IRL: Kanaan fastest, Castroneves awarded St. Pete pole

Tony Kanaan turned the fastest lap in qualifying at the Honda Indy Grand Prix of St. Petersburg but Helio Castroneves will start from the pole position. Kanaan set the pace during single car qualifying, averaging 105.202 mph around the 1.8-mile ...

Tony Kanaan turned the fastest lap in qualifying at the Honda Indy Grand Prix of St. Petersburg but Helio Castroneves will start from the pole position. Kanaan set the pace during single car qualifying, averaging 105.202 mph around the 1.8-mile street circuit.

After single car qualifying, the top six drivers advanced to the Firestone Fast Six where they are given another chance to improve their times. Kanaan's time from the first session held up but the Brazilian driver was penalized for crashing during the Fast Six shootout. He will start sixth.

Kanaan admitted he made a mistake. "I tried to anticipate the corner but unfortunately I clipped the inside wall and shot straight to the outside wall. It was my mistake and it's too bad for Team 7-Eleven because I don't think anyone was going to beat the time we posted."

Castroneves came close to Kanaan's time, missing it by 0.1384 seconds. Castroneves' first pole at St. Petersburg is the 17th of his career, extending his IndyCar Series record. During the Fast Six qualifying, Castroneves trimmed nearly two-tenths of a second from his previous best to set a new St. Petersburg track record of 105.052 mph.

Marco Andretti will start second, matching his career best qualifying mark. Andretti started second at Infineon Raceway last year in a race he won.

Marco's Andretti Green Racing teammate Dario Franchitti will start third. Franchitti ran through some of the debris from Kanaan's wreck and thought he had a tire going down. "It felt a little bit strange," he said. "I thought I had a tire going down but that wasn't the case."

With three cars in the Fast Six shootout, Franchitti promised the "Andretti Green Racing cars will be really strong in the race tomorrow."

Scott Dixon was confident after qualifying fourth. "We'll definitely have some opportunities to make our way forward," said Dixon, who finished second in the season opener last weekend. "We really just have to keep earning points and keep our eye on the big prize. If we have a good race tomorrow we could leave St. Pete leading the championship."

Darren Manning will start fifth driving the No. 14 A.J. Foyt Racing entry.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Darren Manning , Helio Castroneves , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Marco Andretti , A.J. Foyt