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MOTOR RACING ROUNDUP

Dario Franchitti wins pole for IRL Honda Indy

Franchitti captures his third pole in five IndyCar Series races.

July 12, 2009|Associated Press

Dario Franchitti couldn't remember the first time he won a pole on the street course in Toronto. He hasn't forgotten how to get around the tricky 11-turn circuit.

Franchitti captured his third pole in five IndyCar Series races Saturday for Target Chip Ganassi Racing, beating part-time Penske driver Will Power for the top spot for today's Honda Indy.

"That was an awful long time ago," Franchitti said of the only pole he won as a Champ Car rookie in 1997. "I was trying to remember what I did right so I could do it in practice. It took me until the first qualifying run this afternoon. Up until then, I hadn't been driving the track properly. I wasn't getting a rhythm. I finally got in that rhythm, and the difference was massive."

Intermittent thunderstorms were predicted, and one struck just as morning practice was set to begin. Seven drivers made one lap before the session was halted, and when it resumed 73 minutes later, the track was still wet and slippery, and Franchitti was one of several drivers to spin out.

Power was followed by Graham Rahal, Watkins Glen winner Justin Wilson, Canada's Alex Tagliani, and Mike Conway, who will start sixth for the second straight race.

Franchitti's teammate, series points leader Scott Dixon, will go off eighth, while Penske's Ryan Briscoe, tied for second in the standings with Franchitti, will start 11th. In her first career appearance at Toronto, Danica Patrick, fifth in points, will start 18th, her second-worst showing of the season.

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Formula One

Red Bull's Mark Webber earned pole position for Formula One's German Grand Prix ahead of Brawn GP's Rubens Barrichello at Nuerburgring, Germany.

Webber secured his first career pole with a fastest lap of 1 minute, 32.230 seconds around a slippery Nuerburgring circuit.

Overall F1 leader Jenson Button, who has won six of eight races this season, will start third ahead of local favorite Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull, who is the only other driver with victories this year.

Webber is still seeking his first win, competing in his 132nd race.

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Irwindale

Nick Joanides and Rip Michels each earned a victory and a second-place finish in the NASCAR ACDelco Super Late Model 40-lap twin feature races at Toyota Speedway in Irwindale. Joanides' victory was his ninth of the season and maintained his division points lead over Michels, who won the first race of the twin bill.

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