Points leaders struggle in Indy qualifying

Oct. 14, 2011 at 10:10 PM

LAS VEGAS, Oct. 14 (UPI) -- Dario Franchitti and Will Power, battling for the IndyCar championship, both suffered disappointing qualifying runs Friday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Tony Kanaan won the pole for the IZOD IndyCar Championship race with a two-lap average of 222.078 mph at the 1.5-mile track. It was the 15th pole of his IndyCar career, but his first in more than three years.

The most closely watched qualifying runs, however, were turned in by Franchitti and Power, who will sit next to each other in the ninth row when the race begins Sunday.

Franchitti holds an 18-point lead over Power heading into the last of the 17 races in the IndyCar season. Franchitti is trying to win a record third consecutive championship and his fourth overall.

Oriol Servia qualified second, followed by Ed Carpenter and Alex Tagliani. Carpenter won his first IndyCar race this month in Kentucky.

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