Dario Franchitti, eager to seize back the IndyCar series lead he lost last weekend, will start from second in the Detroit Grand Prix.
His main rival, Target Chip Ganassi’s Scott Dixon, picked up a place in the Firestone Fast Six shoot-out for pole, but still starts only third.
Brazilian Helio Castroneves celebrated the announcement that he will take part in a forthcoming series of Dancing With the Stars – the USA’s version of Strictly Come Dancing – by showing some fancy footwork to take pole.
Franchitti’s second place came despite a crash that left his mechanics with some serious rebuilding work to do.
He said: “This morning, the car felt really good. We had made some changes from yesterday and we had put up a good time on old tyres. When we put on new tyres, we were much faster until I got into the wall in Turn 6. The Canadian Club team did a fantastic job getting the car repaired for qualifying.
“I was really happy with the single-lap time. Then we put up a pretty good time during the Firestone Fast Six. We knew we had gotten all we could out of the car, so we parked it.
“It was a good run. It’s always one of those things when you get beaten by less than a tenth (of a second), you think, ‘I could have done better there, or better there’ but when the tyres were at their best, that’s what I did.
“But especially after what happened this morning with crashing the car and the guys having to rebuild it, they really did a great job with that. So I’m proud of them and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
Franchitti trails Dixon by four points, having led by 65 before a recent series of accident-strewn races allowed the New Zealander past.