IndyCar Series points leader Helio Castroneves will start from the pole position in Sunday’s Watkins Glen Grand Prix, in a field set by Friday’s practice session speeds when morning rain and fog throughout the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York forced Indy Racing League officials to postpone qualifying at Watkins Glen International Raceway.
Already a winner at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan, Castroneves secured the pole by edging Andretti Green Racing’s Tony Kanaan in the second of two practice sessions on Friday. Kanaan will start second, followed by Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year - and near race victor – Marco Andretti . Scott Dixon, the winner here last year, will start fourth, followed by Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate and defending series champion Dan Wheldon.
The forecast for Sunday’s 60-lap Watkins Glen Grand Prix calls for clearing skies and temperatures in the 70s. The fifth round of the 14-race 2006 IndyCar season starts at 3:30 p.m. EDT, with live television coverage on ABC.
Helio Castroneves (#3 Marlboro Team Penske Honda) on his pole-producing practice lap:
"When I saw the 11 car [Tony Kanaan] on top I thought ‘Oh man, this is going to be like Detroit in 1997’ We were teammates [in Indy Lights] then, and one car would go faster and then the other guy would go quicker still, back and forth. It’s a healthy competition between us. It’s fun. I think both of our cars are working well here and it should make for an exciting race tomorrow."