Franchitti Takes Chicago Pole

JOLIET, Ill. - If Dario Franchitti is going to leave the Indy Racing League, he's trying to do it in style.

With rumors of the Indy 500 winner jumping to NASCAR next year with Chip Ganassi Racing swirling around the track, Franchitti went out and picked up the number one spot for Sunday's race with a lap of 214.646 mph.

"I was shocked when I heard my time," Franchitti said. "I wasn't sure if we got the most out of the track, but it turns out the track slowed down. But qualifying is only a small part of what goes into the race."

"We're starting from the pole. Hopefully, we'll be up front when it's over."

Franchitti brings a slim three point lead over Scott Dixon into Sunday's season finale at the 1.5-mile superspeedway.

Sam Hornish, Jr. qualified outside the front row with a lap of 214.492 mph.

"It is a little disappointing," said Hornish of his dismal season. "As far as myself and the team goes, we've had a terrible year. We've either been in the wrong place at the wrong time, been taken out of three or four races, and then the next race I try to overcompensate, or the team does."

"Then we make a mistake because we've tried too hard and we've had two bad races in a row instead of just one. It's been a tough year, but there's been some high points, too."

His Marlboro Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves was fourth with Tony Kanaan and Dan Wheldon rounding out the top five.

Dixon, Danica Patrick, Darren Manning, Tomas Scheckter and Marco Andretti completed the first ten qualifiers.

Sunday's Peak Antifreeze 300 is slated for a 4 p.m. (ET) green flag.

Race Center

Auto Club 500

@ Auto Club Speedway
Saturday, October 19, 2013
TV Start:

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