Franchitti Takes Iowa Pole
Indianapolis 500 champion Dario Franchitti gave Honda his second consecutive pole of the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season Friday night at Iowa Speedway, and his second short-oval pole in as many weeks, by winning the third of three heat races used to set the grid for Saturday night’s Iowa Corn Indy 250. Franchitti started on the outside of the front row, based on practice times, and moved around early-race leader Marco Andretti with an outside pass exiting Turn 4 on the eighth lap. He led the remaining 22 laps of the 30-lap heat to win by 1.6 seconds over Helio Castroneves. Franchitti has won two of the five
IndyCar races previously run in Iowa, including the 2007 debut race and again in 2009.
Honda-powered drivers won two of the three heat races tonight, with Graham Rahal winning the first heat in his Service Central Honda Dallara. Rahal started from the pole and led for the entire distance, with fellow Honda-powered driver Josef Newgarden taking second for Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing.
In the second heat, Alex Tagliani worked his way into an early lead, but was caught and passed by Tony Kanaan on Lap 20. Tagliani held on to finish second in the heat, with Justin Wilson fourth and Charlie Kimball fifth.
Television coverage for Saturday night’s final short-oval race of the 2012 IZOD IndyCar
Series will air on the NBC Sports Network, starting at 7:30 p.m. EDT.
Dario Franchitti (#10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) pole qualifier, his 2nd pole in as many weeks, 2nd short-oval pole and 2nd pole of 2012; his 28th career pole and Honda’s 4th pole of 2012: “Yeah, that was good, a nice surprise because our car wasn’t perfect in the heat of the day, but was much better this evening. I was able to make an outside pass work on Marco [Andretti] and our car was good on the high line. Tomorrow night is going to be very interesting, I think it’s going to be a physical race.”