- Associated Press - Saturday, July 7, 2012

TORONTO (AP) - Dario Franchitti won his third straight IndyCar pole on Saturday. And Will Power has yet another feud going _ maybe two.

Welcome to Toronto, where defending champion Franchitti usually finds himself in the hunt, and the bumping starts and tempers flare long before the race begins.

Not long after Franchitti won the pole with a time of 59.351 seconds, Power was already sending a warning to anyone thinking about getting near him on the track on Sunday.

“This year someone takes me out, they’re going to get a smack across the chops,” said Power, who finished second in qualifying.

Power, referring to last year’s race in Toronto where he was spun out twice, was partly joking. But it was evident this season’s points leader was in no mood for fooling around on the narrow 1.75-mile street course on the grounds of Exhibition Place that includes 11 turns.

Power and rookie Simon Pagenaud knocked tires during the practice session Saturday morning, after they also bumped during practice Friday. On Saturday, Power responded to being blocked by nearly forcing Pagenaud into a pile of tires.

Power then refused his former teammate’s attempt at an apology.

“I gave him the Australian `Go Away,’ when he came to apologize,” Power said, referring to how he raised his right hand and walked away.

Pagenaud was surprised by Power’s response.

“He’s imagining the wrong things,” said Pagenaud, who acknowledged making a mistake coming out of the pits. “There’s not much I can do. I said, `I’m sorry, and it was my bad today,’ and I move on.”

Power wasn’t done yet. He delivered a similar gesture to Takuma Sato during the third qualifying round, after Sato blocked Power.

“He got in my way. It ruined his day,” Power said, noting Sato was penalized by IndyCar officials, who took away his two fastest qualifying laps. “I don’t know who was on his radio. But they should have been telling him who was coming.”

Franchitti could only laugh when hearing about Power’s squabbles. The Scot turned to the driver and said: “You’ve had a busy day.”

Franchitti won his 29th career pole and is off to a terrific start in Toronto after posting the best time after two practice sessions on Friday.

Now the challenge is for Franchitti to actually take advantage of the position. This season’s Indy 500 champion won the pole at Milwaukee three weeks ago, but finished 19th after a crash. He then won the pole at Iowa a week later, but his engine failed before the race even began.

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