Veteran and previous event winner [CART in 1999] Dario Franchitti successfully withstood the attempts
of several potential “underdog” challengers Saturday on the streets of Exhibition Place to claim the pole
for Sunday’s Honda Indy Toronto.
Franchitti, who has claimed the pole here twice before in CART competition [1997-’98], spoiled the efforts
of the three “small team” drivers who had advanced through the first two rounds of IndyCar Series
knockout qualifying, including local favorite Alex Tagliani, rookie Mike Conway and Justin Wilson, winner
of last week’s race at Watkins Glen.
Others to make it to the final qualifying round included Will Power, who will start second for Team Penske;
and Newman Haas Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal, who will start his McDonald’s Honda from third.
Sunday’s race starts at 1 p.m. EDT, with live television coverage on ABC.
Dario Franchitti (#10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) pole qualifier, his 3rd pole of 2009, 9th
career IndyCar pole:
“I got my first [CART] pole here in 1997, and that was a long time ago! I spent
some time this morning thinking about that, and trying to remember what I had done back then. It’s the
same old Toronto. The concrete patches here haven’t ‘gained‘ any grip over the years, let’s put it that
way. But I love coming here, it’s definitely a challenging circuit, unlike any other on the schedule. I finally
got in a good rhythm in the first qualifying session, and that made a huge difference. In the [final] ‘Fast 6‘
session, I did one hot lap early on that was very, very good. So, I came in and parked it, thinking ‘If
anyone can beat that time, have at it, boys!’ Obviously, it held up and here we are.”