Franchitti Claims Pole For Sunday IndyCar Race At Long Beach
The four-time IZOD IndyCar Series champion, who won the race in 2009, posted a quick lap of 1 minute, 07.2379 seconds in the waning seconds of the 10-minute Firestone Fast Six on the 1.968-mile, 11-turn street circuit to earn his first pole start since Toronto last July.
It was the 30th pole (tied with Sebastien Bourdais for seventh all time) of his Indy car career, which began in 1997. Franchitti is seeking to break a tie with Bourdais and Paul Tracy with his 32nd victory. His last win was the 2012 Indianapolis 500.
Five different teams were represented in the Firestone Fast Six and eight comprised Round 2 (12 cars), when Mike Conway set an IZOD IndyCar Series track record of 1:07.1937. Bourdais, competing in the 2006 Champ Car race, holds the record for the current configuration at 1:06.886.
Reigning IZOD IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay was .0555 of a second behind Franchitti in the No. 1 DHL car for Andretti Autosport and will start on the front row for the second consecutive race.
Will Power, last year’s race winner, and Takuma Sato will share Row 2. It was the first time since 2008 that Power has not started on the front row at Long Beach. He went on to win that race.
89.1FM, The Lakeshore will bring Northwest Indiana listeners radio coverage of Sunday’s race. The IMS Radio Network broadcast begins at 3pm (CT) and can also be heard online via The Lakeshore’s live audio stream at www.lakeshorepublicmedia.com.
(Story and photo courtesy IMS Radio Network)