Honda Racing– Franchitti Claims Race 1 Pole in Detroit

Target Chip Ganassi Racing’s Dario Franchitti captured the IZOD IndyCar Series pole Friday in qualifying for the first of two Indy Dual at Detroit races this weekend on the 2.35-mile temporary street circuit at Belle Isle Park, as Honda drivers took seven of the top-10 qualifying positions for Saturday’s “Dual 1” race.

Franchitti rebounded from a crash in morning practice, which damaged the right front suspension of his Dallara chassis, to claim his first pole at Detroit, and 31st careeer IndyCar pole, all with Honda power.

Returning to IndyCar competition for the first time since April’s Grand Prix of Long Beach, Mike Conway qualified third for Honda and Dale Coyne Racing, with James Jakes fourth, a career-best start for the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver.  Alex Tagliani rounded out the top six in his Barracuda Racing/BHA Honda, while positions 7-8-9 were taken by Honda drivers Tristan Vautier, Takuma Sato and Simon Pagenaud, respectively.

Saturday’s 70-lap race, the sixth round in the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series, is the first of a double-header race weekend in Detroit. A second 70-lap contest, the seventh round in the championship, is set for Sunday.  Both races start at 3:30 p.m. EDT, with live television coverage on ABC.

Dario Franchitti (#10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda Dallara) pole qualifier, his 2nd pole of 2012 and 31st career IndyCar pole; Honda’s 2nd pole of 2013:  “The constantly changing conditions today made qualifying a real challenge.  I managed to get through the first wet [knockout qualifying] session, then just threw the car at the track during Q2 as the track started to dry.  The track was fully dry for Q3 [final qualifying], but still very slippery.  It was a real handful, but this track requires an aggressive style.  Thanks to my crew for repairing the car [after a crash in the practice]. The pole is their reward.”