Franchitti takes pole for race 1 in Toronto

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Updated: 7/12/2013 5:23 pm

Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Dario Franchitti won Friday's qualifying for the first of two IndyCar Series races this weekend on the streets of Toronto.

Franchitti made a lap around this 1.75-mile, 11-turn street circuit in 59.6756 seconds for his third pole of the season and the 32nd of his career, which placed him in a tie with Michael Andretti for sixth on IndyCar's all-time pole winners list. Last Sunday, Franchitti recorded his best finish of the season with a third-place run at Pocono Raceway.

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver scored his first pole of the season in April at Long Beach. He also won the pole for the first of two races in Detroit last month but had to start 11th in race 1 due to an unapproved engine change for the prior race (Indianapolis 500).

Franchitti bounced back after being involved in an accident during practice earlier in the day.

"It feels good to get our third pole of the year," Franchitti said. "I made it difficult this morning. I made a mistake in turn 5, taking the right side off the car. The guys (No. 10 team) had to work and repair the car."

Franchitti won the first IndyCar race at Toronto in 2009 and then scored another victory here two years later. In last year's event, Franchitti started on the pole and led the first five laps but had a lengthy pit stop due to a fueling issue, which resulted in a 17th-place finish.

Sebastien Bourdais from Dragon Racing will start on the front row in an IndyCar-sanctioned race for the first time after qualifying second with his lap in 59.7701 seconds. Bourdais won four championships and claimed 31 poles in Champ Car, including three poles at Toronto. He won a Champ Car event here in 2004.

"We finally got a break, and the car is heading in the right direction," Bourdais said. "We're starting to understand what this car needs on the new tires, which is something we haven't had since the start of the season."

Will Power qualified third, while Tony Kanaan took the fourth spot.

James Jakes finished fifth in qualifying, but Jakes will incur a 10-spot grid penalty for an engine change at Pocono. Therefore, Scott Dixon, who is Franchitti's teammate, will start fifth. Dixon won his first race of the season at Pocono.

Ryan Hunter-Reay, the defending IndyCar champion and last year's race winner at Toronto, placed seventh in qualifying. Helio Castroneves, the current points leader, was eighth, followed by Justin Wilson and Ryan Briscoe.

Saturday's race is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET. Sunday's event is slated for the same time. Qualifying for race 2 will take place on Saturday morning.

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