Franchitti takes race 1 pole in Toronto

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Dario Franchitti recovers from an accident in practice to take his 32nd career pole and his 4th pole at Toronto for tomorrow’s first race of the weekend by a scant .0945 of a second over Sebastian Bourdais after a perfect run in the fast six. It also his 3rd pole of the season, putting him at the top of that list.

“It feels good to get our third pole of the year,” said Franchitti. “I made it difficult this morning. I made a mistake in turn five there, took the right side off the car. The guys had to work and repair the car.”

“But the Target car was good on Firestone blacks, Firestone reds. I was able to keep finding a little bit every lap.”

Bourdais is carrying the flag for Dragon Racing, which has had an extremely disappointing season and made some personnel changes prior to this weekend including a new engineer for Bourdais in Tom Brown. He gives the team it’s best career start in his #7 McAfee entry.

“Yeah, it’s been a long season so far,” said Bourdais. “You know, we just couldn’t quite get the handling of the car right. We made a lot of changes this morning. It’s the first weekend we’re working together on the street course. Looks like it’s working out pretty good.”

“He’s (Tom) got a different view on the car obviously,” said Bourdais. “I think what caught us off is we were so happy with the car last year that it was just tough to kind of put behind us what we thought we knew about the car with the new 2013 tires. We just could never overcome that.”

2007 and 2010 winner Will Power qualified 3rd, Tony Kanaan qualified 4th, James Jakes qualified 5th but will start 15th due to a ten place grid penalty and 6th was Scott Dixon. Missing the Fast Six was Ryan Hunter Reay in 7th, the man he’s chasing in the championship Helio Castroneves in 8th, Justin Wilson in 9th and Ryan Briscoe was 10th.

For the first time since St. Petersburg earlier this year, no Andretti Autosport cars made it into the Firestone Fast Six. Hunter-Reay’s chances of making it into the Fast Six were dashed when the yellow flew with a minute and a half remaining in the 2nd session for Takuma Sato’s contact with the tire barrier in turn 1.

“It’s frustrating,” said Hunter-Reay. “We had a great car today; we led the first practice. I’d like to thank the guys, the crew on the No. 1 DHL team for giving me a great car. I’d like to thank (Takuma) Sato for knocking us out of the session again today. It’s unfortunate, but we’ll be fighting again tomorrow, we’ll be fighting again on Sunday. It’s just out of our control, so what do you do?”

In his return to Dale Coyne Racing after his impressive run at Detroit, Mike Conway’s star did not shine as bright today as he did not advance into Session 2 and will start 20th.

Starting Lineup

Driver, Engine, Time, Speed

1. Dario Franchitti, Honda, 59.6756 (105.872)
2. Sebastien Bourdais, Chevy, 59.7701 (105.705)
3.Will Power, Chevy, 01:00.0612 (105.193)
4. Tony Kanaan, Chevy, 01:00.1179 (105.093)
5. James Jakes, Honda, 01:00.1430 (105.050)*
6. Scott Dixon, Honda, 01:00.3228 (104.737)
7. Ryan Hunter-Reay, Chevy, 01:00.1954 (104.958)
8. Helio Castroneves, Chevy, 01:00.2866 (104.799)
9. Justin Wilson, Honda, 01:00.2954 (104.784)
10. Ryan Briscoe, Chevy, 01:00.3843 (104.630)
11. Marco Andretti, Chevy, 01:00.6027 (104.253)
12. Takuma Sato, Honda, 01:02.3831 (101.277)
13. Simon Pagenaud,Honda, 01:00.4303 (104.550)
14. James Hinchcliffe, Chevy, 01:00.5083 (104.415)
15. EJ Viso, Chevy, 01:00.4556 (104.506)
16. Charlie Kimball, Honda, 01:00.6569 (104.160)
17. Alex Tagliani, Honda, 01:00.4586 (104.501)
18. Graham Rahal, Honda, 01:00.6868 (104.108)
19. Josef Newgarden, Honda, 01:00.5822 (104.288)
20. Mike Conway, Honda, 01:00.9526 (103.654)
21. Tristan Vautier, Honda, 01:00.9053 (103.735)
22. Simona De Silvestro, Chevy, 01:01.1553 (103.311)
23. Ed Carpenter, Chevy, 01:01.2367 (103.173)
24. Sebastian Saavedra, Chevy, 01:01.2939 (103.077)

* indicates 10 place grid penalty

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