POWER WINS THIRD INDYCAR GRAND PRIX POLE POSITION
INDIANAPOLIS – Will Power’s record at the INDYCAR Grand Prix has been perfect when he’s started the race from the pole position.
The Team Penske driver won the race from the first starting position in 2015 and 2017, and looks to do it again Saturday after earning the Verizon P1 Award in knockout qualifications Friday for the fifth annual INDYCAR Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
In the Firestone Fast Six – the last of three qualifying rounds – Power’s final lap of 1 minute, 9.8182 seconds (125.761 mph) in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet edged Schmidt Peterson Motorsports rookie Robert Wickens by less than a tenth of a second for top honors.
In doing so, Power earned the 51st pole of his Indy car career to break a tie with teammate Helio Castroneves for third place on the all-time list. Mario Andretti is the all-time leader with 67 pole positions and A.J. Foyt had 53.
Wickens, in the No. 6 Lucas Oil SPM Honda, finished second in qualifying with a lap of 1:09.9052 (125.604 mph) on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn permanent road course. It’s Wickens’ best qualifying effort since he won the pole in his Verizon IndyCar Series debut race, the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in March.
Sebastien Bourdais qualified third in the No. 18 Team SealMaster Honda (1:09.9449, 125.533 mph). The Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan driver will share the second row with James Hinchcliffe, who qualified fourth in the No. 5 Arrow Electronics Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda (1:10.0858, 125.281 mph).
Ed Carpenter Racing rookie Jordan King qualified fifth in the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet (1:10.1326, 125.197 mph), his best effort since qualifying fourth at St. Petersburg. Reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion and current points leader Josef Newgarden will start sixth after posting a lap of 1:10.7276 (124.144 mph) in the No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet.
Two-time INDYCAR Grand Prix winner Simon Pagenaud qualified seventh in the No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet.
Spencer Pigot, King’s teammate at Ed Carpenter Racing, advanced past the first round of road/street-course qualifying for the first time in his three-year career and will start ninth in the No. 21 Preferred Freezer Service Chevrolet.
Conversely, four-time series champion Scott Dixon failed to advance out of the first round for the first time in three years and will start 18th in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.
Twenty-four cars will take the green flag in Saturday’s 85-lap race, with live coverage starting at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network. Drivers have a final chance to dial in their cars with a 30-minute warmup practice at 11:15 a.m. that streams live on RaceControl.IndyCar.com, youtube.com/indycar and the INDYCAR Mobile app.