INDIANAPOLIS – Team Penske driver Will Power found himself in a familiar position on Saturday morning – on the pole for a race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
Power was the fastest driver in Saturday morning’s second group and he claimed the 61st Indy car pole of his career, his fourth this season and his fifth on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. He will lead the field to the green flag in Saturday’s IndyCar Harvest GP presented by GMR, the second race of a weekend NTT IndyCar doubleheader at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Power’s fast time of 1:08.9767 around the a 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course in the No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet was faster than Colton Herta’s fast time in group one.
“We made a lot of changes last night and the first stint yesterday we were pretty weak,” Power said. “It’s certainly a much better car and am stoked to be on pole again.
“It is valuable to be up front. Unfortunately, it’ll be a fuel save race, cooler temps mean we can make more power and use more fuel.”
Power will look to convert Saturday’s pole into his 39th Indy car victory later this afternoon.
“We haven’t been converted the poles to wins, though Mid-Ohio we did,” Power said. “It’s a two-stop race so it’s a bit more of a straightforward strategy. I’ll do my best. I definitely have the team around me to do it and the car, so let’s get it done.”
Herta’s No. 88 Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Honda was the fastest in the first session at 1:09.1017.
“I messed up on my third lap,” Herta said. “It was only a matter of half a tenth to a tenth. We made a small toe adjustment. The Capstone Energy/Gleaners car is good and a Honda 1-2-3 is great to be powered by Honda.”
Honda claimed the top six positions in the first group, but Chevrolet had three of the five fastest times in the second group.
Scott Dixon, who lost 32 points in his championship lead with a ninth-place finish in Friday’s race combined with Josef Newgarden’s victory, will start 15th after a disappointing time of 1:09.5824.
Dixon leads Newgarden by 40 points with two races remaining in the NTT IndyCar Series season.
Power’s pole leaves him six behind Mario Andretti’s all-time record of 67.
Power and Herta form the front row when Saturday’s race begins at 2:30 pm on NBC. They will be followed by Alexander Rossi’s Honda at 1:09.2315, Alex Palou’s Honda at 1:09.1584 and Pato O’Ward’s Chevrolet at 1:09.2744
Harvest GP Race Two Starting Lineup
1. Will Power
2. Colton Herta
3. Alexander Rossi
4. Alex Palou
5. Pato O’Ward
6. Ryan Hunter-Reay
7. Jack Harvey
8. Felix Rosenqvist
9. Josef Newgarden
10. Graham Rahal
11. Santino Ferrucci
12. Marco Andretti
13. James Hinchcliffe
14. Rinus VeeKay
15. Scott Dixon
16. Marcus Ericsson
17. Takuma Sato
18. Max Chilton
19. Simon Pagenaud
20. Helio Castroneves
21. Sebastien Bourdais
22. Sage Karam
23. Conor Daly
24. Charlie Kimball
25. Dalton Kellett