Franchitti wins heat race, pole for Iowa Corn Indy 250

NEWTON, Iowa (Friday, June 22, 2012) - Dario Franchitti, who leaped into the top eight on the time chart in the final seconds of practice to qualify for the heat race, passed Marco Andretti on Lap 8 of 30 and went on the claim the pole for the 250-lap race under the lights June 23.

It was the second consecutive week that Franchitti has started on pole, and was the 28th of his Indy car career (passing Al Unser for seventh on the all-time list).

Results of the second practice session determined the fields for the 30-lap qualifying races. The top eight comprised Race 3, while Race 1 consisted of even-numbered positions in practice to determine the even-numbered spots in the starting lineup starting from 10th down. Race 3 followed the same format for odd-numbered cars.

Franchitti led Helio Castroneves, driving the No. 3 Penske Truck Rental car, to the start-finish line of the .894-mile track by 1.4671 seconds. It will be the second front-row start of the season and the fourth at Iowa Speedway for Castroneves, who won the opener at St. Petersburg.

Andretti, who topped the time chart in the two practice sessions, and Andretti Autosport teammate James Hinchcliffe will be on Row 2.

Team Penske teammates Ryan Briscoe and Will Power, the IZOD IndyCar Series championship points leader, will start on Row 3. Ryan Hunter-Reay, the winner last week at Milwaukee, will be on Row 4 with Scott Dixon.

Tony Kanaan and Graham Rahal were the other heat race winners to qualifying ninth and 10th, respectively, but they'll incur 10-grid spot penalties for unapproved engine changes. Alex Tagliani and Josef Newgarden will take their spots on Row 5.

Also on June 22, Tristan Vautier's first qualifying lap of 160.066 mph on the .894-mile Iowa Speedway oval paved the way to a two-lap average of 159.973 mph (40.2368 seconds) and the pole position for the Firestone Indy Lights Sukup 100 on June 23.

Vautier, driving the No. 77 Mazda Road to Indy/Sam Schmidt Motorsports with Curb Agajanian car, earned his third pole of the season -- and second in a row. He went on to win the race last weekend at the Milwaukee Mile.

Esteban Guerrieri will start on the front row for the third time this season, posting a qualifying speed of 159.597 mph (40.3316 seconds). He started from the pole in the 2011 Firestone Indy Lights race at Iowa Speedway.

Victor Carbone, the final qualifier, jumped to third in the No. 3 Mav TV/Nevoni/SSM with Curb Agajanian car to provide the sixth 1-2-3 starting lineup for the team in Firestone Indy Lights. Sebastian Saavedra will join Carbone on Row 2 in the No. 27 Team AFS car.


The IZOD IndyCar Series will compete in Iowa Corn Indy 250, a 250-lap race at 9 p.m. (ET) on Saturday. Firestone Indy Lights will compete in the Sukup 100, a 115-lap race at 6:40 p.m., Saturday. The Star Mazda Championship, part of the Mazda Road to Indy Ladder, will compete in the Iowa Speedway Foundation 100 at 5:20 p.m., on Saturday.

This is the sixth IZOD IndyCar Series event at Iowa Speedway. Marco Andretti won the race last year. Past winners Andretti, Tony Kanaan (2010) and Dario Franchitti (2007 and 2009) are entered in the event.
The following cars will have 10-grid spot penalties for unapproved engine changes following the event at Milwaukee:  No. 5 Viso,  No. 11 Kanaan

Full starting line-up for the Iowa Corn 250

(Car number in parentheses)
1. (10) Dario Franchitti, Dallara-Honda.
2. (3) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Chevrolet.
3. (26) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Chevrolet.
4. (27) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Chevrolet.
5. (2) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Chevrolet.
6. (12) Will Power, Dallara-Chevrolet.
7. (28) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Chevrolet.
8. (9) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda.
9. (11) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Chevrolet.
10. (38) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda.
11. (98) Alex Tagliani, Dallara-Honda.
12. (67) Josef Newgarden, Dallara-Honda.
13. (8) Rubens Barrichello, Dallara-Chevrolet.
14. (4) J.R. Hildebrand, Dallara-Chevrolet.
15. (18) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda.
16. (5) E.J. Viso, Dallara-Chevrolet.
17. (83) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Honda.
18. (22) Oriol Servia, Dallara-Chevrolet.
19. (6) Katherine Legge, Dallara-Chevrolet.
20. (14) Mike Conway, Dallara-Honda.
21. (19) James Jakes, Dallara-Honda.
22. (20) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Chevrolet.
23. (78) Simona de Silvestro, Dallara-Lotus.
24. (15) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda.
25. (77) Simon Pagenaud, Dallara-Honda.

Franchitti wins heat race, pole for Iowa Corn Indy 250 Franchitti wins heat race, pole for Iowa Corn Indy 250 Reviewed by Admin on Saturday, June 23, 2012 Rating: 5