BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Maybe this will be Scott Dixon's year at Barber Motorsports Park.
Dixon, who finished as the runner-up in the 2010-2013 Verizon IndyCar Series races on the 2.3-mile, 17-turn road course and placed third in 2014, topped the lap time chart in the final practice session for the 90-lap race (3 p.m. ET, NBCSN) in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet at 1 minute, 08.2928 seconds.
Dixon, who set the track lap record of 1:06.7750 (123.999 mph) in the first round of knockout qualifications in 2013, qualified fourth during the Firestone Fast Six on April 25. Dixon claimed his 36th career victory last week on the streets of Long Beach, Calif.
Click it: Starting lineup, tire designation || Final practice results
Team Penske drivers Will Power, Simon Pagenaud and Helio Castroneves, who secured the top three spots in the knockout qualifications, were 2-3-4 on the lap time chart in the final practice.
Castroneves earned the Verizon P1 Award on April 25, while Power qualified second and Pagenaud secured third in the Firestone Fast Six. Power was second quick in the 30-minute warm-up with a lap of 1 minute, 08.5819 seconds in the No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet. Pagenaud (1:08.6527) was third in the No. 22 Penske Truck Rental Chevrolet and Castroneves was fourth (1:08.7358) in the No. 3 AAA Insurance Team Penske Chevrolet.
The top 11 cars were separated by less than a second in the session.
The pole position was Castroneves’ second in a row – he has not started a race beyond the second row this season – and the 43rd of his career. It also was the seventh consecutive pole for Team Penske dating to the August 2014 race at the Milwaukee Mile.
Castroneves won the inaugural Verizon IndyCar Series race at Barber Motorsports Park in 2010. The Verizon P1 Award winner has gone on to win the race twice in its five years (Ryan Hunter-Reay in 2013 and Power in 2011). Power was second quick in the Firestone Fast Six (1:07.3833) and posted the quickest lap in qualifying at 1:06.8050 in the second 10-minute segment.