Penske 1-2-3 at Motegi qualifying
Penske has crushed its IZOD IndyCar opposition at Motegi, taking pole position for this weekend’s event at Twin Ring Motegi.
Brazilian team stalwart Helio Castroneves claimed the top spot for the Indy Japan 300, ahead of his to Australian team-mates Ryan Briscoe and IndyCar Series championship points leader Will Power.
Power will share Row 2 with his title rival Dario Franchitti.
Castroneves recorded a two-lap average of 201.992 mph on the 1.52-mile oval to lead a 1-2-3 sweep for Team Penske. Ryan Briscoe (201.594) also will be on the front row.
Power, who scored his 12th-consecutive top-five starting position, says that he will shoot for victory in a bid to wrap up the title.
“I’m very happy about the (team’s) starting positions,” he said.
“We hope we can execute in the race and get some points back. We’ve had a pretty good lap time over the last couple of races. We’re going to ultimately look to win it.”
All of the top four drivers in Japan will compete in the Armor All Gold Coast 600 in V8 Supercars this October.
Andretti Autosport’s Marco Andretti, Tony Kanaan and Ryan Hunter-Reay will start fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively, and E.J. Viso recorded his best start on an oval this season in eighth. Panther Racing’s Dan Wheldon will start ninth.
The Indy Japan will also decide the inaugural A.J. Foyt Oval Championship with Castroneves, Franchitti, Kanaan, Wheldon and Scott Dixon still eligible to win the title and its $50,000 bonus. Power has already claimed the Mario Andretti Road Course crown.
Speedcafe will bring you a full race report later this afternoon.
Check out the video with Castroneves after qualifying