Will Power made history on Friday as he consolidated his championship run in qualifying at the World Wide Technology Raceway Gateway and secured the top spot on the grid with his 67th career pole position to level with Mario Andretti for the all-time IndyCar record.
Power, who leads Scott Dixon by six points in the NTT IndyCar Series standings with three races remaining, was doing a lap of the 1.25 mile oval at 182.727 mph in his #12 Dallara Chevrolet.
“Amazing,” Power told NBC Sports’ Kevin Lee. “I would never have been able to do this without Verizon and Penske. Such a fantastic career, they gave me such a great opportunity and also to shake up Chevrolet because a lot of these Poles have been running Chevy engines. I’m still shaking. There was nothing left on the table.
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“Just a great year so far. It’s a big win for me to reach 67 (Poland) and put him on par with Mario Andretti for such a legend of the sport. I just can’t believe I’m with Mario because there hasn’t been anyone like him before.”
Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson qualified second (182.070 mph) in the No. 8 Dallara-Honda, narrowly missing out on his maiden IndyCar pole as title contenders claimed the top seven places.
“It doesn’t change much, we still have to win the race,” Ericsson told NBC Sports’ Dillon Welch. “I am very proud of the Bryant Honda. The #8 car was really good. We had a good practice and built on that. The guys did a good job setting up the car for qualifying and it was nice to drive.
“The best qualifying of my IndyCar career and I’m very proud of that. We can definitely fight from there. So close to your first pole, you want it, but we’ll try to get it tomorrow. It gets down to business, but I have a lot of respect for all these guys. I look forward to it.”
Team Penske drivers Josef Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin qualified on the second row followed by Alex Palou, Dixon and Pato O’Ward.
Here is the IndyCar grid for Saturday’s Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at the 1.25 mile oval at World Wide Technology Raceway in Gateway (qualifying position, car number in parentheses, driver, engine, time, speed):
1st (12) Willpower, Chevrolet, 49.2539 seconds (182.727)
2nd (8) Marcus Ericsson, Honda, 49.4316 (182.070)
3. (2) Joseph Newgarden, Chevrolet, 49.5515 (181.629)
4th (3) Scott McLaughlin, Chevrolet, 49.6126 (181.406)
5th (10) Alex Palou, Honda, 49.6446 (181.289)
6th (9) Scott Dixon, Honda, 49.7364 (180.954)
7. (5) Pato O’Ward, Chevrolet, 49.9160 (180.303)
8. (51) Takuma Sato, Honda, 01:15.5935 (100.009)
9. (28) Romain Grosjean, Dallara-Honda, 179.925
10. (29) Devlin DeFrancesco, Dallara-Honda, 179.531
11. (27) Alexander Rossi, Dallara-Honda, 179.420
12. (26) Colton Herta, Dallara-Honda, 179.347
13. (18) David Malukas, Dallara-Honda, 179.159
14. (60) Simon Pagenaud, Dallara-Honda, 178.778
15. (45) Jack Harvey, Dallara-Honda, 178.775
16. (20) Conor Daly, Dallara-Chevrolet, 178.674
17. (15) Graham Rahal, Dallara Honda, 178.657
18. (06) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Honda, 178.356
19. (30) Christian Lundgaard, Dallara-Honda, 178.165
20. (14) Kyle Kirkwood, Dallara Chevrolet, 178.079
21. (48) Jimmie Johnson, Dallara-Honda, 176.368
22. (77) Callum Ilott, Dallara Chevrolet, 176.184
23. (21) Rinus VeeKay, Dallara Chevrolet, 176.005
24. (4) Dalton Kellett, Dallara Chevrolet, 173.902
25. (33) Ed Carpenter, Dallara Chevrolet, 173.667
26th (7) Felix Rosenqvist, Dallara-Chevrolet, no speed
IndyCar Gateway Grid: Will Power connects Mario Andretti for IndyCar pole record originally appeared on NBCSports.com