IRL: Phoenix: Dario Franchitti qualifying report

Franchitti Places Archipelago Exchange (Arcaex) Car Seventh After Hanging On In Phoenix Qualifying AVONDALE, Ariz. (March 20, 2004) - Archipelago Exchange (ArcaEx) driver Dario Franchitti had his hands full during Saturday's qualifying...

Franchitti Places Archipelago Exchange (Arcaex) Car Seventh After Hanging On In Phoenix Qualifying

AVONDALE, Ariz. (March 20, 2004) - Archipelago Exchange (ArcaEx) driver Dario Franchitti had his hands full during Saturday's qualifying session at Phoenix International Raceway, but still managed to lock down the seventh starting spot for Sunday's Copper World Indy 200.

Franchitti, from Edinburgh, Scotland, wheeled the #27 ArcaEx Honda- powered Dallara around the one-mile oval in 20.8229 seconds and a speed of 172.887 miles per hour, and was one of four Andretti Green Racing entries to qualify in the top 10. Franchitti's teammates, Klein Tools/Jim Beam driver Dan Wheldon and Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan, swept the front row with laps over 174 miles per hour.

Helio Castroneves qualified third (174.168 miles per hour) after the AGR duo and was followed by his teammate Sam Hornish Jr. (173.945). Defending series champion Scott Dixon rounded out the top-five (173.367).

The green flag for Sunday's race is set to fly just after 4 p.m. (EST). The 200-mile event, which is the second of 16 on the 2004 schedule, will be televised live on ABC.

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

"I'm relieved to still have four corners on the car after that run. The car was pretty horrendous on exit. I had a massive problem with oversteer coming out of (turn) two and four, so I'm pretty happy everything is still in one piece.

"We obviously made a mistake in our qualifying setup, went a little too aggressive trying to get too much out of it and it bit us. I think the ArcaEx car is actually going to be pretty good for the race, so we'll see what happens tomorrow."

Kyle Moyer, General Manager, Andretti Green Racing:

"We knew Dan (Wheldon) was quick and so was Tony (Kanaan), so we decided to have a little fun and go after it. We just loosened up the ArcaEx car a little too much. I'm actually surprised he still ran as fast as he did. He had such a handful of steering wheel, toughed it out and got us pretty well qualified, so we're OK with that."

-agr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Jim Beam , Sam Hornish Jr.