IRL: Franchitti claims Chicagoland pole

Andretti Green's Dario Franchitti held off a challenge by Team Penskes' Sam Hornish, Jr. and Helio Castroneves to claim the pole for Sunday's (September 9th) Peak Antifreeze Indy 300. "All credit to the Canadian Club crew today," he said. "They...

Andretti Green's Dario Franchitti held off a challenge by Team Penskes' Sam Hornish, Jr. and Helio Castroneves to claim the pole for Sunday's (September 9th) Peak Antifreeze Indy 300.

"All credit to the Canadian Club crew today," he said. "They gave me a great car with very good balance, and the speed was there too."

"We ran quite a bit quicker in practice than in qualifying," he continued. "I'm really happy to be starting from pole, and hopefully we'll continue to keep the pace tomorrow in the race."

Franchitti's 214.646 mph lap was quicker by two tenths than Hornish (214.492 mph) and Castroneves (214.380 mph).

Franchitti teammate Tony Kanaan qualified on the outside of the second row with a speed of 214.310 mph, while Chip Ganassi Racing's Dan Wheldon was fifth-quick at 214.246 mph.

Championship contender Scott Dixon's 214.217 mph effort left him sixth. He will start on the outside of the third row.

"It's going to be a real shoot-out on Sunday," he said. "All of us want to win the championship."

Dixon trails Franchitti by only three points in the Indy Racing League championship race.

Seventh-best in the session was Danica Patrick at 213.813 mph.

Foyt Racing's Darren Manning finished his qualification run in eighth spot on the grid, followed by Vision's Tomas Scheckter and AGR's Marco Andretti.

IndyCar Series newcomer making his debut, Hideki Mutoh bested both his Super Aguri Panther Racing teammates to qualify thirteenth with a speed of 212.234 mph.

Another (relative) newcomer, PJ Chesson, qualified twentieth, one spot ahead of his Roth Racing teammate Marty Roth.

Milka Duno trailed the field with a best lap of 206.006 mph.

The race is set to go off at 4:00 PM EDT on Sunday with live television coverage on the ABC television network.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Milka Duno , Tomas Scheckter , Darren Manning , Helio Castroneves , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon , Marty Roth , Marco Andretti , Chip Ganassi , Hideki Mutoh , Danica Patrick
Teams Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing