Will Power flies to Kentucky IndyCar pole as Dario Franchitti starts 11th

IndyCar championship leader Will Power gave his title bid another boost by taking pole position at Kentucky Speedway, while his title rival Dario Franchitti was only 11th

Will Power flies to Kentucky IndyCar pole as Dario Franchitti starts 11th

Penske driver Power's two-lap average of 219.283mph allowed him to beat Ganassi's Graham Rahal to the top spot by a relatively comfortable margin. The result is Power's eighth pole of the season - equalling the series' record.

Rookies James Hinchcliffe (Newman/Haas) and JR Hildebrand (Panther) enjoyed very strong qualifying runs to claim third and fifth, split by an equally impressive showing from Sarah Fisher Racing's Ed Carpenter, who took his team's best ever grid spot.

Marco Andretti was Andretti Autosport's top contender in sixth, followed by Ganassi's Scott Dixon.

Behind Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti), Oriol Servia (Newman/Haas) and Charlie Kimball (Ganassi), Franchitti could only manage 11th, his two-lap pace nearly half a second down on Power.

The polesitter was the only member of the Penske trio on the pace - his team-mates Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe will start way back in 16th and 18th respectively. KV Racing Technology also struggled, with Tony Kanaan its top starter in a lowly 19th.

Returnee Dan Wheldon's Sam Schmidt Motorsports car did not pass its technical inspection so he was unable to make a qualifying run and will start at the back - just as he will when racing for a multi-million dollar prize at Las Vegas in a fortnight.

The Indianapolis 500 winner will be joined at the tail of the field by Pippa Mann, who crashed her Rahal Letterman Lanigan entry. The accident was much smaller than the Loudon shunt that sidelined her with back injuries on her last appearance.

Pos  Driver               Team                     Speed
 1.  Will Power           Penske                   219.283
 2.  Graham Rahal         Ganassi                  218.348
 3.  James Hinchcliffe    Newman/Haas              218.186
 4.  Ed Carpenter         Sarah Fisher             218.004
 5.  JR Hildebrand        Panther                  217.872
 6.  Marco Andretti       Andretti                 217.807
 7.  Scott Dixon          Ganassi                  217.692
 8.  Ryan Hunter-Reay     Andretti                 217.632
 9.  Oriol Servia         Newman/Haas              217.520
10.  Charlie Kimball      Ganassi                  217.357
11.  Dario Franchitti     Ganassi                  217.213
12.  Mike Conway          Andretti                 217.110
13.  Simona de Silvestro  HVM                      216.924
14.  Danica Patrick       Andretti                 216.768
15.  Wade Cunningham      Sam Schmidt              216.763
16.  Helio Castroneves    Penske                   216.732
17.  Buddy Rice           Panther                  216.685
18.  Ryan Briscoe         Penske                   216.669
19.  Tony Kanaan          KV                       216.484
20.  Ana Beatriz          Dreyer & Reinbold        216.424
21.  Vitor Meira          Foyt                     216.300
22.  Takuma Sato          KV                       215.856
23.  EJ Viso              KV                       215.789
24.  Alex Lloyd           Dale Coyne               215.607
25.  Dillon Battistini    Conquest                 215.578
26.  Townsend Bell        Dreyer & Reinbold        215.404
27.  James Jakes          Dale Coyne               214.297
28.  Dan Wheldon          Sam Schmidt
29.  Pippa Mann           Rahal Letterman Lanigan
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