BELLE ISLE, MI – Prior to qualifying for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500, Team Penske was the class of the Verizon IndyCar Series field for pole positions. Penske drivers had won all five pole awards in 2016 and had a streak of seven straight and eight of the last nine entering the ‘500.
But, none of the four drivers even qualified on the front row for the season’s biggest race, as the top starting Penske driver was Will Power in sixth.
Today, they picked up where they lost for Indy 500 qualifying.
Penske cars were fast from the get go as they had three cars in the top four of the opening practice session on Friday morning. Then, they backed that up in qualifying, as three more cars made the Firestone Fast Six with all four starting in the top 10.
In fact, Penske cars swept the top three starting spots as Simon Pagenaud earned his third pole in the last four races and fifth of his IndyCar career with earning the pole for Saturday’s 70 Lap Duals (3:30 p.m. ET/ABC/IMS Radio Network).
Pagenaud turned a lap of 1:14.9166-seconds in his No. 22 HPE Chevrolet as it gave Penske their 182nd career IndyCar pole. It also gave them their sixth pole in seven races this season and ninth in the last 10 races dating back to last season.
Furthermore, Penske drivers have won all but three poles since the start of 2015.
Helio Castroneves will roll off second while Juan Pablo Montoya will start third.
Will Power was the fourth member of the team as he will start ninth as that’s rare with him being quickest this morning.
But, it appears Penske is the team to beat this weekend as they’re out to show last week’s struggles at Indy was a fluke.