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Franchitti grabs pole for N.H.

Loudon, NH (Sports Network) - Dario Franchitti from Chip Ganassi Racing will start on the pole for Sunday's MoveThatBlock.com 225 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway -- the first IZOD IndyCar Series race to be held at this one-mile track since 1998.

Franchitti, the two-time defending series champion and current points leader, set a blistering two-lap average of 170.843 mph for his 26th career pole in IndyCar. He was one mile per hour faster than his closest competitor Oriol Servia from Newman/Haas Racing.

"The whole team did a great job coming up with the set-ups and working through the problems with a slick track this morning," Franchitti said. "[Team engineer] Chris [Simmons] and I bounced some ideas back and forth and [the pole run] was the result."

Servia's lap at 169.831 placed him on the outside pole.

"We came here with the hopes of having a good race, because Newman/Haas has done well here in the past," he said. "We have been knocking at that door to win a race, but it is so competitive amongst the drivers it takes a perfect weekend to win."

Tony Kanaan qualified third, while Servia's teammate, James Hinchcliffe, took the fourth spot. Ryan Hunter-Reay completed the top-five.

Ryan Briscoe will start sixth, followed by Ganassi's Scott Dixon, who started on the pole and won last weekend's race at Mid-Ohio.

Takuma Sato, Helio Castroneves and Charlie Kimball will roll off eighth through 10th, respectively.

Will Power, currently 63 points behind Franchitti, qualified 13th. Danica Patrick will start 15th.

Pippa Mann did not participate in Saturday's qualifying session after she crashed hard into the wall during a practice session held earlier in the day. Mann, attempting to make her second IndyCar start, was transported to a nearby hospital for further evaluation. The Rahal Letterman Racing driver is questionable for tomorrow's 225-lap race.

Mann made her IndyCar debut in the May 29 Indianapolis 500, finishing 20th for Conquest Racing.

08/13 17:53:29 ET


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