Aug 24, 2013
SONOMA, Calif. -- There has been nine different winners, including four for the first time, through 14 IZOD IndyCar Series races. Dario Franchitti would gladly be the 10th with his 32nd career victory.
The four-time series champion will have an advantageous starting position for the 85-lap GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma after earning his fourth Verizon P1 Award of the season with a lap of 1 minute, 17.5271 seconds in the Firestone Fast Six session on the 2.385-mile, 12-turn road course.
"We're very focused on bringing a good result for the team," said Franchitti, who broke a tie with Michael Andretti for sixth on the all-time pole-winning list. "Scott (Dixon) has won three races, Charlie (Kimball) has won one. I have not won one yet. I would like to sort that out."
Click it: GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma qualifying results
It's Franchitti's third pole start at Sonoma Raceway, and teammate Dixon (1:17.7196) will start on the front row for second time at Sonoma. Both have won the IZOD IndyCar Series race at Sonoma, and Chip Ganassi Racing cars have won the past four races.
Dixon, a three-time winner this season, enters the 85-lap race 31 points behind series championship front-runner Helio Castroneves, who qualified fifth in the No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske car.
"I'll do anything I can to help Scott win the championship, but I also want to win the race," Franchitti said.
Added Dixon: "A victory would help in the championship, but it's still early and there are a lot of points on the table. We're really happy with (a front-row start) as it’s typically a pretty strong Penske track."
A Team Penske car has won four of the past five races at Sonoma. There have been seven different winners in the eight IZOD IndyCar Series races.
Ryan Hunter-Reay, third in the standings, qualified fourth in the No. 1 DHL car for Andretti Autosport. Will Power, who set the track record of 1:17.2709 in earning the pole last August, will start third in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car.
Kimball, who recorded his first series victory Aug. 4 at Mid-Ohio, will start sixth in the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car for Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing. It's the second consecutive race that the three Chip Ganassi Racing cars qualified in the top six.
"Coming off Mid‑Ohio, it's nice to have that confidence and that momentum," he said. "I think one of my favorite quotes from the team owner, when asked about what his favorite race win was, he said, 'The next one.' I admit, Mid‑Ohio was great, but now we are looking forward to trying to get a great result tomorrow."
Three Honda-powered cars and three Chevrolets comprise the first three rows.
Justin Wilson was .1325 of a second off the lap time of sixth-place Castroneves in the 10-minute Round 2. It's the second consecutive race that Wilson qualified seventh in the No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing car. Nine of the top 10 drivers in the standings advanced out of their groups.
In the first session, James Hinchliffe's final lap in the 10-minute session bumped Takuma Sato (.1269 of a second behind sixth-place qualifier Castroneves) from advancing from Group 1. Tristan Vautier was .1971 of a second off sixth-place qualifier Marco Andretti in Group 2.
A 30-minute warmup is scheduled for 1 p.m. (ET) Aug. 25, with the NBC Sports Network's race broadcast of the race beginning at 4 p.m. Live Timing & Scoring with the IMS Radio Network broadcast is available for all sessions on www.indycar.com and the INDYCAR 13 app.