Cicero, Ill. Tony Kanaan won the pole for the Target Grand Prix with an assist from rival Helio Castroneves.
The Brazilians will share the front row for the start of today's 225-lap race on Chicago Motor Speedway's 1.029-mile oval, but it will be Kanaan who will start from the outside spot for only the second time in his CART career.
Kanaan set the target with a lap of 160.052 mph and, after a 40-minute interruption of the qualifying session due to light rain, Castroneves threw a scare into his pal.
On his first of two green flag laps, Castroneves hit 160.031. His lap time was just 0.003 seconds slower than Kanaan and it seemed inevitable he would take his fourth pole of the season.
Instead, his Honda-powered Reynard slowed perceptibly in the middle of the fourth turn and wound up well off the pace.
"I had the pole on my warmup lap," Castroneves said. "Unfortunately, that doesn't count. I made a little mistake on my first green flag lap and I thought, 'OK, I've got one more to go.' All I had to do was make two more turns and finish and ... I said, 'No! No! No!' It just went dead"
Kenny Brack and Dario Franchitti, 1-2 in the CART season points, had a shot after that, but Kanaan, also driving a Reynard-Honda, gave Morris Nunn Racing in its second season its first pole.
Adrian Fernandez wound up third at 159.652.