Dario Franchitti will start Saturday’s Iowa Corn 250 IndyCar Series race from pole position. The Scot won the third and final qualifying heat race at the short-track oval in the event’s unusual qualifying format, which featured three heat races to determine the race’s starting order.
The final heat race featured the eight fastest drivers from the second timed practice session, with defending race-winner Marco Andretti starting from pole position for the thirty-lap sprint race.
Franchitti would start from second, but took the lead on the fifth lap to win the event and the all-important pole position. But the Chip Ganassi driver will be mindful that this won’t guarantee him a good result come race day. At the last two oval events, Franchitti has qualified well, but suffered from either poor race pace or a mishap on race day.
Andretti would fall to third place behind Helio Castroneves, who earned the front-row starting berth alongside Franchitti by finishing second in the heat race.
James Hinchcliffe will start from fourth place, after managing to get ahead of the Penske Chevrolets of Will Power and Ryan Briscoe, who also managed to swap positions during the race. They will start alongside each other on the third row of the grid.
Ryan Hunter-Reay – winner last weekend at Milwaukee – will start from seventh place, with Scott Dixon in eighth.
Heat 2 saw a win for Tony Kanaan, who moved from fourth place to win and earn a provisional ninth-placed starting position. The Brazilian managed to get his KV Racing Chevrolet ahead after passing Justin Wilson and the battling Alex Tagliani and Rubens Barrichello for the lead. But Kanaan will take a ten-place grid penalty for having to change his engine ahead of this weekend’s race.
The first heat race was won comfortably by Graham Rahal, who claimed a win with an impressive margin of 6.2 seconds from Josef Newgarden in a race that featured little in the way of overtaking. But just like Heat 2 winner Kanaan, Rahal will also take a grid penalty for his own engine change.
2012 IndyCars Iowa Corn 250 – Qualifying Heat Race 1 (30 laps):
|1.||Graham Rahal||Chip Ganassi Racing||9:00.6441||10*|
|2.||Josef Newgarden (R)||Sarah Fisher Hartman||+ 6.2134||12|
|3.||JR Hildebrand||Panther Racing||+ 6.5594||14|
|4.||EJ Viso||KV Racing Technology||+ 7.4531||16*|
|5.||Oriol Servià||Dreyer & Reinbold / Panther||+ 8.3586||18|
|6.||Mike Conway||AJ Foyt Enterprises||+ 10.8144||20|
|7.||Ed Carpenter||Ed Carpenter Racing||+ 13.4036||22|
|8.||Takuma Sato||Rahal Letterman Lanigan||+ 18.5671||24|
The results from Heat Race 1 will determine the even-numbered race starting positions from tenth place onwards. An asterisk (*) denotes a 10-place grid penalty will be imposed for an unscheduled engine change.
2012 IndyCars Iowa Corn 250 – Qualifying Heat Race 2 (30 laps):
The results from Heat Race 2 will determine the odd-numbered race starting positions from ninth place onwards. An asterisk (*) denotes a 10-place grid penalty will be imposed for an unscheduled engine change.
2012 IndyCars Iowa Corn 250 – Qualifying Heat Race 3 (30 laps):
|1.||Dario Franchitti||Chip Ganassi Racing||9:16.9203||1|
|2.||Hélio Castroneves||Team Penske||+ 1.4671||2|
|3.||Marco Andretti||Andretti Autosport||+ 5.1884||3|
|4.||James Hinchcliffe||Andretti Autosport||+ 5.9813||4|
|5.||Ryan Briscoe||Team Penske||+ 6.5813||5|
|6.||Will Power||Team Penske||+ 7.3543||6|
|7.||Ryan Hunter-Reay||Andretti Autosport||+ 7.8433||7|
|8.||Scott Dixon||Chip Ganassi Racing||+ 9.2963||8|
The results from Heat Race 3 will determine the top-eight race starting positions. An asterisk (*) denotes a 10-place grid penalty will be imposed for an unscheduled engine change.