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Dixon snatches Detroit Indy Grand Prix pole

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The Sports Network
8/30/2008 2:19:15 PM
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Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - After a disappointing performance last weekend at the Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA, IndyCar Series points leader Scott Dixon rebounded Saturday by winning the pole for the Detroit Indy Grand Prix at The Raceway at Belle Isle.

The No.9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver rounded the 2.07-mile road course in one minute, 12.2861 seconds (103.090 m.p.h.).

The pole victory was Dixon's seventh of the season and the 14th of his IndyCar career. He moved ahead of Greg Ray for second on the series' all-time pole winners list.

"The Target team did everything this weekend," Dixon said. "We've had a fantastic car. I had a smoking lap going too, but I seemed to pull the car up right in the middle of it, so we still got more up on the car, and I'm happy that we were able to get a pole."

Helio Castroneves attempted to win his second-straight pole but settled for the second starting position with a qualifying time of 1:12.7649.

Castroneves started on the pole and won last Sunday at Sonoma. His victory coupled with a 12th-place finish for Dixon allowed Castroneves to move within 43 points of Dixon with just two races remaining in the season.

Dixon can clinch the title if he wins on Sunday's 90-lap event at Detroit, regardless of where Castroneves finishes. However, if Dixon finishes 11th or worse, and Castroneves finishes ahead of him, Castroneves remains in contention, setting up a shootout in the September 7th season-finale at Chicagoland.

Oriol Servia (1:12.9618) and Justin Wilson (1:13.0530) will start on row two.

Ryan Briscoe and Graham Rahal were the other drivers running in the final of the three-segment qualifying segments. They will start fifth and sixth, respectively.

The 12 quickest drivers, the top-six from each of the first two qualifying groups, then competed for 15 minutes to eliminate six drivers for the final segment.

The green flag is scheduled to drop on Sunday around 3:30 p.m. (et).

Scott Dixon (Photo: Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
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