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Marco Andretti wins pole for IndyCar race in Fontana

September 14, 2012|By Jim Peltz
  • Marco Andretti will start from pole position for Saturday night's IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana.
Marco Andretti will start from pole position for Saturday night's… (Nick Laham / Getty Images )

Marco Andretti, taking a step toward rebounding from a dismal IndyCar season, won the pole position for Saturday night's season-ending race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana.

Andretti's two-lap average of 216.069 mph on Friday put him in front for the MAVTV 500. It was the second pole of Andretti's career; the first came in 2008.

The son of former racer Michael Andretti, who now owns their Andretti Autosport team, Marco Andretti has struggled much of the year and is 17th in the Izod IndyCar Series standings.

Ryan Briscoe of Team Penske qualified second at 216.058 mph. Put another way, Briscoe covered the Fontana track's two miles in less than 33.5 seconds on each of his two laps.

Briscoe's teammate Will Power leads the series standings by 17 points over Andretti's teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Power and Hunter-Reay are expected to decide the championship Saturday night.

Power qualified third at 215.940 mph and Hunter-Reay was 17th at 212.773 mph.

But both will start deeper in the field Saturday night. They were among 14 drivers who will be docked 10 starting spots because their teams changed their cars' engines for this race.

But Power said his starting position was "no big deal" because the race is 500 miles long and the Fontana track is wide with multiple passing lanes, giving both drivers ample time to reach the front.

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