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Kanaan on pole for Vegas finale

Tony Kanaan claimed pole position for Sunday's season finale, but the two drivers left in the 2011 IndyCar championship shoot-out will start side-by-side on row nine.
Tony Kanaan was thrilled to claim pole position for the IZOD IndyCar World Championship race at the 1.5-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday afternoon.

"It feels awesome! It has been awhile," he said. "I'm extremely happy. I can't thank the GEICO-KV guys enough."

It's a return to form after a disappointing outing at Kentucky two weeks ago, and Kanaan quipped that "I guess I've got to do more Ironmans on my weekends off" after claiming pole with a two-lap time of 50.0582s, the equivalent of an average speed of 222.078mph.

He'll be joined on the front row by Oriol Servia who has been second in all of the sessions so far this weekend, and who missed pole by just 0.0037s.

"We got a two today so hopefully we get a one tomorrow!" said an energised Servia. "We were up there in every session and it just shows the car was good. Front row is the best place to start for a race as crazy as this one is going to be so I am very happy with our position and I think we have a great shot at it on Sunday."

Fresh from victory in a thrilling finish at Kentucky, Ed Carpenter was delighted to claim third place on the grid of the season finale for Sarah Fisher Racing.

"It felt good out there. I was really confident in our race car and qualifying car yesterday in practice," he said. "But we had a lot of issues in practice today and really didn't have a good idea of where we were going to be in qualifying. I almost wondered if we'd even be top ten after the first practice session today. I feel pretty good now knowing that the car still does have speed because I was worried we were maybe losing a little speed, but it came back and we ran about what we thought we could run, so that's good."

Things were less promising for the two drivers aiming to clinch the IndyCar championship at Vegas, Will Power and Dario Franchitti. After middling practice performances, they ended up managing only 17th and 18th positions on the grid for Sunday and will start alongside each other on the ninth row,

"My lap, my weekend - I don't know what to tell you," said Franchitti. "From the moment my car rolled off the truck it's been slow. If there's any silver lining it's the fact that Will's back there with me.

"Will and I were joking that you couldn't have scripted it better," he added. "It's definitely not ideal starting this far back, but we will do our best to move to the front."




Related Pictures

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Tony Kanaan celebrates pole position at Last Vegas Motor Speedway for the season finale race. [Picture credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6 races to a second-place finish Saturday, June 27, 2015, in the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.  (Photo by Perry Nelson/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power and Takuma Sato crash out during the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power crashes out during the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Marco Andretti, Tony Kanaan, and Graham Rahal go three-wide going into Turn 1 during the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
The podium of Graham Rahal, Tony Kanaan, and Marco Andretti hoist their trophies on Victory Lane following the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California on Saturday, June 27 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
The podium of Graham Rahal, Tony Kanaan, and Marco Andretti hoist their trophies on Victory Lane following the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California on Saturday, June 27 2015. (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon, Ed Carpenter, and Tony Kanaan go three-wide during practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Will Power crosses the start/finish line during practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power out front in the early stages of the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, qualifies fastest Saturday, June 13, 2015 capturing the pole position for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race through the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Power will start in the front row with teammate Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates after qualifying fastest Saturday, June 13, 2015 capturing the pole position for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race through the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Power will start in the front row with teammate Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet V-6. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power wins the Verizon P1 Award and the pole position for the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power affixes the Verizon P1 Award emblem to his Chevrolet after winning the pole position for the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power wins the Verizon P1 Award and the pole position for the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power peels out of his pit stand for qualifications for the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Energizer Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6 IndyCar, celebrates his victory with teammate Tony Kanaan Saturday, June 6, 2015, after winning the Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone 600 race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. Canaan, driver of the #10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet finished in second-place. (Photo by Russell LaBounty/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Energizer Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6 IndyCar, celebrates his victory Saturday, June 6, 2015, after winning the Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone 600 race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Russell LaBounty/LAT for Chevy Racing)

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