Franchitti to Start From Pole Position Sunday

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Indy 500 winner and current IndyCar Series points leader Dario Franchitti secured the pole position this afternoon for the PEAK Antifreeze Indy 300 presented by Mr. Clean with a qualifying speed of 214.646 mph. Fellow championship contenders Tony Kanaan and Scott Dixon qualified fourth and sixth respectively.

"The first run I knew the Canadian Club car was very fast," said Franchitti. "Qualifying, it's a small part of what goes into tomorrow. It's nice to start up front, have a clear track, and the trick is to stay there through all the craziness out there, all the passing and all the pit stops. So we've got to work hard on keeping the car out there tomorrow."

Two-time Chicagoland Speedway race winner Sam Hornish Jr. scored the outside pole with a qualifying speed of 214.492 mph.

"In practice we felt we had a pretty good opportunity to win the pole, but probably a little bit lofty with our expectations for what we thought we could run as far as speed," said Hornish Jr. "Hopefully we'll get that all set right for tomorrow and make good decisions. The guys have given me awesome pit stops all year long and I think we'll have a good opportunity to go out there and try to win the race."

Helio Castroneves will start third (214.380 mph) in the No. 3 Penske Racing car. Championship contender Tony Kanaan, who trails Franchitti by 39 points, will join Castroneves on Row 2 after a qualifying lap of 214.310 mph. Target Chip Ganassi teammates Dan Wheldon (214.246) and Scott Dixon (214.217) will line up next to each other in Row 5. Dixon heads into the 300-mile season finale race trailing Franchitti by only three points.

The PEAK Antifreeze Indy 300 presented by Mr. Clean is scheduled to begin tomorrow, Sept. 9 at 3 p.m.

In the Indy Pro Series qualifying, Alex Lloyd – driver of the No. 7 Lucas Oil/Isilon Systems/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car – won the SWE Race Car Parts Pole Award for the Chicagoland 100 with a lap of 190.133 mph (28.7799 seconds) on the 1.5-mile oval. Lloyd has started on the front row (including five pole positions) every race in which there have been qualifications.

Wade Cunningham, who battled Lloyd to the finish in the last oval event (finishing third to Lloyd's second), will make his fourth front-row start of the season in the No. 27 AFS Racing car. Ben Petter (189.495) provided Michael Crawford Motorsports its highest starting position (third), and will share Row 2 with Logan Gomez (189.196) in the No. 23 Isilon Systems/Flacondos.net/SSM car. Jaime Camara (189.195) and Chris Festa (188.059) will start the race from the third row. Robbie Pecorari and Jonathan Klein will line up side-by-side in Row 4.

The Chicagoland 100 is scheduled to begin tomorrow, Sept. 9 at 11:30 a.m.

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