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IndyCar: Franchitti grabs pole for Grand Prix of Sonoma

  • Will Power, of Australia, takes a turn during practice for the IndyCar auto race in Sonoma, Calif., Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

SONOMA — Although Dario Franchitti hasn't won an IndyCar race since last year's Indianapolis 500, he's in prime position to snap that unpleasant streak when he starts on the pole Sunday in an excellent Honda at Sonoma Raceway.

But if he can help Scott Dixon by stepping off the gas a bit, Franchitti would be happy to follow team orders.

Franchitti won't put his personal success ahead of Target Chip Ganassi Racing's fortunes. That means Dixon will get every chance to gain ground on IndyCar points leader Helio Castroneves (453 points), who leads second-place Dixon (422) with five races to go.

"I want to win the race, obviously," Franchitti said after turning a lap in 1 minute, 17.5271 seconds to win his 33rd career pole. "But the big picture — and we say this every year in our team — we sit in the first meeting of the year, and our two goals are to win the 500 and win the championship. We didn't win the 500, so we've got to win the championship. Scott is our best shot at that, and whatever I can do to help him win that championship, I will."

Will Power also hasn't won an IndyCar race since early last season in Sao Paulo, yet he feels the same way about Team Penske teammate Castroneves, who needs a strong finish in the waning weeks of the IndyCar season to earn his first championship.


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