MADISON, Ill. – Will Power and Takuma Sato claimed NTT P1 Awards on Saturday by winning the pole for each of the races in the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 doubleheader at World Wide Technology Raceway.
The unique qualifying format featured two laps on the 1.25-mile oval, with Lap 1 setting the grid for the Saturday race and Lap 2 for the Sunday race.
2014 NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Power will start first in today’s 200-lap race (3 p.m. ET, NBCSN, Pennzoil INDYCAR Radio Network) after posting a top lap of 24.6718 seconds, 182.394 in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet.
RESULTS: Race 1 Qualifying | Race 2 Qualifying
Power earned his second pole of the season and 59th of his career, just eight behind all-time leader Mario Andretti. This was his first pole on an oval since claiming the top spot in August 2018 at Pocono. He also won the pole for this event in 2017.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve been on pole on an oval,” Power said. “Just fortunate to be here. Really enjoying it. Obviously, it’s tough times now, but I think it’s great we’re able to race and have some fans here.”
Power’s pole also continued Team Penske’s dominance at this track, located just across the Mississippi River from the famous Gateway Arch and St. Louis. Penske drivers have won the NTT P1 Award at the three WWTR races in which qualifying has been conducted since the NTT INDYCAR SERIES returned in 2017. Power’s pole was the fifth for Team Penske this season.
Pato O’Ward will start second this afternoon after turning a first lap of 182.076 in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet. Rounding out the top five for Race 1 are Scott Dixon (182.006) in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, Marcus Ericsson (181.364) in the No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda and Sato (181.286) in the No. 30 ABeam Consulting Honda.
Sato, fresh off his second Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge victory last Sunday, turned up the heat on his second qualifying lap to earn the pole for Sunday’s Race 2 (3 p.m. ET, NBCSN, Pennzoil INDYCAR Radio Network) at 24.6577, 182.499. Sato is the defending winner of this event.
It was the first NTT P1 Award this season for Sato and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. It’s the first pole for both since Sato won the pole in June 2019 at Texas Motor Speedway.
“The car was phenomenal,” Sato said. “Lap 1 was always challenging here. Honestly, realistically our aim was second row today. So, we’re really happy.”
Reigning series champion Josef Newgarden will start second in Race 2 after a second lap of 182.477 in the No. 1 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet. Rounding out the top five for Race 2 are Power (182.474), O’Ward (182.280) and Jack Harvey (181.800) in the No. 60 AutoNation/SiriusXM Honda.