Dario Franchitti captured the Verizon P1 Award for the first race in the IZOD IndyCar Series’ Chevrolet Indy Dual at Detroit, after his Target Chip Ganassi Racing crew rebuilt his No. 10 Suave Honda.
Franchitti’s second pole of the year (Long Beach), though, comes with an asterisk – he’ll start 11th because of an unapproved engine change made during the month of May at Indianapolis. Incidentally Franchitti benefited from that situation twice last year, at Long Beach and Edmonton, when Ryan Briscoe and Ryan Hunter-Reay had engine changes ahead of races where they qualified on the pole.
“I’m delighted to have gotten the pole here, especially after this morning,” Franchitti said. “At the end I had no expectation. With a 10-spot grid penalty, just went out and pushed as hard as I could every lap. Through Turn 8 the last lap I got crossed up in the middle, almost hit the wall, lost a bit of time. Ultimately it was good enough. I have got to thank the Target boys for turning the car.”
Franchitti did well even to advance in his group from Q1, as he was just sixth place to advance in a wet session.
Behind Franchitti on the timesheets, and the man who will actually lead the field to green in race one, is Andretti Autosport’s E.J. Viso. Viso has equaled his best ever qualifying attempt (second), set in Brazil roughly one month ago.
“Team gave us a pretty competitive car; little by little things are coming together,” said Viso. “I’m excited to be once again in the front row.”
The rest of the Firestone Fast Six qualifiers included Mike Conway, posting a sterling effort in Dale Coyne’s second car, James Jakes in his first ever Fast Six (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing), Ryan Hunter-Reay in his best Detroit qualifying effort and Alex Tagliani in his first Fast Six of the season for Barracuda Racing.
Several drivers were caught out on timing in Q2, when the session shifted from yellow to red for Helio Castroneves’ stalled car at Turn 3. Tristan Vautier, Takuma Sato, Simon Pagenaud, Will Power and Sebastian Saavedra missed the Q2 cut.
On Saturday, IndyCar will set the grid for the second Dual at 9:15 a.m. ET, and have the first race of the doubleheader at 3:30 p.m. ET. The updated tire choices for race one are below, with Firestone’s blacks the primarys and reds the alternate.
IZOD IndyCar Series – Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans 1
Unofficial Starting Lineup
5-E.J. Viso (Primary)
18-Mike Conway (Primary)
16-James Jakes (Alternate)
1-Ryan Hunter-Reay (Primary)
98-Alex Tagliani (Alternate)
55-Tristan Vautier (Alternate)
14-Takuma Sato (Primary)
77-Simon Pagenaud (Primary)
12-Will Power (Primary)
6-Sebastian Saavedra (Alternate)
10-Dario Franchitti* (Alternate)
3-Helio Castroneves (Primary)
2-AJ Allmendinger (Primary)
7-Sebastien Bourdais (Primary)
9-Scott Dixon (Primary)
19-Justin Wilson (Primary)
78-Simona de Silvestro (Alternate)
25-Marco Andretti (Primary)
11-Tony Kanaan (Primary)
27-James Hinchcliffe (Primary)
4-Ryan Briscoe (Alternate)
20-Ed Carpenter (Primary)
15-Graham Rahal* (Primary)
67-Josef Newgarden* (Primary)
83-Charlie Kimball* (Primary)
*Denotes 10-spot grid penalty for unapproved engine change