Will Power Drives To Pole At Long Beach

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, April 18 2009
Will Power on Long Beach pole. 


Will Power on Long Beach pole.

By Jonathan Ingram | Senior Correspondent

Long Beach, Calif. – Penske Racing’s Helio Castroneves was exonerated by a jury on Friday and on Saturday his part-time replacement, Will Power, exonerated himself by winning the pole for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Power, who had to switch to a third Penske entry with the of Castroneves to the No. 3 cockpit the morning of qualifying, edged Dario Franchitti by 0.1568 seconds to get his first pole at Long Beach and his second pole in three IndyCar races.

After a happy but tumultuous two days at Penske Racing, Power was the only driver for the team to make the Fast Six. Both Castroneves, whose car was set up by Power during practice Friday, and Ryan Briscoe each spun in the second session. Briscoe missed the Fast Six for the first time in seven races.

A resurgent Raphael Matos, who slipped into the Firestone Fast Six on the last lap of the semifinal session, earned the third starting spot on the grid at the street circuit where qualifying well pays dividends.

After making the Fast Six for the first time, E.J. Viso, another unfamiliar face at the top of the grid, scored his highest starting position in his career as well in fourth place.  

It was a miserable day for Andretti Green Racing, Tony Kanaan was the only driver to get past the opening round, then was 11th of 12 drivers in the semifinal round.

Teammate Marco Andretti failed to get close to advancing past the first round, his best lap falling one second off the quickest time of Dixon in the opening session. AGR’s Hidecki Mutoh was not much better in that session, finishing one position ahead of Andretti.

In the second group, Danica Patrick spun at the exit of Turn Ten and clouted the wall, ending her session after four minutes and a distant two seconds behind Wilson’s quickest time. 

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, April 18 2009
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