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Franchitti wins pole for 1st of 2 races in Detroit
DETROIT (AP) - Dario Franchitti won his second poll of the season Friday and the 31st of his career.
The Chip Ganassi Racing driver, though, will start 11th Saturday in the first of two Detroit Grand Prix races. He was handed a 10-grid-spot penalty for making an unapproved engine change at Indianapolis.
Franchitti earned the top spot in qualifying Friday with a lap of 1:19.3311 and reached 106.642 mph on Belle Isle's 2.36-mile street course.
E.J. Viso, who qualified second, will start up front followed by Mike Conway, James Jakes and defending IndyCar champion Ryan Hunter-Reay. Viso matched the best qualifying performance of his career and Jakes was a career-best fourth in qualifying.
Franchitti fared well on a rain-slicked track despite not getting much out of the morning practice session because he hit a wall, sending his car to the shop.
"Took the right front corner off," he recalled. "The Target boys had a busy morning rebuilding the car. So, I really had no experience on the track really apart from what I had when he last raced here."
Franchitti finished second last year, after starting 14th, in an event spoiled by shoddy roads. He won one of his 31 races at the 1999 Detroit Grand Prix.
IndyCar is having a pair of full-length races on the same track in a weekend in Detroit, but Franchitti doubts any drivers in the 25-car field will race carefully because they have to also compete on Sunday.
"These (cars) can be rebuilt quite quickly," he said. "I think both races will be aggressive. "
"This track, I heard Ryan say it, by its nature requires quite an aggressive style all the time. You're really on edge the whole way round."
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