Franchitti on IndyCar pole, De Silvestro crashes

Wisconsin: Scotland`s Dario Franchitti earned pole position for Sunday`s IndyCar race at the Milwaukee Mile, where a qualifying crash sent Simona De Silvestro to hospital.

Franchitti seized pole position on Saturday with an average speed of 170.841 mph.

Brazilian Helio Castroneves was second-fastest, followed by New Zealand`s Scott Dixon.

It was another tough day for Switzerland`s De Silvestro, who was hospitalised after crashing on her qualifying run.

An IndyCar series spokesperson said De Silvestro was awake and alert, but was taken to hospital for further evaluation.

She spun and slammed the wall hard, her car then sliding backwards into the inside wall.

"Hopefully she`s OK," Franchitti said. "You tend not to have small accidents around here, so I`m hoping she`s all right."

Last month, De Silvestro burned her hands in a fiery, flying crash during Indianapolis 500 practice, although she went on to race in the series` signature event with her hands bandaged.

Australian Will Power takes a 21-point lead over Franchitti in the series standings into Sunday`s race at Milwaukee, where IndyCar is returning after the circuit`s financial problems prevented it from hosting any major races last year.

Power left himself plenty of work to do come Sunday, qualifying 17th-fastest.

"Will obviously didn`t have a good qualifying there," Franchitti said. "But trust me, he`ll be there tomorrow."

Franchitti had his own problems on his qualifying laps.

"In the middle of (turn) three and four, the car snapped sideways on the first lap, which caught me by surprise," Franchitti said. "I was able to still keep it flat. The second lap, I knew it was coming, but it wasn`t any easier or any more pleasant."

Bureau Report

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