Power back on at Texas IndyCar round

Will Power

Will Power

Will Power has claimed the pole position as he tries to turn around a difficult season for the Firestone 550 race at the Texas Motor Speedway.

Power surged to the Verizon P1 pole, only the second time he has started from the #1 spot this year for the Penske team which is having its most difficult year since the late 1970’s.

The Toowoomba driver easily eclipsed Marco Andretti’s best two-lap average who finished second in the #24 RC Cola Andretti Autosport entry.

“The race car has been pretty good,” said Power.

“We were wide open, trimmed out enough, the gears were right. Last year we thought we should have been on the pole but we got it right this time. A win would be phenomenal.”

Reigning series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay and Dario Franchitti will share the second row.

Andretti, who is equal leader in the IndyCar points with Power’s team-mate Helio Castroneves, is looking forward to a solid race.

“I’m pleased with our front row,” Andretti said. “Good job by the guys because our focus wasn’t even on qualifying. I’m pleased just like I was at Indy (qualified third) because it was the same focus at Indy.

“The first lap, I think we had an overboost, so we lost a mile-per-hour, which I was hoping it wasn’t going to cost me more than it did. Will (Power) went for it, and he got benefited for it so good job to him.”

Takuma Sato (gearbox) and rookie Tristan Vautier (unapproved engine change that will result in a 10-grid spot penalty) did not make qualifying attempts of the 24 entrants.

“We have an engine change to do and our qualifying would have been compromised because of that, so we just decided it was best not to go out,” Vautier said.

The Chevrolet-powered #78 Nuclear Energy Areva car driven by Simona De Silvestro for KV Racing Technology has incurred a 10-grid spot penalty for unapproved engine following the event at Belle Isle last weekend.

 Qualifying

1 Will Power Dallara-Chevy 219.182mph
2 Marco Andretti Dallara-Chevy 217.553
3 Ryan Hunter-Reay Dallara-Chey 217.524
4 Dario Franchitti Dallara-Honda 217.504
5 E.J. Viso Dallara-Chevy 217.244
6 Helio Castroneveseves, Dallara-Chevy 217.100
7 Josef Newgarden Dallara-Honda 216.693
8 Charlie Kimball Dallara-Honda 216.570
9 Ed Carpenter Dallara-Chevy 216.552
10 James Jakes Dallara-Honda 216.487
11 Scott Dixon Dallara-Honda 216.447
12 Simona De Silvestro Dallara-Chevy 216.396
13 James Hinchclife Dallara-Chevy 216.248
14 Simon Pagenau Dallara-Honda 215.727
15 Tony Kanaan Dallara-Chevy 215.474
16 Alex Tagliani Dallara-Honda 215.406
17 Sebastien Bourdais  Dallara-Chey 214.839
18  Oriol Servia Dallara-Chevy 214.586
19 Graham Rahal Dallara-Honda 213.888
20 Sebastian Saavedra Dallara-Chevy 213.217
21  Pippa Mann Dallara-Honda 212.785
22 Justin Wilson Dallara-Honda 207.807
23 Takuma Sato Dallara-Honda no speed
24 Tristan Vautier Dallara-Honda no speed

 

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