IRL: Texas: Qualifying report

Franchitti Wins First IndyCar Series Pole at Texas FORT WORTH, Texas, Thursday, June 10, 2004 -- Dario Franchitti claimed his first IRL IndyCar Series pole position, winning the MBNA Pole Award at for the Bombardier 500k June 10. Franchitti ...

Franchitti Wins First IndyCar Series Pole at Texas

FORT WORTH, Texas, Thursday, June 10, 2004 -- Dario Franchitti claimed his first IRL IndyCar Series pole position, winning the MBNA Pole Award at for the Bombardier 500k June 10.

Franchitti posted a 209.609 mph top lap on the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway oval in qualifying for the June 12 twilight race. Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Rice will join Franchitti on the front row after posting a 208.755 mph lap.

"I got some good information from (Andretti Green Racing teammates) Tony (Kanaan) and Bryan (Herta), and that certainly helped us," Franchitti said. "I just stood on it. The car was good and the engine was also pretty powerful so we're very, very happy. We've had a pretty tough start to the season, so it's nice to get a pole position here."

It was the first IRL IndyCar Series pole position for Franchitti, whose previous best start this season was third in the Indianapolis 500. He was the 20th qualifier and knocked Rice off the pole.

Kanaan will start third (208.511 mph) and rookie Kosuke Matsuura fourth (208.360).

POST QUALIFYING NOTES:

This is Dario Franchitti's first career IndyCar Series pole. His previous best start was third at the Indianapolis 500 in May.

This is Andretti Green's third pole this season, and sixth overall. Tony Kanaan won three poles last season, and Dan Wheldon has won two poles this year.

Rookies Kosuke Matsuura (4th) and Ed Carpenter (7th) had their career best qualifying efforts. Carpenter's previous best start was ninth at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Matsuura also qualified fourth at Twin Ring Motegi. All three rookies are in the top 10.

The 21 cars which posted time were separated by .7198 of a second -- the fifth closest field in IndyCar Series history.

A Honda-powered car has won the pole for each IndyCar Series race this season.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Dario Franchitti , Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon , Buddy Rice , Kosuke Matsuura , Ed Carpenter