Alex Tagliani will start Sunday’s IZOD IndyCar Series Milwaukee 225 on the inside of the 10th row after qualifying 19th today on racing’s historic The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wis. 

 

Driving the No. 77 Bowers &Wilkins Dallara/Honda/Firestone car of Sam Schmidt Motorsports, Tagliani recorded a time of 44.0158 seconds at 166.031 mph. In oval track qualifying, IndyCar officials determine the qualifying speed by using the cumulative time of two laps.

Tagliani’s qualifying run came a day after the Canadian driver spun exiting turn four during the first practice session. Slight contact with the wall caused minor damage to the front wing. The Bowers & Wilkins team has been working on finding a comfortable setup for Tagliani since the accident.

“It’s been a pretty difficult weekend so far,” said Tagliani. “Obviously, we are struggling a little bit with the car. We’re not a team that is going to give up, so we’re going to re-group in the trailer tonight. The car seems better now than it has been all weekend. We’re a little bit late on it, but we have good guys and I’m sure that we’re going to come out tomorrow with a good car for the race.”

Defending IZOD IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti won the Peak Performance Pole Award after recording a time of 42.7766 seconds at 170.841 mph late in the qualifying session. It was the Ganassi Racing driver’s 25th pole in major open wheel racing. Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner and Team Penske driver Helio Castroneves will join Franchitti on the front row with his lap of 42.9866 seconds at 169.999 mph.

Franchitti’s Ganassi Racing teammate Scott Dixon will line up right behind him in the second row with a qualifying lap of 43.0942 seconds at 169.582 mph. Rounding out the top five are KV Racing teammates Tony Kanaan in fourth (43.1493 seconds at 169.365 mph) and Takuma Sato in fifth (43.1640 seconds at 169.308 mph). Their KV Racing teammate E.J. Viso will line up sixth with a lap of 43.2217 seconds at 169.082 mph.

IZOD IndyCar Sereis points leader Will Power will start 17th, his lowest qualifying effort of the season. The Aussie recorded a lap of 43.9584 seconds at 166.248 mph in his Penske Racing car.

Sunday’s 225-lap Milwaukee 225 will air live on ABC at 3:30 ET.

Date:                  Saturday, June 18, 2011

Event:                Milwaukee 225 (Round 7 of 17)

Series:                IZOD IndyCar Series

Location:           The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wis. (1-mile oval)

Pole Winner:      Dario Franchitti of Ganassi Racing (42.7766 at 170.841 mph)

Alex Tagliani:    19th (44.0158 at 166.031 mph)