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Milwaukee Mile Return: Franchitti Lands Pole While Simona Sent to Hospital

No NameAnalyst IJune 18, 2011

It was a bittersweet return to the Milwaukee Mile for the IndyCar Series today. The Target/Chip Ganassi and KV Racing Teams had great success, while championship points leader Will Power struggled.

The main story though is the crash in qualifying involving Simona de Silvestro, that sent her to the hospital.

On her second warmup lap in qualifying, the HVM Racing No. 78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car driven by Simona de Silvestro made rear end contact with the wall in turn four, then backed into the inside retaining wall. She was awake and alert and transported by ground to Froedert Medical Center for further evaluation.

Dario Franchitti managed to separate himself from Will Power, which didn't involve a blind draw to determine the field. Franchitti won the pole award in the return to Milwaukee, giving himself one extra point in the standings. It is his 25th career IndyCar pole, which ties him with Paul Tracy for ninth all-time.

Power, who topped the speed chart in the initial practice session on Friday, will have a season-low 17th starting position. He had a moment during his qualifying run in turn three where he appeared to get loose, costing him valuable positions.

His Penske teammate Helio Castroneves shook off the rust and put his car on the front row beside Franchitti. He has had some bad finishes here in the past five or six races, and really needs to have a solid finish to regain his confidence.

The defending race winner, Scott Dixon, won this race in 2009 while starting in row two. He will start in third, on the inside of row two on Sunday. Not to be outdone by the Ganassi team, KV Racing put all three of their drivers in the front of the field together. Tony Kanaan starts in fourth, Takuma Sato in fifth and E.J. Viso in sixth.

Rounding out the top 10 qualifiers, are Ryan Hunter-Reay and Ryan Briscoe in row four, with Marco Andretti and Oriol Servia in row five.

The race is set to air at 3:30 p.m. on ABC tomorrow, Father's Day.

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