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Briscoe tops in Long Beach qualifying

Long Beach, CA (Sports Network) - Ryan Briscoe won Saturday's qualifying for the IZOD IndyCar Series race at Long Beach after edging his Team Penske teammate Will Power in the closing minutes of the Fast Six session.

But Dario Franchitti from Target Chip Ganassi Racing will start on the pole for Sunday's 85-lap race since he was the top qualifier who did not have a Chevrolet-powered engine in his car.

On Thursday, Chevrolet replaced the engines on all 11 of its entries after James Hinchcliffe's No. 27 Andretti Autosport car experienced an issue with the motor during a test session held earlier this week at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA.

Per the IndyCar rule book, each Chevrolet driver was levied a 10-grid position penalty for Long Beach due to an unapproved engine change.

Briscoe made his last qualifying lap around the 1.968-mile, 11-turn Long Beach street circuit in one minute, 8.6089 seconds. His time was 0.0984 seconds better than Power's quickest lap. Briscoe will roll off from the 11th starting position because of the penalty.

"It bites," said Briscoe, who claimed his first IndyCar pole since 2010 at Chicagoland and his first on a road/street course since 2009 at Mid-Ohio. "The important thing is we know we have a fast car and we're making the best of the situation."

Power had won the pole at Long Beach the past three seasons. He will start 12th in this race.

"It was a good battle in the Fast Six," Power said. "I gave it everything I had. Qualifying was everything, because you didn't want to be starting 15th or 16th."

Ryan Hunter-Reay from Andretti was third fastest, while Dario Franchitti, the three-time defending series champion and 2009 Long Beach race winner, was fourth on the time charts. Franchitti and his Ganassi teammates -- Scott Dixon, Graham Rahal and Charlie Kimball -- utilize the Honda engine.

Franchitti will be joined on the front row by rookie Josef Newgarden, who drives an entry for Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing. Newgarden came up 0.03 seconds short of advancing into the Fast Six for the first time.

Justin Wilson and Simon Pagenaud will start from the second row, while Dixon and Takuma Sato will share row three.

04/14 20:01:58 ET


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