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Franchitti wasn’t able to join several other teams in an earlier test session at Milwaukee. He had other commitments after winning his third Indianapolis 500.

So when his team got to Milwaukee _ a place Franchitti has mastered in the past _ they were off the pace in both practice sessions Friday. Franchitti huddled with his team before qualifying to come up with adjustments that might make the car run better.

So when Franchitti saw his quick times come up in qualifying, he was pleasantly surprised.

“We didn’t really have a car that had good balance, that was quick, any of those things,” Franchitti said.

Now Franchitti and his team have to figure out how to make their car go just as fast in race conditions, too.

“We know what we need the car to do,” Franchitti said. “Hopefully our qualifying setup will give us some direction, and we’ll go from there.”