IRL: Rain puts AGR drivers on Richmond front row

Qualifying for Saturday's Suntrust Indy Challenge at Richmond International Raceway was rained out forcing IndyCar Series officials to set the starting field by entrant points. Andretti Green Racing drivers Dario Franchitti and Tony Kanaan will ...

Qualifying for Saturday's Suntrust Indy Challenge at Richmond International Raceway was rained out forcing IndyCar Series officials to set the starting field by entrant points. Andretti Green Racing drivers Dario Franchitti and Tony Kanaan will start on the front row.

"First of all, I'm pretty happy it rained," said Franchitti. "We didn't even get a q-sim (qualifying simulation) in. We've been working on a balance issue."

After two practice sessions, Franchitti, who was sixth on the speed chart, noted that the Canadian Club team had been chasing the setup for most of the day. "We're finding that the cars are changing more with the changing conditions."

Although Tony Kanaan ended the day atop the speed charts with a lap at 172.974 mph, he was happy with the rain too. "We've been working very hard on the setups as a team. Me and Dario were not as happy as Marco and Danica, but our starting positions are helping us."

Marco Andretti was fast right off the transporter today, setting a quick lap early in the first practice session. He was second fastest in the first practice session and third fastest overall on the day.

As the approaching rain threatened qualifying, Andretti realized the field might be set by points. That prompted Franchitti to ask his teammate why he was looking so glum. After Marco stated that he might be starting 14th, Franchitti replied, "If it doesn't rain I'm going to start 14th"

Franchitti was quick to add that, "It won't be long before you see the NYSE car up front."

Starting on the front row may be a factor in Saturday's race if Franchitti and Kanaan have good set ups for the race. Passing at Richmond can be difficult, especially amongst the front runners. But Franchitti summed it up when he said, "If the car is not good, it doesn't matter where you start because you'll be in the back in a hurry."

Target Chip Ganassi drivers Scott Dixon and Dan Wheldon will share the second row while the third row belongs to Team Penske, with Sam Hornish starting on the inside and Helio Castroneves on the outside.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon , Marco Andretti , Chip Ganassi , Sam Hornis
Teams Team Penske