Franchitti Fastest at New Hampshire

Dario Franchitti

Dario Franchitti earned his 26th career pole on Saturday. (Photo: Getty Images)

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Dario Franchitti earned his PEAK Performance Pole position of 2011, scoring the pole for the MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Franchitti, the 20th qualifier, recorded a two-lap combined time of 43.1976 seconds and an average speed of 170.843 mph. His second lap (21.5968 seconds) was a one-lap IZOD IndyCar Series track record.

"The run itself, it was the first time I've been wide open at both ends," Franchitti said. "On that first lap you go into Turn 1 wide open wondering if it's going to stick or not. If it doesn't stick it's going to get ugly quickly. The whole Target team did a great job coming up with the set-ups and working through the problems this morning with a slick track. (Engineer) Chris (Simmons) and I bounced some ideas back and forth and (the pole run) was the result."

It was Franchitti's 26th Indy car pole, overtaking Paul Tracy for ninth on the all-time list.

Oriol Servia, driving the No. 2 Telemundo car for Newman/Haas Racing, will start a season-high second (169.831 mph average). Tony Kanaan tied his season high in the No. 82 GEICO-KV Racing Technology-Lotus car and will start on the inside of Row 2 next to rookie James Hinchcliffe in the No. 06 Sprott Newman/Haas Racing car.

Ryan Hunter-Reay will start fifth in the No. 28 Team DHL/Circle K/Sun Drop Citrus Soda car for Andretti Autosport. Ryan Briscoe of Team Penske will start sixth.

Rahal Letterman Lanigan will withdraw the No. 30 driven by Pippa Mann from this weekend's race.

The entry was withdrawn Saturday afternoon after a crash during Saturday's practice session resulted in Mann being removed from competition by IndyCar Series Medical Staff. Mann suffered a heavy impact in the crash and the young British driver will not be cleared to drive by the INDYCAR medical staff until she undergoes a final test in Indianapolis on Monday. Precautionary x-rays of her neck and a CT scan were both negative and she is being released from Concord Hospital in Concord, New Hampshire.

"Pippa worked very hard this weekend and we are hoping for a speedy recovery and a return to the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Indy Car," said RLL co-owner Bobby Rahal.

Sunday's MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225 will be televised live at 3:30 p.m. (ET) by ABC.

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Auto Club 500

@ Auto Club Speedway
Saturday, October 19, 2013
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