Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis qualifying results
Reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion Will Power earned the Verizon P1 Award for the Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 9 with a lap of 1 minute, 09.4886 seconds in the Firestone Fast Six qualifying segment on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
Power broke Simon Pagenaud's year-old track lap record of 1:09.6716 set in the first segment of qualifying. Pagenaud went on the win the 82-lap race from the fourth starting position.
It was the third track record eclipsed with the new aerodynamic road/street and short oval bodywork packages supplied by Chevrolet and Honda in four Verizon IndyCar Series races. Qualifying for the fifth race this season -- the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana -- was an inaugural event, and the starting grid was set by entrant points from the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg as rain and lightning curtailed qualifications.
It was Power's 38th career pole, which is sixth on the all-time Indy car list, and the 227th for Team Penske. A Team Penske driver has started from pole in each of the five races this season and eight in a row dating to Milwaukee last August.
“To have a pole here at Indianapolis – at this track – is just such a great feeling and I felt like I was strong all week (in three practice sessions)," said Power, driving the No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet. "I just missed out on pole at Barber (April 25) so I was pretty determined today and the guys did a great job with the car."
Scott Dixon, driving the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, was second quick in the Firestone Fast Six (1:09.7156) for his third consecutive qualifying in the first two rows. Helio Castroneves (1:09.7388), who will mark his 300th Indy car start on May 9 and his 40th birthday on May 10, will join Team Penske teammate Juan Pablo Montoya (1:09.8072) on Row 2. Castroneves had earned the Verizon P1 Award the past two races.
Pagenaud (1:09.8715), driving the No. 22 DeVilbiss Team Penske Chevrolet, and Tony Kanaan (1:10.2772) in the No. 10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet will be on Row 3.
“I had the key to success last year, but that doesn’t mean you have the key to success this year, because it’s all about competition here,” Pagenaud said. “Every day, you have to reset and try again. Obviously, I have a lot of confidence. It’s a track I like. We should be in good shape. It’s all the preparation during the weekend. The team doesn’t stop; there’s no Christmas here. It’s amazing, they work non-stop. They do a lot of research and development to make the cars more free and understand what the new body kit provides and how to utilize it.”
Sebastian Saavedra claimed the Verizon P1 Award in 2014 with a lap of 1:23.8822 in wet/drying conditions.
There have been four different winners representing four teams this season. Power is looking for his first victory.
"All my teammates in the Fast Six, too. We're pushing each other hard," Power said. "We have the Ganassi boys there knocking on the door all the time and have our work cut out for us. I think what makes it challenging is it’s quite technical. It’s a very nice surface, really smooth. What makes it great racing is the fact that you go such long straights leading into hard braking zones and that’s why you saw such good racing last year. And expect the same this year.
"Qualifying is a day where you put absolutely everything on the line. It's my favorite part of the weekend. Well, no, actually it's winning on Saturday is definitely my favorite part."
A 30-minute warmup session is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. (ET). The ABC telecast starts at 3:30 p.m., with the green flag at 3:50 p.m.