Power Earns Second Straight and 56th Career IndyCar Pole
Will Power continued his climb up the history charts, winning his 56th career Indy car pole position Saturday in NTT P1 Award qualifying for the inaugural INDYCAR Classic. The Team Penske driver will lead the 24-car field to the green flag in Sunday’s first NTT IndyCar Series race at Circuit of The Americas.
INDYCAR CLASSIC: Unofficial qualifying results
In the Firestone Fast Six, the last of three knockout qualifying rounds, Power pushed the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske around the 3.41-mile, 20-turn permanent road course in 1 minute, 46.0177 seconds (115.792 mph). It delivered Power’s second straight pole position to open the 2019 season the No. 56 of his 15-year career, leaving the reigning Indianapolis 500 winner within 11 of tying Mario Andretti for the most all time.
“I thought when I looked at the Firestone Fast Six and where we stacked up, I thought the only chance we have at getting pole is if we do one lap of fuel and one lap on old (Firestone alternate) tires, and do that twice,” Power said. “And that’s what we did, so it paid off.”
Power, the only Chevrolet-powered driver to reach the final round of qualifications on Saturday, is also eligible to collect a $100,000 bonus from track officials if he can win Sunday’s 60-lap race from the pole position. Live coverage begins at 1 p.m. ET on NBCSN, NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network.
Alexander Ross will join Power on the front row for Sunday’s race after qualifying second on Saturday. The Andretti Autosport driver turned a Firestone Fast Six lap of 1:46.1761 (115.619 mph) in the No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda. Rossi’s teammate, Ryan Hunter-Reay, was third in the No. 28 DHL Honda (1:46.3228, 115.460 mph).
NTT IndyCar Series rookie Colton Herta continued his strong performances at COTA by qualifying fourth on the No. 88 Harding Steinbrenner Racing Honda (1:46.3594, 115.420 mph).
Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Felix Rosenqvist and Scott Dixon will start the race from Row 3. After setting the INDYCAR track record in the second round of qualifying in the No, 10 NTT DATA Honda, Rosenqvist posted the fifth-fastest lap in the Firestone Fast Six (1:46.5680, 115.194 mph). Dixon, the reigning and five-time NTT IndyCar Series champion, was sixth at 1:46.9375 (114.796 mph) in the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda.
Josef Newgarden, the 2019 points leader after winning the season-opening race two weeks ago at St. Petersburg, Florida, just missed reaching the Firestone Fast Six and will start seventh in the No. 2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet.
Rosenqvist set the best lap of the weekend thus far in the second round of qualifying, a circuit timed at 1:45.4542 (116.411 mph).
Tune in to the INDYCAR Classic tomorrow on NBC Sports. The 2019 NTT IndyCar series concludes at the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey September 20-22 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Tickets are available here or by calling 831-242-8200.