Firestone 600 qualifying results
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Will Power earned the Verizon P1 Award for the pole position for the third consecutive year at Texas Motor Speedway oval and led a Team Penske front-row sweep for the Firestone 600.
Power, driving the No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, recorded a two-lap average speed of 218.519 mph (47.9410 seconds total) as the first of 23 qualifiers for the 248-lap race under the lights June 6 (8 p.m. ET NBCSN).
It is Power's fourth Verizon P1 Award and his eighth front-row start in the nine races this season. He set track qualifying lap records at St. Petersburg, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and Detroit, and was six-tenths of a second off his 2013 two-lap qualifying record on the 1.455-mile, high-banked oval.
“When I drew No. 1 I was a bit worried about conditions, but it stayed consistent throughout the whole run of qualifying,” said Power, who moved into a tie with Rick Mears for fifth on the all-time Indy car pole wins list with 40.
Power, who secured the pole in 2014 at 218.896 mph, will be seeking his second victory at Texas Motor Speedway. He won the second race of the same-day doubleheader in 2011.
“The race will be interesting. There are many components you can put on the car to add downforce, but it’s really draggy so it’s going to be about finding the compromise between speed loss and grip. I've always liked this place a lot. The car moves around. I feel like it's a real driver's oval and I enjoy that.
My wife's from here, so I got the pressure to always do well. Otherwise, I won't be invited to dinner."
Simon Pagenaud, who was fastest in the late-morning practice in the No. 22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet, earned his third front-row start of the season with a two-lap average speed of 218.441 mph.
"I just missed it by a little bit," said Pagenaud, who posted the fastest lap of the session at 218.744 mph.
Helio Castroneves, who has won four times at Texas Motor Speedway, qualified third (218.069 mph) in the No. 3 AAA Insurance Team Penske Chevrolet and will be joined on Row 2 by recent race winner Carlos Munoz (217.831 mph) in the No. 26 AndrettiTv Cinsay Honda for Andretti Autosport.
Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya (217.530) and Graham Rahal (217.438) qualified on Row 3.
“Starting up toward the front with these boys is exactly where we need to be. Obviously, points are a big focus for us right now,” said Rahal, who is fifth in the Verizon IndyCar Series championship standings in the No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda. “It is going to be a tough race; everybody is going to have to manage their tires as well as they can. I feel like our race car is pretty good and I feel like track position is going to be pretty important here, too.”