Castroneves lands pole spot

Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves will start this year's race from pole position after setting the fastest time in yesterday's delayed pole day. "It happened again," Castroneves said of his success at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "I can't believe it. This place is magic."

Castroneves lands pole spot

After posting the fastest average, Castroneves waited as two drivers - Marlboro Team Penske team-mate Gil de Ferran and Scott Sharp - tried to knock him off. Both fell short, and Castroneves will begin his run for a record third consecutive Indy 500 win from the coveted pole position.

"This place is incredible," Castroneves said. "You never can predict what's going to happen. How many experienced guys all of a sudden didn't have a chance? All of a sudden something bad happens. All the time this place seems to be good to me."

By the time the wind gusts died and the pieces fell into place, Castroneves was inside the front row in his Toyota-powered Dallara. Tony Kanaan will start in the middle of the front row in his Honda/Dallara, with Andretti Green team-mate Robby Gordon on the outside, also in a Honda/Dallara.

Scott Dixon, Dan Wheldon and Kenny Brack will fill the second row. Tora Takagi, Tony Renna and Sharp make up the third row.

British star Wheldon took the top spot early on with a four-lap average of 229.958. Wheldon, the fourth driver in the four-man AGR lineup, had been the surprise of the practice week, posting the fastest lap during three sessions. By the time he got back to his garage, though, Wheldon was third, pushed back by Dixon and Gordon.

"It's my nature to want to be on the pole," Wheldon said. "I'm kind of used to being on top of the speed chart, so it sucks to come in here in third."

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