Conway takes pole for race 2 at Detroit

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Updated: 6/01/2013 11:39 am

Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - Mike Conway will start on the pole for the second race in the IndyCar Series doubleheader this weekend at Detroit's Belle Isle Park.

Conway, who is driving the No. 18 car for Dale Coyne Racing in both Detroit races, made a lap around the 2.36-mile, 13-turn Belle Isle circuit in 1 minute, 18.0977 seconds during Saturday morning's qualifying session. Race 2 is scheduled for Sunday (3:30 p.m. ET).

It was the first career IndyCar pole win for both Conway and team owner Dale Coyne. Conway is making just his second and third starts of the 2013 season here in Detroit. His first start of the year came on April 21 at Long Beach, Calif., where he started fifth and finished 25th. He drove a second entry for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing in that event.

"We just had to hang out and see what we had, and it was enough for pole," Conway said. "Excellent job by all the guys on the team at Dale Coyne Racing for making this happen. We couldn't have asked for much more coming into this weekend."

On Friday, Conway qualified third for race 1. Dario Franchitti won the pole for that event with a lap in 1:19.3311, but Franchitti will have to start 11th due to a 10-grid spot penalty for an unapproved engine change at Indianapolis. Therefore, E.J. Viso will start on pole and Conway second for Saturday's race (3:30 p.m. ET).

All drivers participated in one of two groups during qualifying for the second race. Group 1 consisted of odd-numbered positions on Friday's practice time sheet, while even-numbered positions comprised group 2. There was five minutes of guaranteed green-flag time in each group session.

The pole for race 2 was awarded to the best overall lap time in qualifying. Conway ran in group 2.

James Jakes was quickest in group 1 with a lap in 1:18.1704. Jakes will share the front row with Conway in race 2.

Will Power qualified third, while Ryan Hunter-Reay, the defending IndyCar champion, and Viso rounded out the top-five.

Sixth through 10th were: Simon Pagenaud, Scott Dixon, Justin Wilson, Helio Castroneves and James Hinchcliffe.

Franchitti qualified 16th.

The final three minutes of the group 1 session was stopped when Alex Tagliani spun around and stalled on course. Tagliani, who was quickest in Friday's practice, qualified last in the 25-car field for race 2.

"I think we would have had a shot at pole if our session hadn't been cut short (by a red flag for Tagliani's incident)," Jakes said. "In a way it's good, but it's still a little disappointing to miss out on pole."

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