IRL: Homestead: Dario Franchitti qualifying report

Franchitti to start 7th in the IndyCar Series opener. HOMESTEAD, Florida (March 1, 2003) -- Dario Franchitti qualified his ...

Franchitti to start 7th in the IndyCar Series opener.

HOMESTEAD, Florida (March 1, 2003) -- Dario Franchitti qualified his #27 Alpine/Archipelago/Motorola Dallara/Honda/Firestone on the inside of the fourth row for the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series opener at Homestead- Miami Speedway. Franchitti qualified seventh with a speed of 201.393 mph (27.3183 s) at the 1.5-mile track.

Battling warm temperatures and high winds Franchitti ran quicker in qualifying than in morning practice but was unable to find enough speed to put him closer to the front of the field. The Alpine/Archipelago/Motorola team continued to work on the car's balance for the race running just one qualifying simulation during the morning's practice session.

Franchitti's teammates Tony Kanaan and Michael Andretti will share the front row for Team 7-Eleven. Kanaan captured his first MBNA Pole with a speed of 203.560 mph (26.5278 s) and in doing so earned Team 7-Eleven a $10,000 bonus. Andretti will start second with a speed of 203.014 mph (26.5992 s). Sam Hornish will start third after posting a lap at 202.982 mph (26.6034 s).

The IRL IndyCar Series season opener will take the green flag at 1:00 p.m. ET tomorrow. ABC Sports will broadcast the Indy 300 live from Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Dario Franchitti , Alpine/Archipelago/Motorola:

"We ran in race trim all weekend and only ran one qualifying simulation at the end of this morning's practice and we still hadn't found a good balance. We expected an improvement this afternoon but the car still had some understeer, which caused me to get off the throttle quite a lot. The understeer is our biggest problem right now and we can't seem to solve it. All three of our cars have a degree of understeer but Michael (Andretti) and Tony (Kanaan) seem to have a better handle on it right now. It's great to see my teammates on the front row and I know the Alpine/Archipelago/Motorola crew is working hard to get me up to the front tomorrow."

Kyle Moyer , Team Manager, Alpine/Archipelago/Motorola

"We don't have a great car yet but we are gaining some ground. The good thing about it is we were able to run quicker in qualifying than we did in morning practice which shows that we have improved. It's just a shame we didn't have a better car this morning. Where we are now is where we needed to be this morning. We are concentrating on getting a good result in the race and we think we can do that."

-AGR-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Dario Franchitti , Tony Kanaan