IndyCar points leader Hunter-Reay wins pole

EDMONTON, Alberta — Ryan Hunter-Reay bounced back from a rough opening day at Edmonton on Saturday with a pole-winning run that surprised the IndyCar Series points leader.

Because Hunter-Reay went into the qualifying session knowing he'll be penalized 10 spots for today's starting grid for an unapproved engine change, his Andretti Autosport team gambled on using older tires when rain began to fall midway through the qualifying session. The tire choice was based on Hunter-Reay hoping to start between 11th and 14th after the penalty.

Hunter-Reay has won the past three IndyCar races to move into the points lead. He's the first American since Sam Hornish Jr. in 2006 to lead the IndyCar standings, and after picking up a point for winning the pole, he'll take a 35-point lead over Will Power into Sunday's race.

It is only the second pole of Hunter-Reay's IndyCar career. The previous was in 2004 at Milwaukee.

He'll start 11th once the penalty is applied.

Dario Franchitti, in a Honda, qualified second but will start first today because of Hunter-Reay's penalty.

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