Dario Franchitti knows he has quite a battle as he sits in last place in the points standings. On Saturday he made a great stride in his uphill climb by winning the pole for tomorrow’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The four-time series champion will make his 250th career start from the front of the field on Sunday.
Last year Franchitti started this race on pole, after all of the Chevrolet engine grid penalties were assessed. Hunter-Reay will join Dario on the front row, with Power and Sato in row 2, and Conway and Castroneves in row 3. Five of the top six drivers have already won at Long Beach. Hinchcliffe, Kanaan, Kimball, and Viso round out the top 10.
The six drivers that advanced from group 1 included Conway, Sato, Kanaan, Viso, and Rahal. The six that moved on from a loaded group 2 were Power, Hinchcliffe, Hunter-Reay, Kimball, Castroneves, and Hildebrand. Dixon was up to 4th position, but was given a penalty for spinning with about a minute remaining. Servia had to hit the tire barrier in order to avoid hitting Dixon, but was also given a penalty.
Pagenaud will start 17th, de Silvestro 18th, Vautier 19th, Andretti 24th, and Dixon 26th. It was just another rough go at Long Beach for Dixon. In his last six races here, he has finished 19th, 18th, 15th, 4th, 18th, and 23rd. It will be his worst career start, starting from the back while his teammate starts from the pole. Andretti was in position to advance to the next round, but was given a penalty for blocking Hildebrand.
The 39th running of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will air on NBC Sports Network on Sunday at 4 pm ET. The green flag is set to waive at 4:45 pm.