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LONG POND, Pa. – IndyCar points leader Juan Pablo Montoya will start 19th at Pocono Raceway and Graham Rahal qualified fifth as he tries to trim a nine-point deficit.
Helio Castroneves won the pole Saturday at 220.530 mph, a strong push toward yet another drive at his first career championship with two races left in the season. Castroneves is in fourth place, 58 points behind Montoya.
Montoya, the Indianapolis 500 winner, won Pocono from the pole last season.
Just 34 points out in third place, Scott Dixon starts 11th.
Montoya seemed as if he was headed toward a runaway championship after eight straight top-10 finishes. But he finished 24th and 11th in the last two races.
The IndyCar championship will be decided Aug. 30 in the season finale on the road course at Sonoma.