Will Power knew the importance of starting the penultimate round of the Verizon IndyCar Series season from the front of the grid, although he admitted he was lucky to make it through to the Fast Six shootout in the first place.
The Team Penske driver will line-up second on the grid at the Watkins Glen International, but only made it into the shootout for pole when Mikhail Aleshin was penalised his two fastest laps for blocking Juan Pablo Montoya.
Power also suffered with an engine issue heading onto his final lap that prevented him from getting the bonus point for pole position, which ultimately went to Scott Dixon, but the Australian is happy to be starting clear of his title rival team-mate Simon Pagenaud.
“It’s very important to start up front, definitely, considering the championship situation,” said Power. “I felt pretty comfortable around here. Really enjoy the track.
“Obviously I was really grateful to get in the Firestone Fast Six there and have a shot at it. You know, unfortunately on my final lap, starting it, my engine just died in the last corner there.
“Definitely cost us some time, but starting on the front row is definitely better than where we were.”