IRL: Watkins Glen: Honda qualifying report

Castroneves Stays on Top at Watkins Glen Helio Castroneves maintained his narrow advantage over the IndyCar Series field Saturday at Watkins Glen International Raceway, qualifying on the pole for Sunday's Watkins Glen Indy GP.

Castroneves Stays on Top at Watkins Glen

Helio Castroneves maintained his narrow advantage over the IndyCar Series field Saturday at Watkins Glen International Raceway, qualifying on the pole for Sunday's Watkins Glen Indy GP. Quickest in Friday's practice, the Team Penske driver was fastest in both the preliminary single-car qualifying laps, and in the following 15-minute Firestone Fast Six "shootout" among the top six qualifiers.

Castroneves edged out defending two-time 'Glen winner Scott Dixon, and the Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver will start second as he seeks a third-consecutive Watkins Glen triumph. Despite hitting a seagull on his final flying lap, Dixon closed to within two-hundredths of a second of what was then the pole lap time. But Castroneves' final lap also was his best of the day, and increased his margin to just over three-tenths of a second around the 3.77-mile road course.

Series points leader Dario Franchitti and Tony Kanaan both posted the fastest speeds on their final laps, with Franchitti starting third and his Andretti Green Racing teammate Kanaan, fourth. Sam Hornish Jr., who missed the final minutes of the shootout after going off course at the "bus stop" chicane, will start fifth with Marco Andretti rounding out the top six.

Sunday's 60-lap race, the second of five road races in 2007, starts at 3:30 p.m. EDT, with live television coverage on ABC.

Helio Castroneves (#3 Team Penske Honda) pole qualifier: "We ran a pretty quick time right at the start of the 'shootout', but I knew there was still a little bit more left in both me and the car. We waiting in the pits for a while to see if anyone would come close, but when Dario [Franchitti] and Scott [Dixon] went out at the end, I decided it was time for us to go back out, too. There was some debris on the track in the 'bus stop' [chicane] and the corner after that, but it was still a very good lap. For the race, we'll have to see what the weather does. It's supposed to be hotter, and that will make it a very physical race. We'll have to play it smart, and take advantage of any opportunities that arise."

-credit: honda racing

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Marco Andretti , Chip Ganassi , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing