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Franchitti wins Toronto pole; Power sends warning
“All we need to do is show up with a fast car and play with the hand we’re dealt,” said Franchitti, who has three wins in Toronto. “You have to roll with the punches and get on with it.”
Justin Wilson, Sebastien Bourdais and Scott Dixon qualified third through fifth. Canadian Alex Tagliani was sixth, but will drop 10 spots as a result of a penalty he incurred for changing engines on Friday.
That marks five straight races in which a Honda engine has won the pole.
The starting lineup will not be official until Sunday, when IndyCar releases an official grid. A shuffle could happen if more drivers make engine changes, which would result in a 10-spot penalty.
Tagliani will drop to 16th, but remains hopeful.
“This race is a race of survival,” he said. “You can still make it to the front with different strategy, tires. So I don’t think like we can count ourselves out.”
Hometown favorite James Hinchcliffe qualified ninth, but is among those who will drop back after changing engines on Friday.
Ryan Hunter-Reay qualified seventh despite having his back left tire brush a wall. Hunter-Reay is second in the point standings, just three behind Power, and is coming off consecutive victories on ovals at Milwaukee and Iowa.
A brief thunderstorm rolled through Toronto on Saturday morning, creating puddles on the street course that’s already considered slick because of numerous surface changes.
At the very least, the rains provided cool comfort a day after a sizzling Friday, when temperatures were in the high 90s, and measured at 126 on the track. Conditions warmed up, turning it into a muggy afternoon.
Wilson blamed a transmission problem that prevented him from stopping before hitting four pit crew members and the back of Bourdais‘ parked car. Two of Bourdais‘ pit crew members were treated at a hospital and released.
And the day didn’t get any better for Wilson, who was involved into two crashes on the course.
“It still lingers on. It’s never a nice experience,” said Wilson, who visited with one of the injured crew members. “So I’m really pleased we made it, and I’m also really happy Sebastien made it as well. I think it’s fitting.”
By David A. Clarke Jr.
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