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Marco Andretti Shatters Track Record to Win the Pole in Open-Wheel’s Return to Pocono Raceway

July 6th, 2013 at 4:37 PM
By Mark Eddinger

For the first time since 1989 open-wheel racing has returned to Pocono Raceway and on Saturday Marco Andretti beat the old track record with an average two-lap speed of 221.273 mph. Emerson Fittipaldi set the old track record in 1989 at 211.715 mph. Andretti earned the pole around the "Tricky Triangle" for Sunday's running of the Pocono IndyCar 400 Fueled by Sunoco.

'IndyCar-053' photo (c) 2013, Bryce Womeldurf - license:

It is the second pole of 2013 for Andretti and the fourth of his career.

"It's just an unbelievable team performance across the board," said Andretti. "Happy for the RC Cola guys and Andretti Autosport as a whole. We've been making statement after statement so it's a good feeling. We got everything we could out of the RC Cola car."

Andretti was happy for his Andretti Autosport team as a whole because he will be joined on the three-wide front row by teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay and James Hinchcliffe.

The pole is even more special for Andretti because Pocono is almost a home race as he hails from nearby Nazareth, PA.

The Pocono IndyCar 400 is the second race in the Fuzzy's Triple Crown and Tony Kanaan, the winner of the first Triple Crown race at the Indianapolis 500, will start from the fifth position. If Kanaan wins on Sunday he will go to the final leg of the Triple Crown at the season-finale at Auto Club Speedway with a chance to win $1 million.

Team Penske's duo of Will Power and Helio Castroneves will join Kanaan in row two starting fourth and sixth respectively. Scott Dixon qualified seventh but has to serve a 10-spot grid penalty due to an engine change so he will start from 17th.

That gives row three to Takuma Sato, Simon Pagenaud, and Simona De Silvestro. Row four belongs to Tristan Vautier, Sebastien Bourdais, and Charlie Kimball. Row five is James Jakes, Ed Carpenter, and Josef Newgarden. Graham Rahal will start in row six with Dixon, and Dario Franchitti. Row seven will be Pippa Mann, Justin Wilson, and Sebastian Saavedra. The final row will be EJ Viso, Ryan Briscoe, and Alex Tagliani.

Viso and Tagliani both crashed in Turn 1 during their qualifying attempts. Both drivers were checked and cleared to race on Sunday. Ryan Briscoe, who was competing in an American Le Mans Series race today in Connecticut, did not make a qualifying run in the No. 4 for Panther Racing.

The IndyCar return to Pocono Raceway can be seen at noon ET Sunday on ABC.

Tags: Andretti Autosport, Emerson Fittipaldi, Helio Castroneves, IndyCar, James Hinchcliffe, Marco Andretti, Motorsports, Pocono IndyCar 400, Pocono Raceway, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Scott Dixon, tony kanaan, Triple Crown, Will Power

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