Franchitti On Pole At Belle Isle

| , RacinToday.com Friday, May 31 2013

Dario Franchitti will start from the pole in the first Belle Isle race. (INDYCAR/LAT USA file photo)


Dario Franchitti earned his 31st Indy car pole, setting the pace in the Firestone Fast Six qualifying for the first race of the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans on June 1.

Franchitti, driving the No. 10 Suave car for Target Chip Ganassi Racing, recorded a best lap of 1 minute, 19.3311 seconds on the 2.346-mile, 13-turn street circuit during the 10-minute shootout. He’ll receive the championship point and cash prize for earning the Verizon P1 Award, but he’ll start 11th for the 70-lap race because of a 10-grid spot penalty for an unapproved engine change at Indianapolis.

It’s the first earned pole in seven starts at Belle Isle for Franchitti, who won the CART race in 1999 and finished second to teammate Scott Dixon in the IZOD IndyCar Series race last June.

E.J. Viso was second (1:19.5572) in the No. 5 Team Venezuela PDVSA CITGO car for Andretti Autosport to tie his series-best qualifying effort in Brazil in May. Mike Conway, driving the No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing car, qualified third.

James Jakes qualified a series-best fourth (previous high was eighth at Motegi in 2011) in the No. 16 Acorn Stairlifts car for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, while reigning series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay in the No. 1 DHL car for Andretti Autosport was fifth. Alex Tagliani, who led the morning practice session, qualified a season-high sixth in the No. 98 Barracuda Racing car.

Also incurring 10-grid spot penalties for Race 1 are Charlie Kimball, Josef Newgarden and Graham Rahal because of unapproved engine changes at Indianapolis.

Qualifications for the June 2 race will be held six hours before the start of Race 1 in the inaugural IZOD IndyCar Series doubleheader. All cars will participate in one of two groups for 12 minutes each, with five minutes of guaranteed green-flag time.

A driver who sweeps the weekend races will receive the $50,000 SONAX Perfect Finish Award. If no one wins both races at Belle Isle, the prize fund carries over to Toronto in mid-July ($100,000). If no one wins both of those races, the Houston doubleheader in early October will be worth $150,000.

| , RacinToday.com Friday, May 31 2013
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