Power Wins Barber Pole
Will Power posted a quick lap of 1 minute, 8.3120 seconds in the Firestone Fast Six on the 2.38-mile, 17-turn road course at Barber Motorsports Park on Saturday to claim the Verizon P1 Award for Sunday’s IndyCar Series race.
The pole was the third in five years for the Team Penske driver, and padded his championship lead with a bonus point.
It was Power’s 33rd career pole, breaking a tie for eighth all time with Michael Andretti. He previously started from the pole in 2010 and 2011 at Barber, and won the race in 2011 and ‘12. In total, he’s collected 168 points total at the Alabama track.
“It’s going to be a tough race. When it goes green, these temperatures are going to be very physical,” he said. “There will be a lot of traffic and a lot of marbles so we’ll do everything we can to get the win. I love this place. It’s an awesome track. Very technical. Got to be fast. Got to be great. Definitely going to be a good race.”
Power holds a 28-point lead over Long Beach winner Mike Conway entering the 90-lap race (2:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN), but Conway is only competing in the 10 road/street course left on the schedule for Ed Carpenter Racing. Simon Pagenaud, who qualified 10th in the No. 77 Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports car, is 34 points back in third in the standings.
Four different teams were represented in the final 10-minute session, and the six qualifiers were separated by .3138 of a second.
James Hinchcliffe, who watched most of last April’s race from the infield following an early race incident, tied his career best of second on a road/street course (.0289 of a second behind Power) in the No. 27 United Fiber & Data car for Andretti Autosport. Teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, who won the 2013 race from the pole, will share Row 2 with Josef Newgarden, who also tied his career-best qualifying effort (at Long Beach) in the No. 67 Hartman Oil/Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing car.
Scott Dixon, who has been the runner-up in all four races at Barber, qualified fifth in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car, and Helio Castroneves qualified sixth in the No. 3 AAA Insurance Team Penske car. Castroneves won the 2010 race and has finished third the past two years. They’re the only drivers to compete in the Firestone Fast Six in all five years at Barber.No Comment