Will Power in the No.12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet took a last minute Verizon P1 Award for Saturday’s IndyCar Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
The Australian set a fastest time of 01:09.8182s and sees him start the race just ahead of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Robert Wickens. Speaking following the session, Power said:
We did have to dig deep. I mean, that was everything I had. We made a downforce adjustment after the first round when we saw how fast the other guys were, and kind of got close to them, and on used tires, the car was really good. So stoked, man, really, really stoked.
It was Power’s 51st career pole position. Defending series champion and current points leader Josef Newgarden in the No.1 Verizon Chevrolet will start the race from sixth place having set a time of 01:10.7276s.
Speaking following the session the Tennessee native commented by saying:
I think the big thing was getting in the Firestone Fast Six for us. Unfortunately that was kind of my goal. We’d been in the top 10, just kind of hovering in it. We haven’t been super strong this weekend, been kind of tentative throughout. So (Will Power) put in a good lap, so congrats to him. That was a good lap he did at the end. I think we would have been OK. I think we probably had third or fourth potential, I don’t know. We ran out the one lap, had a huge lockup in Turn 1 with the rear, and then just didn’t really get to finish it. Not ultimately where we would have landed, but I think we were in that third or fourth range, so happy to be in the Fast Six. I think that’s good for us tomorrow. We can work with that. We’ve just got to keep trying to chip away and find our speed, and we’ve just been missing it this weekend for whatever reason. I think we’re getting there. We made some progress in qualifying, we just have to keep going and make it last for tomorrow now. Everyone has done a good job. It’s good to have a good Verizon Indy car, and hoping to have a good weekend tomorrow.
Simon Pagenaud in the No.22 Menards Chevrolet starts the race from seventh place having set a fastest time of 01:10.0382s and speaking following the session he said:
The Menards team this weekend has made major improvements with the race car. I’m quite happy. I feel like we’ve made such a big improvement. Coming back, I’m a little disappointed. I think the car has more pace and I think we can challenge for the pole. We managed to save a lap on the first set of red Firestones (alternate tires). For the Firestone Fast Six, we would’ve been really good. It is what it is. It’s going to be good racing tomorrow and we’ve got a fast car.
In his first qualifying session of the year, Helio Castroneves in the No.3 Verizon Chevrolet will start the race from 10th place on the grid and speaking following the session, the Brazilian who set a qualifying time of 01:10.1847s commented by saying:
It’s been great to be back. It is definitely a different car, but my Verizon Chevy machine is looking strong. We did a lot of adjustments in one session to try to capitalize. We have nothing to lose. So, instead of being conservative, we just took a chance, unfortunately, it wasn’t the right direction. Good job from everyone to keep pushing. Now we have a race tomorrow. Starting in the top 10, it’s not that bad. We started ninth and finished on the podium (in the past). So (starting) one position back might get us a victory.