Andretti takes Fontana pole
American edges out Briscoe in qualifying at season finale
Last Updated: September 15, 2012 9:42am
Marco Andretti: Will start on pole position for season-ending race
Marco Andretti edged out Ryan Briscoe to claim pole position for the final race of the 2012 IndyCar Series at Fontana.
Andretti posted a two-lap average of 216.06 mph to beat Briscoe to top spot by just 0.0032 seconds at the Auto Club Speedway.
In temperatures that reached 39 degrees Centigrade at the California circuit, Andretti secured the second pole of his career and his first in four seasons.
A total of 14 drivers, including title challengers Will Power and Ryan Hunter-Reay, were given 10-place grid penalties for unapproved engine changes.
Power, who is 17 points ahead of Hunter-Reay going into the event, was third fastest but will be relegated to 13th.
Ryan Hunter-Reay could only manage 17th position, meaning his 10-place grid penalty will drop him to the back of the grid.
Scott Dixon and Helio Castroneves, who are the best of the rest in the points table, were fifth and 10th fastest respectively but will also have to drop 10 spots on the grid.
Meanwhile British driver Mike Conway, who suffered a horror crash in Indianapolis in 2012, pulled out of the event after admitting he was no longer comfortable driving on ovals. He was replaced by Wade Cunningham.