IRL: Michigan: AGR, Franchitti Saturday report

Franchitti, ArcaEx Car To Start 11th At Michigan BROOKLYN, Mich. (July 31, 2004) -Drivers may discount the importance of qualifying at Michigan International Speedway, where Indy Racing League® IndyCar® Series machines race three abreast ...

Franchitti, ArcaEx Car To Start 11th At Michigan

BROOKLYN, Mich. (July 31, 2004) -Drivers may discount the importance of qualifying at Michigan International Speedway, where Indy Racing League® IndyCar® Series machines race three abreast through corners and in packs of a dozen cars. However, it is important to position your car towards the front half of the field, which Dario Franchitti did by turning a lap of 213.318 miles per hour (33.7664 seconds) in the #27 ArcaEx Dallara/Honda/Firestone during qualifying Saturday. Franchitti recorded the 12th fastest qualifying lap for Sunday's running of the IRL IndyCar® Series Michigan Indy 400, but will move forward one position on the grid as the result of an engine change by Helio Castroneves, who qualified second, but will now start 21st by IRL rules.

Franchitti, who was victorious last weekend at The Milwaukee Mile, was hampered by his car having the wrong gearing for the qualification attempt. He downshifted a gear during his second of two qualifying laps, looking to gain more speed, but it was to no avail.

Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan earned the pole position with a speed of 215.871 miles per hour. He will start alongside rookie Kosuke Matsuura, who registered a speed of 214.718 miles per hour, Scott Dixon will start third with a speed of 214.328 miles per hour, Sam Hornish Jr. is fourth at 214.179 miles per hour and Vitor Meira will start fifth with a speed of 214.089 miles per hour.

Kanaan's run gave Andretti Green Racing its fourth pole of the 2004 season and seventh pole since joining the IRL in 2003. Kanaan has four of those poles, Dan Wheldon has two and Franchitti one. The team has won six of the nine races run this season.

The Michigan Indy 400, round 10 of the 2004 IRL IndyCar Series, is set to go green at 3:25 p.m. (EDT) Sunday, with ABC Sports providing live broadcast coverage of the 200- lap event beginning at 3 p.m. (EDT).

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

"My run was a disaster. Choosing the right gear selection is critical at a track like this when you take into consideration the wind and chassis setup. Unfortunately, we didn't get it right. I tried to downshift for the second lap, but it didn't improve things. The race requires a much different setup, so hopefully we'll have the answers for that."

Kyle Moyer, General Manager, Andretti Green Racing:

"We saw what Tony (Kanaan, pole winner) did and we thought we'd be pretty good, too. We just grabbed the wrong gear. I don't think that anybody was up to Tony's standards for qualifying today, but I thought we could have run about a mile an hour quicker. But, the wrong gear was our mistake and Dario tried to get the best out of it."

-AGR-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon , Kosuke Matsuura , Sam Hornish Jr. , Vitor Meira