CHAMPCAR/CART: Chicago: Bridgestone Saturday qualifying report

Franchitti comes full circle with Bridgestone. Dario Franchitti has earned a reputation as one of the best road and street course racers in Championship Auto Racing Teams, but the Scotsman showed today he is pretty solid on ovals by capturing...

Franchitti comes full circle with Bridgestone.

Dario Franchitti has earned a reputation as one of the best road and street course racers in Championship Auto Racing Teams, but the Scotsman showed today he is pretty solid on ovals by capturing the pole position for Sunday's race. It is Franchitti's 11th career pole in FedEx Championship Series competition and second on an oval, but the other "oval" pole came at Rio de Janeiro in 1999 on a track that drives more like a road circuit.

It is Franchitti's first CART pole on Bridgestone tires and brings the Team Kool Green driver full circle since his first competitive race as a 10-year-old go-karter nearly two decades ago was on Bridgestone. Entering CART this season as its Official Tire, Bridgestone supplies all FedEx series entries with Potenza racing radials.

"The Bridgestone tires have been great," Franchitti lauded after his pole-winning run of 23.428 seconds (158.118 mph). "We went out this morning on a very green track and from the first lap I felt I could push 100 percent. That's what we want from a tire. We're doing very consistent and quick laps with a lot of mileage on the tires, so I'm very, very happy with that. The car was good. We off-loaded from the truck this morning very, very well. We were just changing the car as the track changed. We were getting more and more grip as the rubber went down. It's good to start at the front here. We're expecting a pretty intense race tomorrow, really close. The (qualifying) times are incredibly close, it's so competitive."

Quote from Al Speyer, Executive Director, Bridgestone Motorsport: "Today featured another extremely competitive qualifying session, with the top 16 drivers separated by less than a half-second, and we believe the Bridgestone tires played a big role in that. To a man, the CART drivers know they can rely on the Potenzas to give them that extra bit of grip when they need it, so they can push that much harder on qualifying attempts. While teams were somewhat limited for track time in this two-day format, those that conducted long runs this morning said the tires are holding up quite well and should provide the foundation for more nail-biting racing excitement in Sunday's race."

Qualifying temperatures ranged from 121 to 124 degrees track and 91 to 96 degrees ambient (F). Qualifying temperatures ranged from 49 to 51 degrees track and 33 to 36 degrees ambient (C).

-bridgestone=

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Dario Franchitti