Tony Kanaan takes Las Vegas pole

Tony Kanaan

Tony Kanaan

Tony Kanaan has spoilt the day of IZOD IndyCar World Championships title contenders, taking pole in season finale.

While title rivals Will Power and Dario Franchitti will starting next to each other, they will begin the race from the uncustomary position of the ninth row.

Verizon Team Penske’s Power enters the 200-lap race 18 points behind Franchitti entering the season finale.

He says that Team Penske is still trying to search for speed out of his car.

“Speed means so much at this track and we’re still just trying to get more out of the Verizon car,” said Power, who will drive with Mark Winterbottom in next weekend’s Armor All Gold Coast 600.

“That’s definitely not the result we wanted out of qualifying but we know that this is going to be a pack race and hopefully we can use that to our advantage and move forward.

“We need to win and we have some time between now and then to make sure we are getting the most out of the car.”

Franchitti admits that it will be tough for Power to overhaul his 18 point lead.

“I’m glad I don’t have to make up those 18 points. When I saw Will do his lap, I was pleasantly surprised,” he said.

Kanaan’s pole was his first PEAK Performance Pole Award of the season, the 15th of his IZOD IndyCar Series career and his first since Richmond in 2008.

“It feels awesome,” said Kanaan, driving the No. 82 GEICO KV Racing Technology-Lotus.

“I can’t thank the GEICO-KV guys enough. We had such an awful race at Kentucky that we needed to turn it around. They went back to the shop to massage that car as much as they could and it paid off.”

Kanaan edged Oriol Servia by 0.0037s for the top spot. Ed Carpenter will start third ahead of Alex Tagliani.

Kanaan will drive with Jason Bargwanna in the international flavoured Gold Coast street race.

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