Power storms to Gateway pole in Penske lock-out

Will Power

Will Power will head up an all-Team Penske top four for the start of the Gateway IndyCar race after a blistering pair of laps yielded his 50th career pole.

Power will share the front row with series leader Josef Newgarden, with Row 2 the other two Penske Chevrolets of Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud.

Pagenaud, fifth on track, was the first to make a major impression in his two-lap qualifying run, lapping over an average 186mph on his first lap and 187mph on his second for a new track record.

Fastest prior to the Frenchman had been JR Hildebrand (Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet) with a two-lap average of 182.499mph.

From there, only Penske drivers would lead the session.

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Castroneves was the 13th car out and already averaging over 185mph on his warm-up lap before he clocked two laps each above 187mph to go fastest.

Newgarden came out three cars later and set two laps over an average speed of 188mph to take over provisional pole.

However, Power was still to come, and the 21st and final qualifier averaged 189.709mph (305.307km/h) on his first lap and 189.575mph (305.091km/h) on his second.

The pole is his sixth of the season and 50th in the Verizon IndyCar Series.

“That’s a number that I don’t think I would have dreamed of reaching when I started my IndyCar career,” said the 36-year-old.

“Obviously driving for Penske’s definitely a big part of that and you’re given great cars week in, week out, so I’m very happy to get the Verizon (No.) 12 car on pole here at Gateway.”

Takuma Sato was the fastest Honda driver in sixth for Andretti Autosport, one position ahead of Scott Dixon’s Chip Ganassi Honda.

The 15th of 17 IndyCar races this season starts on Sunday at 1140 AEST.

Qualifying: Gateway Motorsports Park

Pos Driver C/A/E/T Lap 1 Lap 2 Total time
1 Will Power D/C/C/F 23.7206 23.7373 47.4579
2 Josef Newgarden D/C/C/F 23.9311 23.8610 47.7921
3 Helio Castroneves D/C/C/F 24.0149 23.9960 48.0109
4 Simon Pagenaud D/C/C/F 24.1530 24.0406 48.1936
5 Ed Carpenter D/C/C/F 24.3965 24.3766 48.7731
6 Takuma Sato D/H/H/F 24.4513 24.4124 48.8637
7 Scott Dixon D/H/H/F 24.4873 24.4663 48.9536
8 Carlos Munoz D/C/C/F 24.5696 24.4448 49.0144
9 Alexander Rossi D/H/H/F 24.5769 24.4485 49.0254
10 James Hinchcliffe D/H/H/F 24.5588 24.4801 49.0389
11 Conor Daly D/C/C/F 24.6002 24.5041 49.1043
12 Ed Jones (R) D/H/H/F 24.5747 24.6326 49.2073
13 Graham Rahal D/H/H/F 24.5780 24.6480 49.2260
14 Ryan Hunter-Reay D/H/H/F 24.7697 24.5376 49.3073
15 JR Hildebrand D/C/C/F 24.7475 24.5679 49.3154
16 Max Chilton D/H/H/F 24.7441 24.6328 49.3769
17 Tony Kanaan D/H/H/F 24.7556 24.6420 49.3976
18 Charlie Kimball D/H/H/F 24.7400 24.6733 49.4133
19 Sebastien Bourdais D/H/H/F 24.8272 24.6652 49.4924
20 Marco Andretti D/H/H/F 24.8235 24.8478 49.6713
21 Sebastian Saavedra D/H/H/F 25.3628 25.2843 50.6471

(C)hassis: D=Dallara | (A)erokit: C=Chevy, H=Honda | (E)ngine: C=Chevy, H=Honda | (T)yre: F=Firestone

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