at it; we'll go back to the transporter and make sure we have a great race car. In the warm-up that we had earlier today, it was really good on the bottom, so I'm looking forward to it. Being back at Milwaukee is just excellent for the IndyCar Series. We had a good turnout for qualifying today; thanks to all the fans for coming out. I think it's going to be a great show tomorrow."

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 26 Team Venom): "The Venom car will start ninth tomorrow and I think we can get the job done from there. This is always a fun race but the track is really tough on equipment because there's no banking. If you get the balance off even a little bit it can hurt you. You really want to start mid-pack or better and make sure you don't go a lap down - the leaders are going to be fast. We're in the ballgame so hopefully we get it right tomorrow and have a strong finish."

VITOR MEIRA (No. 14 ABC Supply Co A.J. Foyt Racing): "The Venom car will start ninth tomorrow and I think we can get the job done from there. This is always a fun race but the track is really tough on equipment because there's no banking. If you get the balance off even a little bit it can hurt you. You really want to start mid-pack or better and make sure you don't go a lap down - the leaders are going to be fast. We're in the ballgame so hopefully we get it right tomorrow and have a strong finish."

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 Levemir and NovoLog FlexPen): "The Milwaukee Mile is different, it's challenging. I think my qualifying run was the most flat I've been here all weekend. The No. 83 Levemir and NovoLog FlexPen car has been really good and I think we have a really good race car. The Novo Nordisk team has spent the last few practice sessions working on the race set-up, so we should be good tomorrow."

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 38 Service Central): "Overall, the No. 38 Service Central car felt really good. I'm not sure if we just ran too much downforce and ultimately gave up some speed, but the car felt really good - we were flat. The Service Central team did a really good job giving me a good car here this weekend after the test. We've been right on pace since we got here, so we'll just keep working and do our best in the race tomorrow."

WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske): "That's a tough qualifying result for Verizon Team Penske. We were flat through turns one and two but we had a big moment there in turn three when we got loose that cost us. It's certainly not where wanted to start the race, but we know we have a good race car and we'll put our heads down and try to make up ground tomorrow. I love racing here in Milwaukee and it should definitely be an entertaining race for the fans."

ORIOL SERVIA (No. 2 Telemundo) "Those were the only two laps I have ever done completely flat at this place. We did a great job with the setup and the car felt good but that is all we had. We didn't trim the car for qualifying and it looks like everyone else did so we probably should have. I am very happy with the Telemundo car though; I think it will be good in the race. It's going to be an obstacle course the whole race. You can see we are running the high line compared to many years ago so it opens up the inside for overtaking. It's going to be very interesting because low is slower but if you have a run on somebody, you go low. It's going to be a really, really interesting race."

Takuma Sato, KV Racing Technology-Lotus, Will Power, Team Penske
Takuma Sato, KV Racing Technology-Lotus, Will Power, Team Penske

Photo by: Michael C. Johnson

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 06 Sprott): "We came into qualifying after a little bit of a rough practice today and wasn't super happy with the car. We did the teammate swap and adopted his setup because he seemed pretty pleased and went for broke. It was a big improvement over what we did this morning so I think we can be pleased in that. I don't think we were ever going to be quite as quick as Oriol today but I'm happy with where we ended up. The Newman/Haas guys did a great job getting the Sprott car swapped over to his setup and it was just up to me to get it done. If I had another run now and another set of tires, I bet I could squeeze a little bit more out of it but we just wanted to make sure we got through the run."

TONY KANAAN (No.82 GEICO - KV Racing Technology - Lotus): "It was a really great effort today by the boys and my KVRT teammates. Amazingly, since we unloaded the GEICO - KV - Lotus car off the truck we've been quick. I will say I hadn't made this track all the way around flat out this weekend until qualifying, so I owe a 'thank you' to Viso and Sato because we mixed our setups together for quals and I think it paid well for all of us. I have to say that I am so happy to be back at Milwaukee, I have missed the butterfly in my stomach feeling and getting out of the car shaking a little after qualifying...it's a real race track. I'll tell you, not bad today for an old man and a young team."

TAKUMA SATO (No. 5 KV Racing Technology - Lotus): "It has been a very successful day. Overnight we worked and made some very positive changes and the car was working well. As a result I was able to really commit during the qualifying run, which was very exciting. The whole team did a great job. We had a good day. "

E.J. VISO (No. 59 PDVSA - KV Racing Technology - Lotus) "We made a good progression over the weekend. We came with a "mix and match" setup coming from a compilation of the three cars. It's so nice to be working properly as a team. There are so many good things coming ahead if we keep this effort and momentum going. It also shows how strong we are getting as a team to put three cars in the top-six. My crew has done a great job after coming from a tough beginning. The key is to stay positive and it will all come together. I believe we have a very consistent race setup that is going to take me fast to the end of the race."

JUSTIN WILSON (No. 22 Dad's Root Beer/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing): "I think the Dad's Root Beer car was really good in qualifying and the balance was close to perfect, although I think that we could have used a little bit more grip. We had a little bit of a four-wheel slide, but we were almost flat out the whole way around. We still have work to do, but I think that we have a good race car, so we should be in good shape for tomorrow."

ANA BEATRIZ (No. 24 Team Ipiranga/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing: "I'm super happy that we've had my best qualifying result in my IndyCar career so far. I'm really happy with what we've accomplished. The Ipiranga/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing car was fast. It's a little bit tough to play with the top guys all day, but I think that we improved so much and I'm proud of everyone on the team. Now, we just need to make sure that we have a good race car so that we can move up tomorrow."

-source: indycar