Franchitti On Pole (so far) At Indianapolis

May 12 – Indianapolis – Andretti-Green Racing (AGR) has surprised the railbirds at the Brickyard so far as qualifying continues for the 91st running of the Indianapolis 500. Under the new qualifying format (instituted in 2005, however due to rain, this is the first time it?s been implemented on pole day) the top-11 drivers are locked in the field providing they?re among the fastest 33.

Dario Franchitti driver of the #27 Canadian Club AGR Dallara-Honda is fastest so far (four-lap average of 225.191 mph) with teammate Tony Kanaan (#11 7-Eleven AGR Racing Dallara-Honda) is second with a four-lap average 222.618. However Franchitti isn?t celebrating yet, ?I?m very happy, I think the relief will come at 6 if nobody goes quicker than us. The happiness comes from the fact that the whole Andretti Green team all year is finding speed. A pole is nice, however a pole at Indianapolis is tremendous.? Kanaan remarked, ?I would think that first of all, we try to stay out of the draft all week. A lot of people are just drafting and looking good for a day. If you?re confident enough, you don?t need it. Sometimes drivers and I understand perfectly why, need to see their names up there every day. ?

Ryan Briscoe is holding onto the outside front-row position in his #12 Symantec Luczon-Dragon Racing Dallara-Honda with his four-lap average of 222.410 mph.

Danica Patrick driver of the #7 Motorola Big Daddy AGR Dallara-Honda is currently fifth fastest.

Target-Chip Ganassi who were favorites for the pole were disappointed with the attampts of Scott Dixon which is currently fourth fastest (224.351 mph four-lap average) and 2005 Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon is sitting sixth fastest (223.686 mph). Dixon, ?It?s going to be a long day. We?re not happy with the car. We missed quite a bit on balance. (It was) Frustrating, really.?

Qualifying will continue, however there is a break in the qualifying line after 15 drivers made qualifying runs. The track temperature is rising under the sunny Indiana skies. Track temperatures are reaching over 110 making the track a bit greasy and not the best conditions for optimum speed. Four drivers have been bumped so far today, Scott Sharp, Kosuke Matsuura, Buddy Rice and A.J. Foyt IV. Those drivers will be able to make another two more attempts to bump in today?s top-11.

The two Team Penske cars including defending Indy 500 champion Sam Hornish, Jr. and two-time Indy 500 winner of Helio Castroneves still have not made attempts and should be out some time after 3pm local time when track conditions possibly will cool. When there is a break in qualifying the track is open for practice for all unqualified cars. Will Penske threaten AGR? Perhaps Dixon and Wheldon will withdraw their times and re-qualify. Time will tell.

Stay tuned for for the latest updates.

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