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2010 IndyCar Homestead 300 (Round 17, Qualifying)

October 1, 2010

Homestead-Miami Speedway layout

Dario Franchitti took one crucial step to retaining the IZOD IndyCar Series title with pole position at Homestead Motor Speedway.
The 37-year-old Scot picked up the top spot with a 2-lap average speed of 213.187 mph, claiming the extra point in the process and leaving him just 11 points shy of Championship leader Will Power.

It was a Team Chip Ganassi lock out on the front row, with Franchitti partnered by team mate Scott Dixon alongside him, while the second row was occupied by two of the three Penske Racing machines – Power will take the green flag from 3rd and Ryan Briscoe, an encouraging 4th. Qualifying was not quite as fruitful for the final Penske runner – Helio Castroneves registered only 10th in his Honda-powered Dallara.
First out in the session was Dan Wheldon and the Manchester-born driver notched 5th spot in what may be his final race for Panther Racing; only one row ahead of part-time team mate Ed Carpenter (7th). The Panther pair have squeezed former-Minardi driver Justin Wilson into a spot on the outside of the third row.

Tony Kanaan was the fastest of the four Andretti-Autosport entries with the 8th fastest run – next up for the team is Danica Patrick in her green-and-black Go Daddy.com machine (11th), while both Marco Andretti and Ryan Hunter-Reay had difficult day’s as they picked up 16th and 20th positions respectively.
KV Racing Technology will be going into this weekend’s race desperately hoping that there will not be crash damage to repair and it was the final runner of the day, Takuma Sato, that gave them some hope for the race with a run that placed him in 9th. EJ Viso and Mario Moraes also had decent runs; registering 12th and 13th positions in the process – some hope for a trio of racers that may well be looking for a seat for 2011.

Franchitti secured his 2nd pole of the season. © indycar.com

Bertrand Baguette continued his positive form for Conquest Racing as the young Belgian driver grabbed 14th position. His new team mate for this weekend – Sebastian Saavedra may well be disappointed with his run that gave him 24th, but the former-Indy Lights (?) driver will hopefully be able to improve on that in the race itself.
Both Alex Lloyd and Simona de Silvestro are battling for Rookie of the Year honours going into this race, but that pair were outshined by Brazilian pilot Ana Beatriz – this will the fourth outing of the season for Beatriz with Dreyer and Reinbold Racing, and she will take the green flag in 15th position. Beatriz, who has performed very well in the few sightings of her this season is the final driver to replace the injured Mike Conway, who has been missing since his crash at the Indianapolis 500 in May.
De Silvestro, meanwhile, placed her HVM provisionally 25th; while Lloyd will get away from 22nd position. Lloyd’s Dale Coyne Racing team mate, Milka Duno, will be making what could be potentially her final start tomorrow from last place.

On the ninth row, fan favourite Sarah Fisher is also lining up for what could be her final race as rumours spread that she may be about to go into full-time team management. The lady from Ohio planted her Fisher Racing car in 17th alongside the Newman-Haas car driven by Graham Rahal (18th). Rahal’s Newman-Haas partner, Hideki Mutoh had a poor session qualifying on the outside of row 13, as the Japanese driver struggled in the Miami evening.
Alex Tagliani qualified his FAZZT Racing machine in 19th position as the Canadian brings his first year as a team owner to a close. Vitor Meira took the inside of row 11 in his AJ Foyt Enterprise’s car, and Raphael Matos rounds off the grid – the Brazilian starts a disappointed 23rd as he aims to put a forgettable season behind him.

Green flag for the final race of the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series is tomorrow night at midnight, with coverage starting at 11.15pm (BST) on indycar.com and at 11.30pm (BST) from Sky Sports 4.

Homestead-Miami Speedway, Qualifying (October 1st)
Pos Driver               Team                    Ave Speed (mph)
1.  Dario Franchitti     Chip Ganassi Racing     213.187mph
2.  Scott Dixon          Chip Ganassi Racing     212.908mph
3.  Will Power           Team Penske             212.580mph
4.  Ryan Briscoe         Team Penske             212.158mph
5.  Dan Wheldon          Panther Racing          211.933mph
6.  Justin Wilson        Dreyer and Reinbold     211.630mph
7.  Ed Carpenter         Panther/Vision Racing   211.444mph
8.  Tony Kanaan          Andretti-Autosport      211.392mph
9.  Takuma Sato          KV Racing               211.355mph
10. Helio Castroneves    Team Penske             211.240mph
11. Danica Patrick       Andretti-Autosport      211.013mph
12. EJ Viso              KV Racing               210.928mph
13. Mario Moraes         KV Racing               210.741mph
14. Bertrand Baguette    Conquest Racing         210.738mph
15. Ana Beatriz          Dreyer and Reinbold     210.715mph
16. Marco Andretti       Andretti-Autosport      210.698mph
17. Sarah Fisher         Sarah Fisher Racing     210.671mph
18. Graham Rahal         Newman/Haas             210.629mph
19. Alex Tagliani        FAZZT Racing            210.520mph
20. Ryan Hunter-Reay     Andretti-Autosport      210.030mph
21. Vitor Meira          AJ Foyt Enterprises     210.017mph
22. Alex Lloyd           Dale Coyne Racing       209.433mph
23. Raphael Matos        De Ferran/Dragon Racing 209.311mph
24. Sebastian Saavedra   Conquest Racing         209.308mph
25. Simona de Silvestro  HVM Racing              208.986mph
26. Hideki Mutoh         Newman/Haas             208.579mph
27. Milka Duno           Dale Coyne Racing       207.961mph

2010 IZOD IndyCar Championship (Round 17, Qualifying)
Pos Driver Points
1 Will Power (Team Penske) 587
2 Dario Franchitti (Chip Ganassi Racing) 576
3 Helio Castroneves (Team Penske) 501
4 Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing) 497
5 Ryan Briscoe (Team Penske) 450
6 Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti-Autosport) 426
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