Kanaan benefits from rain

A fierce downpour washed out qualifying Saturday for the Honda Indy 225 IRL IndyCar Series race at Pikes Peak International Raceway. Kanaan, who had the fastest lap during the two practice sessions before the storm, will start from pole position.

Kanaan benefits from rain

Andretti Green Racing team-mate Dan Wheldon, who's chasing Kanaan for the series championship, will start alongside him on the front row. All four AGR cars will start among the top six: Dario Franchitti had the fourth-fastest lap in Saturday's combined practice results, while Bryan Herta had the sixth-best.

"It's a shame we didn't get to qualify," Kanaan said. "I think this team could have gone 1-2-3-4. It's not the way we wanted it to be, but I'll take it."

Kanaan was clocked at 20.6527 seconds - 174.311mph - in the No. 11 Andretti Green Racing Honda-powered Dallara during the afternoon session. At 173.586mph in the same session, Wheldon's No. 26 AGR Honda/Dallara was second-fastest.

Rahal Letterman Racing driver Vitor Meira, who will start fourth, helped Honda make it a top-four sweep in his Honda/Panoz G Force. Helio Castroneves was the only Toyota to break the top seven. He'll start fifth.

"All four Andretti Green cars were very strong," Wheldon said. "It's a critical moment in the season. You can tell the difference between the teams that are in the championship battle and those that aren't. The ones that are in it are trying different things."

Buddy Rice, who trails Kanaan by 50 points with five races remaining in the season, will start 11th Sunday. Adrian Fernandez, last week's winner at Kentucky Speedway, will start seventh.

Chevrolet's struggles continued Saturday as Felipe Giaffone posted the fastest lap for GM Racing. He will start 12th.

The only incident of the day sent Kosuke Matsuura to his back-up car.

Matsuura's No. 55 Super Aguri Fernandez Racing Honda/G Force spun and hit the wall during the second practice session Saturday. Matsuura was not hurt, but the car was badly damaged.

"There was no sign of a problem with the car, so I don't know why I spun," Matsuura said. "We are now trying to find out what happened."

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