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Conway earns pole for 2nd Dual in Detroit INDYCAR race

June 1, 2013

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The grids are now set for INDYCAR’s first doubleheader races in its history. Saturday morning saw the second round of qualifying – for Sunday’s 70-lap race on the Belle Isle Park road course – as the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit roars on.

The early morning session was held under mostly clear skies; Dale Coyne Racing’s Mike Conway, in the second group was quickest of all at 108.326 mph, while Rahal Letterman Lanigan’s James Jakes was fastest in the other group at 108.225. Now that’s close!

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“We’ve got really good starting position, with second and first, and we couldn’t have asked for much more coming into this weekend,” said Conway on how this weekend has gone.  “I was hoping I’d make the Firestone Fast Six, but to do it as well as we’ve done is amazing. So big credit goes to the team and my teammate (Justin Wilson)  for giving us a good car.”

Conway is doing single road-course race for Coyne this weekend and earned the long-standing team owner his first INDYCAR pole position. Coyne has had a few front-row starts for his squad but this is the first time one of his drivers has earned a pole! “This is great to get our first Pole,” Coyne said.  “We have had many front row performances, but I am thankful for Mike bringing us our first Pole. Maybe a yellow Sonny’s car is good luck.”

INDYCAR did release the official starting lineup for race No. 1, which starts this afternoon around 3:30PM (live on ABC). Because of polesitter Dario Franchitti’s unapproved engine change during practice at Indy, he moves back to 11th, leaving Ej Viso on pole, Conway second, Jakes third, Ryan Hunter-Reay fourth and Alex Tagliani fifth. The balance of the top 10 starters are rookie Tristan Vautier, Takuma Sato, Simon Pagenaud, Will Power and Sebastian Saavedra. Of that group, only Jakes, Tagliani, Vautier and Saavedra will use Firestone’s red, alternate tires to begin the 70-lap contest.

In addition to Franchitti, Graham Rahal, Josef Newgarden and Charlie Kimball have 10-spot engine penalties and will start at the rear of the field.

I can give you the orders from this morning’s qualifying, but the grid won’t be officially set until tomorrow, pending any further engine, blocking or other penalties from today’s race. Engine penalties do not occur if an incident occurs during a race but are effective at any other time.

Conway starts first, followed by Jakes, Will Power, Hunter-Reay, Viso, Pagenaud, Scott Dixon, Wilson, Helio Castroneves and James Hinchcliffe comprising the top 10, an even split of engine manufacturers Chevrolet and Honda. Some big surprises were Marco Andretti in 14th, Franchitti in 16th this morning and Alex Tagliani, who caused a red flag in the first group of qualifiers, back of the 25-car pack.

Words and Photos By Anne Proffit

 

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