Racing notebook

RICHMOND, Va. --- Dario Franchitti hasn't lost his touch at Richmond International Race-way.


The former IndyCar Series champion and 2007 race winner on the smallest oval in the series won the pole position Friday for tonight's series visit to the 0.75-mile oval.

Franchitti averaged 167.315 mph over four laps on his return to the track in an open wheel racer. He dominated at Richmond in 2007, leading 242 of 250 laps.

Scott Dixon earned the outside spot on the front row with a speed of 166.638, while Helio Castroneves and points leader Ryan Briscoe will start in the second row.

Danica Patrick , fifth in points, will start 10th.

JUST FOR FUN: Ryan Newman is doing unique double-duty this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. In addition to Sunday's Lenox Industrial Tools 301, he will run in today's New England 100 for the Whelen Modified Tour.

The reason is simple: to have fun.

"The cars are such a blast to drive," he said. "It seems like they go faster in the corners than they do on the straightaways and that is what a driver likes to feel."

Newman also spent Friday night racing a USAC midget car in Epping, N.H.

RESTART CHANGE: The Nation-wide series will emulate the top NASCAR circuit by using double-file restarts with the leaders at the front throughout races, beginning with the event at Daytona on July 3.

Just as the Sprint Cup series has moved away from having lapped cars next to the lead cars on restarts, the Nationwide drivers will line up according to the standings for restarts.



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