Franchitti scores critical pole at Homestead

Power’s lead down to 11 points going into tomorrow’s season finale

Dario Franchitti (left, with team owner Chip Ganassi) will look to win tomorrow's race -- and the IndyCar title -- from the pole. Photo: Chris Jones/IZOD IndyCar Series

Earlier this week, Dario Franchitti (pictured above and left, with team owner Chip Ganassi) mentioned that one thing he had learned by going through multiple championship battles in his career was that every point counts.

This weekend — the weekend that will crown the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series champion — may prove that to be true. Franchitti earned his second pole position of the season and gained one of the three bonus points that may prove critical to a successful title defense.

Franchitti’s pole draws him to within 11 points of leader Will Power, who will start third in tomorrow’s season finale (6 p.m. ET, Versus). As a result, the Scotsman can defend his ’09 crown by leading the most laps — good for the other two bonus points — and winning the race, worth 50 points. He can also win his third series title by winning the race and not leading the most laps if Power finishes third or worse. Beyond those two scenarios, he simply needs to make up 12 points on his Australian adversary.

Target Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon, also a two-time IndyCar titleholder, will join teammate Franchitti on the front row after qualifying in P2. As for Power, he’ll be joined in Row 2 by one of his own Team Penske mates, Ryan Briscoe.

Despite news of a pending lawsuit against his Panther Racing team, Dan Wheldon threw up a strong qualifying effort and will start on the inside of Row 3. Dreyer and Reinbold Racing’s Justin Wilson is on the outside of that row.

Ed Carpenter and Tony Kanaan make up Row 4, while Takuma Sato and Helio Castroneves will start from Row 5.


IZOD IndyCar Series
Cafes do Brasil Indy 300
Homestead-Miami Speedway, Homestead, Fla.

Starting grid
(Car number-driver, team, average speed)
1. 10-Dario Franchitti, Ganassi, 213.187 mph.
2. 9-Scott Dixon, Ganassi, 212.908.
3. 12-Will Power, Penske, 212.580.
4. 6-Ryan Briscoe, Penske, 212.158.
5. 4-Dan Wheldon, Panther, 211.933.
6. 22-Justin Wilson, Dreyer and Reinbold, 211.630.
7. 20-Ed Carpenter, Panther/Vision, 211.444.
8. 11-Tony Kanaan, Andretti, 211.392.
9. 5-Takuma Sato, KV Racing Tech., 211.355.
10. 3-Helio Castroneves, Penske, 211.240.
11. 7-Danica Patrick, Andretti, 211.013.
12. 8-E.J. Viso, KV Racing Tech., 210.928.
13. 32-Mario Moraes, KV Racing Tech., 210.741.
14. 34-Bertrand Baguette, Conquest, 210.738.
15. 24-Ana Beatriz, Dreyer and Reinbold, 210.715.
16. 26-Marco Andretti, Andretti, 210.698.
17. 67-Sarah Fisher, Fisher, 210.671.
18. 02-Graham Rahal, Newman/Haas, 210.629.
19. 77-Alex Tagliani, FAZZT, 210.520.
20. 37-Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti, 210.030.
21. 14-Vitor Meira, Foyt, 210.017.
22. 19-Alex Lloyd, Coyne, 209.443.
23. 2-Raphael Matos, DFDragon, 209.311.
24. 36-Sebastian Saavedra, Conquest, 209.308.
25. 78-Simona de Silvestro, HVM, 208.986.
26. 06-Hideki Mutoh, Newman/Haas, 208.579.
27. 18-Milka Duno, Coyne, 207.961.


Photo credit: Chris Jones/IZOD IndyCar Series.