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After Fontana
Final Driver Standings

Rank Driver Points
1 Will Power 671
2 Helio Castroneves 609
3 Scott Dixon 604
4 Juan Pablo Montoya 586
5 Simon Pagenaud 565
6 Ryan Hunter-Reay 563
7 Tony Kanaan 544
8 Carlos Munoz 483
9 Marco Andretti 463
10 Sebastien Bourdais 461
11 Ryan Briscoe 461
12 James Hinchcliffe 456
13 Josef Newgarden 406
14 Charlie Kimball 402
15 Justin Wilson 395
16 Mikhail Aleshin 372
17 Jack Hawksworth 366
18 Takuma Sato 350
19 Graham Rahal 345
20 Carlos Huertas 314
21 Sebastian Saavedra 291
22 Ed Carpenter 262
23 Mike Conway 252
24 Oriol Servia 88
25 Kurt Busch 80
26 J.R. Hildebrand 66
27 Sage Karam 57
28 Luca Filippi 46
29 James Davison 34
30 Jacques Villeneuve 29
31 Alex Tagliani 28
32 Townsend Bell 22
33 Pippa Mann 21
34 Martin Plowman 18
35 Buddy Lazier 11
36 Franck Montagny 8
Franchitti wins pole in Sonoma

Ganassi Hondas 1-2 in IndyCar qualifying
Saturday, August 24, 2013

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Franchitti celebrates his pole
The Honda teams started the year off slow but HPD has turned up the wick and now Honda powered cars are dominating every IndyCar event.  The Target Chip Ganassi duo of Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon will start 1-2 for Sunday's GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma using their superior Honda power.  Will Power will start for Team Penske and Ryan Hunter-Reay will start 4th for Andretti Autosport.  Charlie Kimball rounds out the Top-5 in the third Ganassi Honda.

There have been nine different winners, including four for the first time, through 14 IZOD IndyCar Series races. Dario Franchitti would gladly be the 10th with his 33rd career victory.

The four-time series champion will have an advantageous starting position for the 85-lap GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma after earning his fourth Verizon P1 Award of the season with a lap of 1 minute, 17.5271 seconds in the Firestone Fast Six session on the 2.385-mile, 12-turn road course.

"We're very focused on getting a good result for the team," said Franchitti, who broke a tie with Michael Andretti for sixth on the all-time pole-winning list.

It's Franchitti's third pole start at Sonoma Raceway, and teammate Scott Dixon (1:17.7196) will start on the front row for second time at Sonoma. Both have won the IZOD IndyCar Series race at Sonoma, and Chip Ganassi Racing cars have won the past four races.

Dixon, a three-time winner this season, enters the 85-lap race 31 points behind series championship front-runner Helio Castroneves, who qualified fifth in the No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske car.

"I'll do anything I can to help Scott win the championship, but I also want to win the race," Franchitti said.

Added Dixon: "A victory would help in the championship, but it's still early and there's a lot of points on the table."

Ryan Hunter-Reay, third in the standings, qualified fourth in the No. 1 DHL car for Andretti Autosport. Will Power, who set the track record of 1:17.2709 in earning the pole last August, will start third in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car.

Charlie Kimball, who recorded his first series victory Aug. 4 at Mid-Ohio, will start sixth in the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car for Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing. It's the second consecutive race that the three Chip Ganassi Racing cars qualified in the top six.

Three Honda-powered cars and three Chevrolets comprise the first three rows.

Justin Wilson was 0.1325 of a second off the lap time of sixth-place Castroneves in the 10-minute Round 2. It's the second consecutive race that Wilson qualified seventh in the No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing car. Nine of the top 10 drivers in the standings advanced out of their groups.

In the first session, James Hinchcliffe’s final lap in the 10-minute session bumped Takuma Sato (0.1269 of a second behind sixth-place qualifier Castroneves) from advancing from Group 1. Tristan Vautier was .1971 of a second off sixth-place qualifier Marco Andretti in Group 2.

A 30-minute warm-up is scheduled for 1 p.m. (ET) Aug. 25, with the NBC Sports Network's race broadcast of the race beginning at 4 p.m. Live Timing & Scoring with the IMS Radio Network broadcast is available for all sessions on www.indycar.com and the INDYCAR 13 app.

GO PRO GRAND PRIX QUALIFYING QUOTES:

DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): Obviously both Target cars have been fast all weekend, and in the test as well. We made a lot of changes, but seemed to go back where we started. Q1 we just did the one lap on the reds and it was the quickest time, so they pulled me in and we felt that there was a lot of good still left in the tires. So we put those on for the second run and the car was good again, and I managed to make a couple of mistakes, actually, so I was surprised to be as close to the guys on the new reds. We had the new reds on obviously for the Firestone Fast Six, which is just as well because I did a good job at the 10 and 11 corners and royally screwed up Turn 6 both laps, so luckily I had the advantage in the other corners to make it. So really happy, good to have 1-2 and all three of the Ganassi cars in the top six is pretty cool. It's obviously been a tough week with Floyd passing away and then Andy Brown's wife Kristie passing away too, so we're very focused on bringing a good result for the team.

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 1 DHL Chevrolet): "It was a pretty disappointing day for us. I think we had a pretty good pace leading up to it; then the wind shifted. It is the same for everybody; it just made for really difficult conditions and we didn't capitalize on it. It was tough to get the lap times out of the cars - it was for everybody. But the Ganassi cars have been one step above. Dario (Franchitti) did what we did in Mid-Ohio and went out on used reds (tires) in the second session. I think that is where he won the pole. Congratulations to those guys. They've been super quick. We are a little disappointed to start fourth, but we can definitely work from there. Now we have to go re-engineer it, and make it a race car instead of a qualifying car."

TONY KANAAN (No. 11 Hydroxycut KVRT-SH Racing Chevrolet): "So far, it has been a frustrating weekend," Kanaan said. "We've made a lot of changes to the car and it is definitely improved from this morning, but we are still chasing the setup. We have to keep working and hope that we can come up with a strategy that will help us gain some track position during the race."

JR HILDEBRAND (No. 98 Barracuda Racing Honda): "When we went out on the blacks in that first run, we thought we were pretty competitive. Then we went out on the reds and just couldn't quite find the grip on the track. It's frustrating because the Barracuda Racing guys have been working really hard and it's actually been quite enjoyable to work with the team. It felt like we were closer in the window than we ended up being out there. I think we're close to being in the mix in the entirety of the group, but that group just ended up having five of the top six or seven guys, so we'll see what we can figure out for tomorrow."

ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Fuzzy's Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet): "That (performance) stings a little bit.  We just didn't have the pace today in qualifying.  We were quicker than some of the folks in the first qualifying group today.  But you get some breaks some times and you don't other times.  We just happened to be in the fast group today. It's disappointing because I thought we could close the gap on the leaders, time wise.  But we couldn't do it  today.  I don't know if I needed to try harder with this setup.  The wind does play a factor here but it is the same for everyone.  So you have to adjust to that element at this track.  We had a good race pace at Mid-Ohio and I hope we can have it here on Sunday.  Just wish we were further up the grid though."

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 25 RC Cola Chevrolet): "Disappointed. I had higher hopes for the RC (Cola) Chevy today. We were loose and just couldn't get the lap together we needed. Not the starting position we had hoped for but we'll fight tomorrow and make the best of it."

TAKUMA SATO (No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Honda): "It's a disappointing qualifying run. We made some progress but not enough to advance to the next segment. We've been struggling but we've found some positives so hopefully we will improve again and have a better package tomorrow."

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports Honda): "I'm happy because we made huge improvements this week to get the HP car in the 10th starting position. The really positive point is that we have a fantastic race car and it is incredibly consistent. We just have to find what the other guys have found in pure grip level. Apart from that the car was really nice to drive and the balance was great."

SIMONA DE SILVESTRO (No. 78 Nuclear Entergy Areva KVRT Chevrolet): "I'm pretty disappointed.  We had an ok car in practice, but then I think we tried to be a little bit too aggressive for qualifying and that kind of through us off a bit. We're starting way back which is really annoying. We're going to have to do a lot of work during the race tomorrow, but we'll see."

JUSTIN WILSON (No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda): "It's been a good weekend so far.  We have been fifth and sixth in practice and qualified seventh.  We were hoping to break into the Firestone Fast Six, but that's just the way it goes.  Everyone on the #19 Boy Scouts of America team has done a great job so far this weekend and we will keep pushing forward tomorrow.  We have put ourselves into a good spot for good result in the race."

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Midas / Big O Tires Honda): "We got a lot out of qualifying, I think the lap was solid. Unfortunately we had a few overboost's and when that happens it basically gives you a penalty. I think we probably lost three or four tenths (of a second) and with that alone I think we could have advanced to the top-six. But eighth is a victory for us right now though. I'm pretty proud of the Big O Tires / Midas guys for pushing as hard as we have. This hasn't been easy. (New race engineer) Neil (Fife) has done a great job. We found some stuff this weekend that I think is really going to help us on into the future. Honda is pushing hard and doing a great job to put all of our cars up front. I didn't think it would benefit us in Round 2 to go run on (Firestone) blacks or used reds and fool ourselves and I just wanted to wait (to get on track) and it worked fine for us."

JAMES JAKES (No. 16 Acorn Stairlifts Honda): "It was strange, the conditions were awful at the start of qualifying but then we came in P2 (second fast). We just didn't anticipate that much grip on the (Firestone) reds so we got caught out really after the one lap, it wasn't enough. It's a shame really.  I didn't really think we would get in the top-six. To be honest we were really struggling with the balance a lot. Just putting the perfect lap together might have allowed us to creep into the top-10. We've just got a lot of work to do. We passed a lot of cars in the race last year so hopefully we will do the same tomorrow, just get some good points and move on to Baltimore."

JAMES DAVISON (No. 18 Sonny's Bar-B-Q Honda): "We progressed from Mid-Ohio and came close to making the Firestone Fast 12.  I am pleased with our results today and think that the #18 Sonny's Bar-B-Q team will give me a better car for the race tomorrow.  We were able to qualify ahead of some respectable drivers today. I am looking forward to another mistake free race and hopefully another top 15 finish."

TRISTAN VAUTIER (No. 55 Angie's List Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda): "I'm disappointed with starting 13th in tomorrow's race but I also think we did a good job because the car felt really good to drive. We just couldn't quite find enough to advance from our group. We were definitely in the tougher qualifying group though because our speed would have been more than good enough to advance out of the first group. We're just missing a little grip, but overall we've improved the Angie's List car so much since we got here. Tire degradation is going to play a huge part in the race tomorrow, so we're going to be focusing on that tonight."

RYAN BRISCOE (No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing Chevrolet): "We definitely lacked the speed, which is a shame, because we've been feeling really confident. But since yesterday afternoon into today we've lost the pace a little bit, so we need to look at where we need to turn it back around and make ourselves competitive again. It's going to make for a long race tomorrow and I think we're going to see a lot of tire degradation, so we're going to have to try to make the strategy and the consistency work to our advantage, and try to move the National Guard Chevrolet forward from where it is we're going to start."

E.J. VISO (No. 5 Team Venezuela PDVSA CITGO Chevrolet):  "I'm pretty disappointed with how qualifying went after yesterday... to be honest, I didn't expect to be this slow. We just still haven't been able to find the pace. Qualifying was very difficult; I didn't have grip in the fast corners and quite a lot of understeer in other corners, and at the same time, braking was fairly difficult. Obviously, we didn't have a good package to go out and qualify up front today. Tomorrow is going to be a long race but we have good expectations as always. However, we're going to be spending a lot of hours trying to find some grip and speed."

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 27 GoDaddy Chevrolet):  "All in all, we're relatively pleased. Of course you always want to make it in the (Firestone) Fast Six, and we didn't do that today. But, from where we were in practice, we made some improvements which is the name of the game here. With a top-10 qualifying, we can work with that in the race. Certainly with the other (Andretti Autosport) cars, we were all hoping to be a bit higher, I think, but this is about Sunday, and that's what pays the points. If we can just keep making the kind of improvements that we did from yesterday to today, then hopefully we'll be within a shout of getting the GoDaddy car on the podium tomorrow."

LUCAS LUHR (No. 97 RW Motorsports/SFHR Honda): "Generally I have to say that I think we overall made improvements and got at least a little bit closer, but still not there. It's difficult. It's the first time for me qualifying and then experiencing the reds so you have no idea how much more grip there is and how much you can use and you really only get one shot at it. I think now that we have the practices and everything out of the way I just am looking forward to the race. I'm looking forward to getting into race mode."

JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda): "We started the day off a little off from where we wanted to be, but it really came together well in the second half of qualifying. It came together almost surprisingly to me. It caught us a little off guard of what we gained going into the second part of qualifying. I really just did not use the reds enough. Normally that's not the case, and normally I feel pretty good about the run that I do but I feel like I just did not hang it out enough, and we actually had more to use. I don't think we were a fast 6 car but I really think we could have transferred into the top 12 and had a better starting place for tomorrow. We really were not far off that benchmark. It gives me a lot of courage for tomorrow. I think we can really run a solid race and have great points. I'm really proud of everyone and looking forward to maximizing what we can tomorrow."

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet): "It was interesting when the wind changed, as everyone said, so there was no difference for anyone. But the first group was really brutal because of the different tires and series running out there. I struggled just to pass the first group, but thank God for the Hitachi guys. They did a hell of a job just tweaking from the right point on the setup of the car, and we were able to position ourselves for Q2 and Q3. We just took another session as a test and it paid off as well. It didn't pay off to hold off the Ganassi guys, but we're right there in the area that we need to be. Let's see what's going to happen tomorrow."

WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): "The wind does totally change the track. Our car was quite tough to drive on blacks, but on reds it was reasonable. Pretty happy, I think those Ganassi guys definitely have a leg up on everyone here, but we'll see what we can do tomorrow."

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): "It's been a decent week. I think the cars have had - generally all three of them - have had good speed. We didn't get great laps together as far as ultimate times and having a good shot at pole. Dario obviously made a strong call to save a set of reds in Q2 and go through Q3 with a new set, so we were kind of setting our sights on trying to be second and that's what turned out. Front row start for us, we really happy with that as it's typically a Penske pretty strong track here, so it's nice to get on the front row, but obviously tomorrow is where the points pay and looking forward to that."

Lineup

Rank Car Driver Name Engine Time Speed Session
1 10 Franchitti, Dario HONDA 01:17.5271 110.748 Round 3 / Firestone Fast Six
2 9 Dixon, Scott HONDA 01:17.7196 110.474 Round 3 / Firestone Fast Six
3 12 Power, Will CHEVY 01:17.9735 110.114 Round 3 / Firestone Fast Six
4 1 Hunter-Reay, Ryan CHEVY 01:18.1314 109.892 Round 3 / Firestone Fast Six
5 3 Castroneves, Helio CHEVY 01:18.1766 109.828 Round 3 / Firestone Fast Six
6 83 Kimball, Charlie HONDA 01:18.2009 109.794 Round 3 / Firestone Fast Six
7 19 Wilson, Justin HONDA 01:18.2138 109.776 Elimination Round 2 / Top 12
8 15 Rahal, Graham HONDA 01:18.3051 109.648 Elimination Round 2 / Top 12
9 27 Hinchcliffe, James CHEVY 01:18.3135 109.636 Elimination Round 2 / Top 12
10 77 Pagenaud, Simon HONDA 01:18.3787 109.545 Elimination Round 2 / Top 12
11 25 Andretti, Marco CHEVY 01:18.6230 109.205 Elimination Round 2 / Top 12
12 7 Bourdais, Sebastien CHEVY 01:26.7515 98.972 Elimination Round 2 / Top 12
13 14 Sato, Takuma HONDA 01:18.9164 108.799 Elimination Round 1 / Group 1
14 55 Vautier, Tristan (R) HONDA 01:18.3141 109.635 Elimination Round 1 / Group 2
15 5 Viso, EJ CHEVY 01:18.9344 108.774 Elimination Round 1 / Group 1
16 11 Kanaan, Tony CHEVY 01:18.3318 109.611 Elimination Round 1 / Group 2
17 67 Newgarden, Josef HONDA 01:19.0094 108.671 Elimination Round 1 / Group 1
18 98 Hildebrand, JR HONDA 01:18.7114 109.082 Elimination Round 1 / Group 2
19 16 Jakes, James HONDA 01:19.1563 108.469 Elimination Round 1 / Group 1
20 6 Saavedra, Sebastian CHEVY 01:18.8967 108.826 Elimination Round 1 / Group 2
21 18 Davison, James (R) HONDA 01:19.5285 107.961 Elimination Round 1 / Group 1
22 4 Briscoe, Ryan CHEVY 01:18.9743 108.719 Elimination Round 1 / Group 2
23 78 De Silvestro, Simona CHEVY 01:19.5298 107.960 Elimination Round 1 / Group 1
24 20 Carpenter, Ed CHEVY 01:19.2376 108.358 Elimination Round 1 / Group 2
25 97 Luhr, Lucas (R) HONDA 01:19.9805 107.351 Elimination Round 1 / Group 2

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