Power strikes to claim Road America pole position

Will Power - Credit: Chris Jones / IndyCar

Will Power secured his forty-fourth career Verizon IndyCar Series pole position as he took top spot for the championships return to Road America on Saturday.

The Team Penske driver set a best time of 1:42.2105 to set the pace in the eight-minute fast six shoot-out for pole position, denying Scott Dixon by just 0.1654 seconds, the Chip Ganassi Racing driver being forced to settle for second.

Dixon’s team-mate Tony Kanaan was third, and will start alongside current championship leader Simon Pagenaud of Team Penske, while a third Penske driver, Helio Castroneves, will start fifth.

Graham Rahal was the only non-Penske or Ganassi racer to make it through to the fast six shoot-out, with the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver also the only driver to only run the black Firestone tyres in the final segment of qualifying.

Max Chilton just missed out on a place in the shoot-out, but will start a strong seventh for Ganassi, ahead of the leading Andretti Autosport driver Ryan Hunter-Reay, while Conor Daly impressed by placing his Dale Coyne Racing entry into ninth.

Carlos Munoz recovered from his engine problem in final practice and a subsequent engine change between sessions to nab tenth for Andretti Autosport, while the six row will see the final Ganassi racer Charlie Kimball alongside KVSH Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais.

Mikhail Aleshin just missed out on making it through to the second segment of qualifying, with the Russian Schmidt Peterson Motorsport driver set to start thirteenth alongside the disappointing Juan Pablo Montoya, who could not match the pace of his Team Penske team-mates who all made it through to the fast six shoot-out.

Takuma Sato will start fifteenth for AJ Foyt Racing alongside Alexander Rossi of Andretti Herta Autosport, with Spencer Pigot of Ed Carpenter Racing alongside Jack Hawksworth of AJ Foyt Racing on row nine.

Row ten sees Gabby Chaves of Dale Coyne Racing line up alongside Josef Newgarden, who caused a red flag during the session when he spun his Ed Carpenter Racing entry, and as thus lost his two fastest times.

Marco Andretti will start on the back row of the grid for Andretti Autosport, alongside James Hinchcliffe, with the Canadian having had his own two fastest times deleted due to blocking in his Schmidt Peterson Motorsport entry.

But no one had an answer for Power and Penske, and Sunday’s first top level American single seater event at Road America since 2007 should be one to savour.

Road America Qualifying Times

112Will PowerAUSTeam Penske1:42.2105
29Scott DixonNZLChip Ganassi Racing1:42.3759
310Tony KanaanBRZChip Ganassi Racing1:42.7279
422Simon PagenaudFRATeam Penske1:42.8573
53Helio CastronevesBRZTeam Penske1:42.9449
615Graham RahalUSARahal Letterman Lanigan Racing1:43.7782
- - Eliminated in Q2- - -
78Max ChiltonGBRChip Ganassi Racing1:42.7519
828Ryan Hunter-ReayUSAAndretti Autosport1:42.8318
918Conor DalyUSADale Coyne Racing1:43.1073
1026Carlos MunozCOLAndretti Autosport1:43.2001
1183Charlie KimballUSAChip Ganassi Racing1:43.2649
1211Sebastien BourdaisFRAKVSH Racing1:43.3291
- - Eliminated in Q1- - -
137Mikhail AleshinRUSSchmidt Peterson Motorsports1:43.4024
142Juan Pablo MontoyaCOLTeam Penske1:44.3570
1514Takuma SatoJAPAJ Foyt Enterprises1:43.5357
1698Alexander RossiUSAAndretti Herta Autosport1:45.0840
1720Spencer PigotUSAEd Carpenter Racing1:43.6432
1841Jack HawksworthGBRAJ Foyt Enterprises1:45.5110
1919Gabby ChavesCOLDale Coyne Racing1:43.6672
2021Josef NewgardenUSAEd Carpenter Racing4:19.1862
2127Marco AndrettiUSAAndretti Autosport1:43.7289
225James HinchcliffeCANSchmidt Peterson Motorsports4:29.0408