It looked like Dario Franchitti's average of 225.191 MPH was going to hold up, but then a couple of Brazilians decided to take the last two runs. They had it made in the shade, and the Brickyard drama of the new qualification format finally unfolded.
The good news for AGR is that all five of their drivers got the top 11, as Scott Sharp and Darren Manning were unable to best Michael Andretti's 226.789. The bad news is that Helio Castroneves snagged the pole from Franchitti and Tony Kanaan's subsequent run faltered on the final lap in what looked to be the best run of the day.
Observers will note that Hornish probably could have had the pole were it not for bobbles inb both of his attempts. He can take solace in knowing it's just qualification.
The best part of the broadcast was watching Ashley Judd (and her big hat) explain that it's not her job to calm her husband down, as the camera panned over to Dario in some sort of zen-style sitting position. This my friends is a fun couple - we need a reality series here, ABC.
The surprise of course was that after dominating for much of the week, the Target Twins both qualified only in row two. Chip will be on suicide watch (kidding!) while Danny White Shades will probably be wound tighter than usual the next few weeks (not kidding!).
Ryan Briscoe qualified in 7th, which is spectacular news for his team since he has to be racing elsewhere next week. That was the lowest qualification of the three Penske cars "Penske" cars - try to act shocked. Also, Tomas Scheckter again quietly got the job done by taking the 10th starting position. Solid.
1-11 are in the books. Tomorrow the next 11 are in. Dig it.
1. Helio Castroneves 225.817
2. Tony Kanaan 225.757
3. Dario Franchitti 225.191
4. Scott Dixon 225.122
5. Sam Hornish Jr 225.109
6. Dan Wheldon 224.641
7. Ryan Briscoe 224.410
8. Danica Patrick 224.076
9. Marco Andretti 223.299
10. Tomas Scheckter 222.877
11. Michael Andretti 222.789
Oh, by the way - the cars looked smashing in HD!
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