Homestead IndyCar finale: Franchitti takes pole
|Friday, October 9, 2009
Dario Franchitti won the PEAK Performance Pole Award for the Firestone Indy 300 on Oct. 9 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, leading a front-row sweep by Target Chip Ganassi Racing.
The three contenders for the IndyCar Series championship - Franchitti, Scott Dixon and Ryan Briscoe - and occupy the top three spots in the starting grid for the season-ending race, which starts at 5 p.m. (ET) Saturday. Dixon leads Franchitti by five points and Briscoe by eight.
Franchitti earned his fifth pole of the season with a four-lap average speed of 212.696 in the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing. Dixon completed the third Ganassi sweep of an IndyCar Series front row at 212.160 in the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing entry.
Briscoe was third at 212.137 in the No. 6 Team Penske car.
SATURDAY'S SCHEDULE (all times local):
9 a.m. Garages open
11 a.m. IndyCar Series systems check lap
4 p.m. IndyCar Series pre-race ceremonies
5 p.m. Firestone Indy 300 (200 laps)
The 2009 IndyCar Series season concludes Oct. 10 with the Firestone Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The race will be telecast live in High Definition at 4 p.m. (ET) by VERSUS. The race will air live on the IMS Radio Network, XM channel 145 and Sirius channel 211. The radio broadcast also will be carried on www.indycar.com. A 90-minute qualifying show will air on VERSUS at 4:30 p.m. Oct. 9. The 2009 Firestone Indy Lights season concludes with the Homestead-Miami 100 on Oct. 9 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The race will be telecast live by VERSUS at 6 p.m. (ET).
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||Lloyd, Alex (R)
||Matos, Raphael (R)
||Conway, Mike (R)
||Doornbos, Robert (R)
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Team Penske, 11th): "Today was a great team effort. I tell you those guys on the No. 3 car really did an incredible job in getting a backup car ready for me to qualify. Because we were in such a rush to get out there, we probably went a bit conservative on the setup. But if we didn't get to qualify, we would've had to start last, so 11th isn't that bad."
MARIO MORAES (No. 5 Azul Tequila/Votorantim/KVRT, 10th): "KV Racing Technology qualified 10th, which is very disappointing for everyone on the team, especially after starting on the front row at Motegi and having such a good test here last week. But the important thing is I feel we have a good car for the race, so I am confident we can have a good result tomorrow."
RAPHAEL MATOS (No. 2 US Air Force Luczo Dragon Racing, ninth): "I'm very happy with the run. I worked with my tools and got everything I could out of the car. I have to thank the Air Force Luczo Dragon team for putting together a good car for the weekend. I feel confident that we will have a good race car tomorrow. Grip will be the issue; everyone has been dealing with it. We will make some adjustments tomorrow, and hopefully we will finish strong and win the Rookie of the Year title. A strong finish would give the team some nice momentum heading into next season."
ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Menards/Vision Racing, fourth): "I'm really happy with that qualifying effort. I felt like we were definitely going to be in the top 10, but we were flirting with a top five in practice. This is a challenging place. The car has been really good, then really bad, then really good again, but we made some good changes for qualifying. The Vision team has worked really hard all year long, and it good to have such a strong qualifying effort to end the year. I'm happy to be starting fourth in the No.20 Menards car, and it's going to be an interesting race because everyone seems to be struggling in traffic on a challenging track. We thought it would be a little easier with all the aero changes than what it has been, but at the same time it is kind of fun to come to a track where you really have to nail the setup to have a good car. I think a lot of people are hoping to see the three championship contenders duking it out three-wide in the end, but I'm don't think that will be the case. The best car is going to win, and truthfully I think we have a good shot at it."
GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 02 McDonald's Racing Team, sixth): "We struggled with a lot of under steer since the start, and it was really hard for me to get the car down at the exit of Turn 4. The last two laps, I crept up a little too high, and it cost us a lot of speed. We made a lot of improvements today, though, because when we showed up the McDonald's car was a real handful. This has been a challenging place for me, for sure. We're pretty happy to be where we are. Obviously, Alex had a good run, too. So for the team, it's good. We'll keep working on this obviously, and hopefully we'll get the McDonald's boys up front in the race."
MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 26 Team Venom Energy, eighth): "We had good speed in the Venom car for qualifying today. Considering we've been focusing on race setup, I'm pleased with where we will start for the race tomorrow. I believe a race can be won from eighth, and winning the race is the highest goal I can have. Hopefully everything will fall into place."
ALEX LLOYD (No. 40202 HER Energy/Newman/Haas/Lanigan, fifth): "Everybody at HER Energy and Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing is very excited about our starting position. I was fortunate enough to win here (in Firestone Indy Lights). Racing here in an Indy car is different than in an Indy Lights car, but at the same time it's nice to have some experience at the track and have that feeling. It's great to be back competing in the IndyCar Series. We had a good car in qualifying and a good car in traffic. We want to go out there and be able to mix it up. There are some things I need to learn, but at the same time I think we can run at the front. Having only done the race at Indianapolis, it feels like a very quick weekend."
DANICA PATRICK (No. 7 Boost Mobile/Motorola, seventh): "Overall, it was a productive day for the Boost Mobile/Motorola car. The changes we made in practice today made the car better, which is what you hope for on a race weekend. The last run in the afternoon session was the best the car has felt yet. To go from that and then end up faster in qualifying is a good sign, and it makes me believe we have a strong car for tomorrow's race."
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