Franchitti Leads Honda Qualifying Rout For the fifth time in as many Indy Racing League IndyCar Series races this season, a Honda driver has qualified on the pole as Dario Franchitti led a top-five sweep of qualifying Thursday at Texas Motor...
Franchitti Leads Honda Qualifying Rout
For the fifth time in as many Indy Racing League IndyCar Series races this season, a Honda driver has qualified on the pole as Dario Franchitti led a top-five sweep of qualifying Thursday at Texas Motor Speedway for Saturday's Bombardier 500.
For Franchitti, his first race at the 1.5-mile high-banked Texas Speedway, and his first nighttime IndyCar race, resulted in his first IRL pole, but the third for his Andretti Green Racing team this season. Teammate Dan Wheldon was pole qualifier at Phoenix at Twin Ring Motegi; while recent Indy 500 race winner Buddy Rice was the fast qualifier at both Indy and the season-opening race in Homestead, Florida. Honda drivers also have won three of the four races this year, with Tony Kanaan taking Phoenix and Wheldon winning in Japan in addition to Rice's Indy 500 triumph last month.
For the second time this season, IndyCar rookie Kosuke Matsuura will start from the outside of the second row, just behind Rice and Kanaan. Matsuura's fourth-fastest qualifying run in Texas equals his previous best starting position, at Twin Ring Motegi in April. Bryan Herta rounds out the top five for Honda, followed by Adrian Fernandez in ninth, Wheldon 12th, Vitor Meira 13th and Greg Ray in 15th.
Additional practice sessions will take place on Friday, with Saturday night's 200-lap Bombardier 500 starting at 8 p.m. EDT, with live television coverage on ESPN.
Dario Franchitti (#27 Arca/Ex Andretti Green Racing Honda) Pole qualifier, first IRL IndyCar pole: "When we started off today, the car really wasn't very good, but just some small changes totally transformed the car. By the time the second practice session ended I was very happy; the car was great and the Honda engine was plenty powerful. For qualifying I pretty much just stood on the throttle and that was it! It's a nice way to repay the team for the faith they have kept in me, all through my injury last year [a broken back sustained in an off-track motorcycle accident] and a bit of a rough start to this season as well. It's all coming together pretty well for Andretti Green right now and it feels great."