Carpenter and Power share Kentucky front-row

Ed Carpenter will start from pole for the first time in his IndyCar career

Ed Carpenter will start from pole for the first time in his IndyCar career

Ed Carpenter and Will Power will share the front row of the grid for tomorrow’s Kentucky Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway.

Carpenter, driver of the #20 Panther/Vision/Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka car, scored his maiden IZOD IndyCar Series pole and became the 10th different pole winner in 11 races at Kentucky with a two-lap average of 217.933 mph (48.8958 seconds) on the 1.5-mile oval. His previous best start was fourth at Michigan in 2006 and Homestead-Miami in 2009.

Title leader Power, who will compete in the new V8 Supercars event ­– the Armor All Gold Coast 600 in October – will start on the front row for the 11th time this season in the #12 Verizon Team Penske car, and potentially put some distance between himself and Dario Franchitti in the championship chase.

Power enters the 200-lap race with a 23-point lead, and Franchitti starts 11th in the #10 Dixie entry for Target Chip Ganassi Racing.

The Australian is yet to win on an oval and is looking to change that at Kentucky.

“My qualifying run was very straightforward,” he said.

“This was a typical oval run with lots of wind and low grip. It is good for the #12 Team Verizon car to start on the front row. I need a good result on a 1.5-mile oval this season and it’s important that we finish ahead of Dario (Franchitti) to keep the points lead. I feel that qualifying is very important but this track allows for passing and a lot can happen during the race.”

Carpenter’s team-mate Dan Wheldon will start a season-high third in the #4 National Guard Panther Racing car and Scott Dixon also will be on Row 2 in the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car.

Power’s Penske team-mate Ryan Briscoe will start the Kentucky race from ninth place.

In the Indy Lights class, Pippa Mann’s positive run on ovals continued in Sunoco Pole Qualifying for the Buckle Up. Drive Smart Kentucky 100 as the Sam Schmidt Motorsports driver earned her second pole start of the season.

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