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Franchitti holds on for Milwaukee pole

After struggling in practice earlier in the day, Dario Franchitti found real pace from somewhere and then held on for dear life to claim pole position on the Milwaukee Mile.
Ganassi's Dario Franchitti came from nowhere in the earlier Friday practice to claim pole position with his qualifying run - and seemed as surprised as anyone that he'd pulled it off.

"That was cool," Franchitti admitted. "I didn't expect anything like that ... We didn't really have a car that had good balance, that was quick, any of those things.

"That's quite a turnaround from practice. Practice is one thing, qualifying is another - and then there is the race," added the Scot, who is aiming for a second consecutive win on the Milwaukee Mile. "I am very pleased as much as I am surprised."

His two-qualifying lap aggregate time of 43.3100s (168.737mph) was 0.1157s ahead of last week's race winner at Texas, Dale Coyne Racing's Justin Wilson.

"I feel like we've made some progress in understanding this car and what it's looking for, so we'll keep chipping away at it and making the car better and better," said Wilson. "I'm having a lot of fun. Qualifying is great, we'll just keep our heads down, keep working on it."

Wilson said that he was definitely feeling boosted by last week's success - and that he also felt a lot to prove following the team getting penalised for a technical infringement that cast a cloud on his victory.

"The confidence has helped a lot," he said. "We were very pleased with last week. Obviously there was the whole question over the legality, but that's why we've tried to come back and back it up with and we've proved that we're here and we're here to stay."

However, despite setting the second fastest time for the day, Wilson will actually outside the top ten because of a starting grid penalty for an unscheduled engine change post-Texas. Will Power, Scott Dixon, Mike Conway, Takuma Sato, Josef Newgarden and now also Ryan Briscoe all have ten-place starting grid penalties for engine changes since last week's race in Texas.

That leaves Franchitti sharing the front row of the grid with Ryan Hunter-Reay.

"We had a great run," said the Andretti Autosport driver. "The guys did a great job on the car - we were all over the sixth-gear limiter on our last lap - or I think we would have been quick enough for pole. We couldn't have predicted we would be that quick though, it's the quickest we've been all weekend."

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Ganassi team mates Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti watch Danica Patrick practice from the pit wall at the Milwaukee Mile - June 2011. [Picture credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Dario Franchitti celebrates in victory lane after winning the Milwaukee 225 in June 2011. [Picture credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Dario Franchitti in unfamiliar colours at the Milwaukee Mile during practice in June 2011. [Picture credit: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media]
Dario Franchitti #50 Target Chip Ganassi Racing during practice for the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500. 12-27 May, 2012, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. (c) 2012 Dan R. Boyd LAT Photo USA (Photo credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Will Power Texas
Detroit IndyCar Andretti RHR
Detroit IndyCar Helio Castroneves
Helio Castroneves 2017 Indy 500 practice
Scott Dixon Indy 500 qualifying
Fernando Alonso Indy 500 qualifying
James Davison
Ed Carpenter Indy 500 qualifying
Pippa Mann Indy 500 qualifying
Ryan Hunter-Reay Indy 500 practice 2017
Will Power Indy 500 practice
Simon Pagenaud Phoenix IndyCar
Stefan Wilson, 2016 Indy 500

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impressive - Unregistered

June 16, 2012 8:43 AM

Good to see Rubens starting to settle in. Wasnt really a fan of his but awesome to see that he hasnt just retired and is out there racing in a pretty challenging series.

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