IRL: Indy 500: AGR/Franchitti Pole day report

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 15, 2004) - Archipelago Exchange (ArcaEx) driver Dario Franchitti waved off his first qualifying attempt, but came back with a four-lap average speed of 221.471 miles per hour in his second run to grab a starting spot on the ...

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 15, 2004) - Archipelago Exchange (ArcaEx) driver Dario Franchitti waved off his first qualifying attempt, but came back with a four-lap average speed of 221.471 miles per hour in his second run to grab a starting spot on the outside of the front row for the 88th running of the Indianapolis 500.

Franchitti, who will make his second Indy 500 start on May 30, completed three of four laps in his first run, but felt the ArcaEx car was capable of more speed with some adjustments and waved off the try. The ArcaEx crew made those changes, returned the car to the qualifying line and watched as Franchitti rolled on to his best qualifying performance of the 2004 season.

Buddy Rice won the pole for the "500" with a four-lap average speed of 222.024 miles per hour. Franchitti's Andretti Green Racing teammate, Klein Tools/Jim Beam driver Dan Wheldon, qualified second with a speed of 221.524 miles per hour. Honda-powered cars swept not only the front row, but also the next four positions, led by Bruno Junqueira in fourth (221.379 miles per hour), Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan in fifth (221.200 miles per hour) and Adrian Fernandez (220.999 miles per hour), who will start on the outside of the second row.

A total of 22 cars are currently qualified for the Indianapolis 500. Time trials resume tomorrow at 12 p.m. (EST).

Dario Franchitti, #27 ArcaEx Dallara/Honda/Firestone:

"I'm a pretty happy guy. We waved off the first run because we didn't have much time yesterday to work on our qualifying car. The ArcaEx guys did an excellent job today getting the car ready for me. I had a little lift in Turn 1 because if I didn't I was going to go up into the wall. I had to take it easy on the first lap, but after that the car was really good."

Kyle Moyer, General Manager, Andretti Green Racing:

"Today was good for us. We took a chance and waved off a very good time but the ArcaEx car came around for us and the decision turned out to be the right one. It was kind of a surprise to be on the front row. We knew we had a good car, but we didn't think we'd be that good." - AGR -

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Bruno Junqueira , Dario Franchitti , Tony Kanaan , Buddy Rice , Jim Beam