Power Wins Another Pole

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, April 28 2012

Will Power won the pole in Brazil on Saturday. (INDYCAR/LAT USA)

Will Power gave Team Penske its fourth consecutive pole of the season Saturday when he was fastest in qualifying for the Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle in Brazil.

Power set an event qualifying record in the process.

Power posted a lap of 1 minute, 21.4045 seconds with about 3 minutes left in the Firestone Fast Six shootout to claim his second consecutive pole start for the Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle. It was the 26th pole of his Indy car career, tying Dario Franchitti for ninth overall.

“It’s good to put the Verizon Chevrolet on the pole,” Power said. “It was satisfying, especially knowing that Honda seems to have an advantage on the straights at the moment, so being on pole is a good start to the weekend. I have a feeling it’s going to be wet or maybe wet-dry for the race, so it will mix things up a lot.”

Power, who’s won the race the past two years, will be sharing Row 1 with in the 75-lap race on the 2.536-mile, 11-turn street circuit. Franchitti earned his second consecutive front-row start with a lap of 1:21.4485 in the No. 10 Lexar Media car for Target Chip Ganassi Racing.

“It’s been a pretty good weekend so far for Team Target,” Franchitti, the defending series champion, said. “We’ve obviously had a difficult start to the season and a lot of things go wrong in the last couple weeks. We off-loaded with a good car of the truck and made some improvements to it. I’m a bit disappointed in qualifying, especially because the time is in the car. On the first lap, Justin (Wilson) was in the runoff in the hairpin so I took it a bit easy there. And then the next lap I just messed it up to be honest, and I actually made up all of the time back again. The time was in the car, I didn’t put it together. I’m a little disappointed in myself but at the same time I feel a lot more happy than I have in the last few races.”

Event qualifying records have been set in all four IZOD IndyCar Series races this season.

Scott Dixon, driving the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car, extricated himself from running off course in Turn 9 with 3:30 left in the Firestone Fast to jump to third on the grid. He’ll share Row 2 with James Hinchcliffe, who’s the only driver to qualify for the Firestone Fast Six in all four races.

“I guess four is the number of the day: fourth place, fourth time in the Firestone Fast Six,” Hinchcliffe said. “It’s certainly not a bad starting spot to be on the first two rows, but we had a competitive car in (the second qualifying session) and were hoping for a little bit higher up. I need to get a better handle on how to make these tires work better on the second run. We seem to be good on sticker (tires) but in the second run (on the set of tires) in the Firestone Fast Six we were struggling a little bit. With the compressed schedule and limited track time the Go Daddy guys did a great job getting the car better every single session. We were 11th in the first practice, sixth in the second and now we qualified fourth. We’re steadily improving and if we can keep that trend up for the race we’re looking good.”

Andretti Autosport teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay qualified fifth and Justin Wilson of Dale Coyne Racing will start sixth following his first appearance in the Firestone Fast Six of the season. Thirteen different drivers have contested in the Firestone Fast Six.

Rubens Barrichello, competing in his first IZOD IndyCar Series race in his hometown, missed advancing to the second round by 0.0243 of a second and will start 13th.

“I enjoyed qualifying,” Barrichello said. “For five laps I pushed the car hard. I didn’t want to give away any small percentage. I just learned the track this morning and I am still learning about the red (alternate) tire. I think it was a good qualifying. It is just so close and I am still working my way up to get into the top-10.”

Qualifying Saturday for the Sao Paulo Indy 300 IZOD IndyCar Series event on the 2.536 mile(s) Sao Paulo Street Circuit, with qualifying position, car number in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, time and speed in parentheses:

1. (12) Will Power, Dallara-Chevy, 01:21.4045 (112.151)

2. (10) Dario Franchitti, Dallara-Honda, 01:21.4485 (112.090)

3. (9) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 01:21.8545 (111.534)

4. (27) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Chevy, 01:21.9956 (111.343)

5. (28) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Chevy, 01:22.2408 (111.011)

6. (18) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 01:22.2681 (110.974)

7. (38) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 01:21.8033 (111.604)

8. (14) Mike Conway, Dallara-Honda, 01:21.8122 (111.592)

9. (67) Josef Newgarden, Dallara-Honda, 01:21.8128 (111.591)

10. (2) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Chevy, 01:21.8495 (111.541)

11. (26) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Chevy, 01:21.8498 (111.541)

12. (11) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Chevy, 01:22.5210 (110.634)

13. (8) Rubens Barrichello, Dallara-Chevy, 01:22.3939 (110.804)

14. (5) EJ Viso, Dallara-Chevy, 01:22.1404 (111.146)

15. (4) JR Hildebrand, Dallara-Chevy, 01:22.4321 (110.753)

16. (83) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Honda, 01:22.1973 (111.069)

17. (77) Simon Pagenaud, Dallara-Honda, 01:22.4354 (110.749)

18. (19) James Jakes, Dallara-Honda, 01:22.3840 (110.818)

19. (7) Sebastien Bourdais, Dallara-Lotus, 01:23.1331 (109.819)

20. (3) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Chevy, 01:22.4143 (110.777)

21. (25) Ana Beatriz, Dallara-Chevy, 01:23.2692 (109.640)

22. (20) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Chevy, 01:22.9424 (110.072)

23. (78) Simona de Silvestro, Dallara-Lotus, 01:23.6762 (109.106)

24. (22) Oriol Servia, Dallara-Lotus, 01:23.4509 (109.401)

25. (6) Katherine Legge, Dallara-Lotus, 01:24.6042 (107.910)

26. (15) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, No Time (No Speed)

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, April 28 2012
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