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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]
Will Power and Carlos Munoz flank winner Mike Conway during their victory lap (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Carlos Munoz, Mike Conway and Will Power celebrate on the podium after the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Carlos Munoz, Mike Conway and Will Power celebrate on the podium after the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay leads James Hinchcliffe during the early stages of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway (centre), driver of the #20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory with champagne Sunday, April 13, 2014 after winning the IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach in Long Beach, California. Will Power (right), driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, finished second. (Photo Credit: Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
James Hinchliffe (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power on track (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Will Power signs an autograph for a young fan at Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power on course during practice at Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power in the fountain turn complex during practice at Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power in the fountain turn complex during practice at Long Beach (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchcliffe in the hairpin during practice at Long Beach -- Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, March 30, 2014 during the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 finished third. (Photo by LAT/ Russell LaBounty for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, March 30, 2014 during the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 finished third. (Photo by LAT/ Russell LaBounty for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, March 30, 2014 during the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 finished third. (Photo by LAT/ Russell LaBounty for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, March 30, 2014 during the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 finished third. (Photo by LAT/ Michael L. Levitt for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Hunter-Reay, Will Power and Helio astroneves celebrate on the podium. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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