INDIANAPOLIS – Will Power is making everyone feel like it’s back to Feb. 2 here at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Groundhog Day for those of you that don’t get my reference. Last year, Power earned the pole for the INDYCAR Grand Prix. For a second straight year and third time in five tries, Power put his silver No. 12 Chevrolet back on the top starting spot for Saturday’s race (3:30 p.m. ET/ABC/INDYCAR Radio Network).
Power, circled the 2.439-mile road course with a time of 1:09.8182-seconds en route to his 51st career Verizon IndyCar Series pole. That moves him into third all-time, ending a tie with Helio Castroneves on the career list.
The Team Penske driver is hoping that this year’s race goes a lot like the others. Trends say we should go ahead and give Power the race winning trophy. Three straight years has the pole winner gone on to win the 85 Lap race itself. On top of that, Power was fastest in both practice sessions earlier in the day and in all three qualifying rounds that he contested in.
Rookie Robert Wickens will roll off second in his No. 6 Honda. He turned a lap of 1:09.9052-seconds in the Firestone Fast Six to earn his second front row starting spot and fifth top 10 start in five INDYCAR tries.
Sebastien Bourdais will roll off third in his No. 18 Honda after qualifying with a time of 1:09.9449-seconds. It was Bourdais’ fifth straight top eight starting spot in the race in as many tries.
Wickens’ Schmidt Peterson Motorsports teammate of James Hinchcliffe overcame a rough couple of practice sessions to qualify his No. 5 Honda fourth. Jordan King and Josef Newgarden rounded out the Fast Six on Friday.
The Andretti Autosport and Chip Ganassi Racing groups struggles in quals. Only one of their six combined drivers made it out of the first round as Alexander Rossi will start eighth.
INDYCAR Grand Prix Starting Lineup
Row 1: Will Power, Robert Wickens R
Row 2: Sebastien Bourdais, James Hinchcliffe R
Row 3: Jordan King R, Josef Newgarden
Row 4: Simon Pagenaud, Alexander Rossi
Row 5: Spencer Pigot, Helio Castroneves
Row 6: Takuma Sato, Tony Kanaan
Row 7: Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti
Row 8: Ed Jones, Max Chilton
Row 9: Graham Rahal, Scott Dixon
Row 10: Zachary Claman DeMelo R, Zach Veach R
Row 11: Matheus Leist R, Gabby Chaves
Row 12: Charlie Kimball, Kyle Kaiser R