IRL: Chicagoland: Honda Racing qualifying report

Hornish Claims Pole for Chicago Finale There are four remaining contenders for the 2006 IndyCar Series championship, and they will be starting in the first four positions in Sunday's Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway, led ...

Hornish Claims Pole for Chicago Finale

There are four remaining contenders for the 2006 IndyCar Series championship, and they will be starting in the first four positions in Sunday's Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway, led by Marlboro Team Penske's Sam Hornish Jr.

Hornish is currently second in the championship standings, just one point behind teammate Helio Castroneves, who will start fourth. Between the two Penske drivers are Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon, starting second and fourth in the points; and Dan Wheldon, third in the points and also starting third.

A total of 21 points separates first-place Castroneves from fourth-place Dixon. Two of the four drivers have won here previously: Hornish in 2002 and 2003; Wheldon in 2005.

With 50 points awarded to the race victor and championship points awarded throughout the field, any of the four could still win the title. Three bonus points are available to the driver leading the most race laps, which also may come into play on Sunday.

Sunday's 200-lap event, final round of the 14-race 2006 IndyCar season, starts at 1:30 p.m. EDT, with live television coverage on ABC.

Sam Hornish Jr. (#6 Marlboro Team Penske Honda) pole qualifier today, his fourth pole of 2006 and 10th IndyCar career pole: "It cooled down quite a bit between the last practice and qualifying, and the wind picked up, too. But we hit the gear [ratios] just right and actually, I was kind of surprised by the speed we posted. You can win from anywhere at this place, but qualifying on the pole is always nice. Tomorrow, I'm sure the four of us [title contenders Hornish, Helio Castroneves, Dan Wheldon and Scott Dixon] will be fighting all the way to the end of the race. But however it works out, I want to make sure a Penske driver wins the championship."

-credit: honda racing

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Scott Dixon , Dan Wheldon , Chip Ganassi , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing