Indy – Franchitti Hits Milestone as he Wins Pole for Milwaukee 225‏

June 19, 2011

Indy

Dario Franchitti‘s 25th Indy car pole, tying Paul Tracy for ninth all time, could be the most direct path to retrieving some of the points he lost to IZOD IndyCar Series leader Will Power in last week’s Firestone Twin 275s.

Franchitti, who earned one point for the PEAK Performance Pole Award by topping the 26-driver field with an average speed of 170.841 mph on the Milwaukee Mile oval, is 20 points arrears of Power heading into the Milwaukee 225. Power, who topped the speed chart in the initial practice session June 17, will start a season-low 17th in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car.

“I am glad to be back at the Milwaukee Mile and this is a great place to start from for tomorrow’s race,” said Franchitti, who won the first IZOD IndyCar Series race at the historic track in 2004 by charging from the seventh starting position. “It is going to be a tough day because it is like a one-lane track out there with the marbles on side and the black asphalt lane. I think the double-file restarts will work well here at the Milwaukee Mile and the fans are in for a hell of a show.”

Power’s teammate, Helio Castroneves, will join Franchitti on the front row (169.999 mph) in the No. 3 Guidepoint Systems entry. Scott Dixon, who won the 2009 race from the second row, will be on the inside of Row 2 (169.582) in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car.

The KV Racing Technology-Lotus group of Tony Kanaan, Takuma Sato and E.J. Viso made waves. They’ll start in that order fourth through sixth.

Esteban Guerrieri set a Firestone Indy Lights track qualify record of 149.005 mph at the Milwaukee Mile to claim the Sunoco Pole Award for the David Hobbs 100 on June 19.

It is the third pole start this season for Guerrieri, driver of the No. 7 Lucas Oil/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car who has been the runner-up the past two races. He also delivered the 40th earned pole for Sam Schmidt Motorsports in Firestone Indy Lights.

Josef Newgarden in the No. 11 Copart/Score Big/Robo-Pong/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car will make his second consecutive front-row start after averaging 148.175 mph over the two laps. He started second and won the Firestone Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 27.

Bryan Clauson, the reigning USAC National Drivers’ Championship title-holder who is making his second Firestone Indy Lights start, will start from the inside of Row 2 in the No. 77 Mazda Road to Indy/Curb Records/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car. He averaged 147.258 mph.

The Noblesville, Ind., driver, who celebrated his 22nd birthday on June 15, also competed in the 100-mile USAC Traxxas Silver Crown race and the 25-mile USAC Mopar National Midget feature later in the day.

Gustavo Yacaman, driving the No. 2 TMR-Tuvacol-Xtreme Coil Drilling car, recorded a season-high fourth starting spot (147.169).

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