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Castroneves Claims Japan Pole

Castroneves Claims Japan Pole

Castroneves Claims Japan Pole
RacingOne Staff

Helio Castroneves began the defense of his 2006 Indy Japan 300 victory on the right foot, claiming pole for Saturday's race with a fast lap of 205.393 mph at Twin Ring Motegi.

Castroneves, who also started from pole last season at the 1.5-mile oval (although the starting lineup in 2006 was based on driver points since qualifying was rained out), took his second consecutive pole position of 2007 and 18th of his IndyCar Series career.

Coming out last in the qualifying session, Dan Wheldon came close overtaking Castroneves, but finished 0.0328 seconds behind with a fast lap of 205.141 mph.

Tony Kanaan, who led two of three practice sessions of the weekend, will start third with Andretti Green Racing teammate Danica Patrick, who led the second practice session of the weekend, and Sam Hornish Jr. rounding out the top five.

Current championship points leader Scott Dixon qualified sixth fastest with Dario Franchitti, Tomas Scheckter, Japanese born Kosuke Matsuura and Marco Andretti completing the top 10 of the 18-car field.

Saturday’s Indy Japan 300 at Twin Ring Motegi is scheduled to take the green flag shortly after 12:01 a.m. (ET) Saturday. While IMS Radio and XM Satellite Radio will provide live coverage of the event, ESPN will offer the telecast of the 200 lap event at 3 p.m. (ET) on Saturday afternoon.

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