After starting from pole, Kevin Harvick won today's Camping World Truck Series Race at Martinsville, Va. The good news for Canadian fans is that J.R. Fitzpatrick of Cambridge, Ont., finished 12th after starting 20th.
Stunning news from Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama where James Hinchcliffe of Oakville has qualified second behind pole-sitter Helio Castroneves for tomorrow’s second race of the young IZOD IndyCar Series season.
Hinchcliffe, who replaced Danica Patrick in the Go-Daddy-sponsored Andretti Autosport Dallara -Chevrolet after the 2011 season, turned a time of 1 minute, 10:5222 seconds (117.410 miles an hour) to just edge Scott Dixon’s Dallara-Honda (1:10:529/117:398 mph) for the front-row spot beside last week’s St. Petersburg season-opener winner, Castroneves (1:104768/117:485 mph).
It will be the first IndyCar front-row start for Hinchcliffe, who won the series’ Sunoco Rookie-Of-The Year title last season. He started fourth in St. Petersburg and finished fourth, which tied his best finish of a year ago.
“Obviously, a great start for us to be on the outside of the front row,” said Hinchcliffe, a veteran of Indy Lights and Formula Atlantic. “It’s a great result after the way practice went and being rained out (Friday), then being fogged out this morning. We only had 14 dry laps coming into qualifying.”
But it was the same for everybody and it produced lots of other surprises.
Team Penske’s Will Power set a track record but will start ninth. Tony Kanaan, who had a miserable time last weekend, will go off sixth. Perennial champion Dario Franchitti (three straight titles, four in the last five years – and he took a crack at NASCAR that other year) could only manage to qualify 18th. Ex-F1 driver Rubens Barrichello will start 14th. Fastest of the Lotus qualifiers was Sebastien Bourdais, who will start 17th. Alex Tagliani of Montreal will go off 23rd and 26th and last is a very swift driver indeed, Oriole Servia.
The race is scheduled for 2 p.m. tomorrow but won’t be seen up here till 5 p.m. on TSN2.
It’ll serve them right if Hinchcliffe wins. . .
Incidentally, people are emailing me, suggesting that Hinchcliffe is already overshadowing Danica Patrick.
Well, of course he is, but let’s not get too carried away. They have a new chassis this year and a new engine. She drove the old Dallara with a Honda; he has the new chassis and a Chevy. So there’s a bit of apples and oranges going on.
Witness Franchitti. He’s not gelling with the new car at all. Which is pretty obvious. On the other hand, his teammate, Dixon, is. So who knows how she would have done?
Qualifying Saturday for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama IZOD IndyCar Series event on the 2.3 mile(s) Barber Motorsports Park, with starting position, car number in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, time and speed in parentheses:
1. (3) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Chevy, 01:10.4768 (117.485)
2. (27) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Chevy, 01:10.5222 (117.410)
3. (9) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 01:10.5291 (117.398)
4. (14) Mike Conway, Dallara-Honda, 01:10.8791 (116.819)
5. (4) JR Hildebrand, Dallara-Chevy, 01:11.0759 (116.495)
6. (11) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Chevy, 01:11.3740 (116.009)
7. (5) EJ Viso, Dallara-Chevy, 01:11.5257 (115.763)
8. (38) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 01:11.5841 (115.668)
9. (12) Will Power, Dallara-Chevy, 01:12.0098 (114.984)10. (77) Simon Pagenaud, Dallara-Honda, 01:14.2839 (111.464)
11. (28) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Chevy, No Time (No Speed)
12. (2) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Chevy, No Time (No Speed)
13. (26) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Chevy, 01:10.6512 (117.195)
14. (8) Rubens Barrichello, Dallara-Chevy, 01:10.5664 (117.336)
15. (67) Josef Newgarden, Dallara-Honda, 01:10.6851 (117.139)
16. (15) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 01:10.6111 (117.262)
17. (7) Sebastien Bourdais, Dallara-Lotus, 01:10.7255 (117.072)
18. (10) Dario Franchitti, Dallara-Honda, 01:10.6749 (117.156)
19. (18) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 01:11.5524 (115.719)
20. (19) James Jakes, Dallara-Honda, 01:10.7526 (117.028)
21. (78) Simona de Silvestro, Dallara-Lotus, 01:11.5721 (115.688)
22. (83) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Honda, 01:11.3594 (116.032)
23. (98) Alex Tagliani, Dallara-Lotus, 01:12.5778 (114.084)
24. (20) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Chevy, 01:11.8672 (115.213)
25. (6) Katherine Legge, Dallara-Lotus, 01:13.6457 (112.430)
26. (22) Oriol Servia, Dallara-Lotus, 01:13.3349 (112.907)
Elsewhere, Kasy Kahne has won the pole for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville, Va. Kevin Harvick will start second, with Denny Hamlin third (full lineup here). Dave Blaney, Scott Speed and Mike Bliss missed the show.