Dominant Power takes St Pete pole

Will Power continued his outstanding start to the 2010 IndyCar season by taking pole position in St Petersburg

Dominant Power takes St Pete pole

Fresh from winning the season opener in Brazil a fortnight ago, Power was quickest in every practice session at the Florida street track and then earned a comfortable pole.

Penske driver Power breezed through to the decisive Fast Six session and set a 1m01.7s lap on his first run of the pole shootout. None of his rivals could beat it - and Power then cemented his advantage by improving even further, to 1m01.6026s, as the chequered flag fell.

Tony Kanaan gave Andretti Autosport its first front row start since summer 2008 as he claimed second, 0.2771s behind Power.

Scott Dixon was third for Ganassi - but his 2009 title rivals Dario Franchitti (Ganassi) and Ryan Briscoe (Penske) both had disastrous sessions and will start in 13th and 19th respectively.

Justin Wilson gave Dreyer & Reinbold fourth on the grid, despite a brake scare, with Penske's Helio Castroneves and Andretti Autosport's Marco Andretti the other two top six contenders.

Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport) was pushed out of the Fast Six session by a last-gasp run from Castroneves so will start seventh, alongside Alex Tagliani - who could not replicate his Sao Paulo front row start but still impressed for new team Fazzt.

EJ Viso (KV) and Mike Conway (Dreyer & Reinbold) completed the top ten, with Takuma Sato (KV) 11th ahead of Hideki Mutoh (Newman/Haas/Lanigan). Sato lost the right rear wheel from his car on his out-lap in round two, but he came to a safe halt in a run-off area. The safety crew reattached the wheel during the consequent red flag and he was able to rejoin, but could not get off the sixth row.

Franchitti and Briscoe were both eliminated in the ultra-competitive first qualifying group - failing to make it into the crucial top six despite both being within 0.4s of session pacesetter Castroneves.

Briscoe, who will start way back in 19th, felt he had used his softer red tyres too soon, before track conditions were at their best, while Franchitti blamed Briscoe for impeding him.

The second qualifying group was less fraught, with Graham Rahal the highest profile casualty in his first race for Sarah Fisher Racing. The American was briefly in the top six before being edged back to a row eight start, while HVM's rookie Simona de Silvestro came within 0.002s of making it into the top 12 shootout.

Starting order: Pos Driver Team Time 1. Will Power Penske 1m01.6026s 2. Tony Kanaan Andretti 1m01.8796s 3. Scott Dixon Ganassi 1m02.0820s 4. Justin Wilson Dreyer & Reinbold 1m02.1991s 5. Helio Castroneves Penske 1m02.2117s 6. Marco Andretti Andretti 1m02.3461s 7. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti 1m01.8979s 8. Alex Tagliani Fazzt 1m01.9692s 9. EJ Viso KV 1m01.9806s 10. Mike Conway Dreyer & Reinbold 1m02.0433s 11. Takuma Sato KV 1m02.4204s 12. Hideki Mutoh Newman/Haas/Lanigan 1m02.5112s 13. Dario Franchitti Ganassi 1m02.1944s 14. Simona de Silvestro HVM 1m02.4483s 15. Dan Wheldon Panther 1m02.2556s 16. Graham Rahal Sarah Fisher 1m02.5043s 17. Vitor Meira Foyt 1m02.2687s 18. Mario Romancini Conquest 1m02.7366s 19. Ryan Briscoe Penske 1m02.3205s 20. Mario Moraes KV 1m02.8293s 21. Danica Patrick Andretti 1m02.4904s 22. Alex Lloyd Dale Coyne 1m03.4793s 23. Raphael Matos de Ferran/Luczo Dragon 1m03.0144s 24. Milka Duno Dale Coyne 1m08.5057s Round 1 - group 1: 1. Castroneves 1m01.8881s 2. Tagliani 1m02.0521s + 0.1640s 3. Wilson 1m02.0694s + 0.1813s 4. Hunter-Reay 1m02.1101s + 0.2220s 5. Viso 1m02.1253s + 0.2373s 6. Andretti 1m02.1773s + 0.2893s 7. Franchitti 1m02.1944s + 0.3063s 8. Wheldon 1m02.2556s + 0.3676s 9. Meira 1m02.2687s + 0.3807s 10. Briscoe 1m02.3205s + 0.4324s 11. Patrick 1m02.4904s + 0.6023s 12. Matos 1m03.0144s + 1.1263s Round 1 - group 2: 1. Dixon 1m01.7912s 2. Kanaan 1m01.9093s + 0.1182s 3. Power 1m02.0439s + 0.2528s 4. Conway 1m02.1081s + 0.3169s 5. Sato 1m02.2969s + 0.5057s 6. Mutoh 1m02.4472s + 0.6561s 7. de Silvestro 1m02.4493s + 0.6581s 8. Rahal 1m02.5043s + 0.7132s 9. Romancini 1m02.7366s + 0.9454s 10. Moraes 1m02.8293s + 1.0382s 11. Lloyd 1m03.4793s + 1.6881s 12. Duno 1m08.5057s + 6.7146s Round 2: 1. Power 1m01.4816s 2. Dixon 1m01.6617s + 0.1801s 3. Kanaan 1m01.8102s + 0.3287s 4. Wilson 1m01.8727s + 0.3911s 5. Andretti 1m01.8770s + 0.3955s 6. Castroneves 1m01.8965s + 0.4150s 7. Hunter-Reay 1m01.8979s + 0.4163s 8. Tagliani 1m01.9692s + 0.4876s 9. Viso 1m01.9806s + 0.4991s 10. Conway 1m02.0433s + 0.5618s 11. Sato 1m02.4204s + 0.9389s 12. Mutoh 1m02.5112s + 1.0297s Fast six: 1. Power 1m01.6026s 2. Kanaan 1m01.8796s + 0.2771s 3. Dixon 1m02.0820s + 0.4794s 4. Wilson 1m02.1991s + 0.5966s 5. Castroneves 1m02.2117s + 0.6092s 6. Andretti 1m02.3461s + 0.7435s 
Power still unbeatable in practice
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