IndyCar Gateway: Power takes 67th pole, matches Andretti’s record

Will Power has achieved his long-held dream of matching Mario Andretti’s all-time IndyCar pole position record after topping qualifying at the Gateway oval.

IndyCar Gateway: Power takes 67th pole, matches Andretti’s record

Power set the only 182mph opening lap with a 182.366 and his second lap was a 183.089 – an average of 182.727mph - which landed the Penske driver his fourth pole position of the season and the 67th of his career.

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Rookie Devlin DeFrancesco clocked a 179.531mph average for Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport to sit top after the first seven cars had run, continuing his fine work from the practice session and last week’s rookie test.

Takuma Sato of Dale Coyne Racing with RWR was next to top the times, turning a 180.476mph lap followed by a 179.623mph to give him the first average to crack the 180mph barrier, although he admitted he’d had to work hard to contain his car’s handling traits.

David Malukas, in the Coyne with HMD car, was unable to match Sato's time, nor beat fellow rookie DeFrancesco, but he delivered a solid run to claim third at the time.

Romain Grosjean, like Sato, ran a 180mph opening lap and high 179 second lap, to slot into second, although the Frenchman will have to take a nine-place grid drop due to an early fifth engine change.

While he was able to shade team-mate DeFrancesco, Colton Herta could not after having a wiggle out of Turn 3 and having to breathe the throttle.

Pole sitter Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet celebrates his pole position with team and NTT guests

Pole sitter Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet celebrates his pole position with team and NTT guests

Photo by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

His issues were mild compared with Felix Rosenqvist, who looped his car into a spin exiting Turn 2. But the Swede remarkably kept the Arrow McLaren SP off the outside SAFER barrier, and only gently rolled backward into the inside tyre wall. Rosenqvist, a potential polesitter, will thus start the race from the back of the 26-car grid.

Alexander Rossi slotted into the Andretti Autosport cluster, behind Grosjean and DeFrancesco but ahead of Herta.

Then the second AMSP car set a 179.958 followed by a 180.650, beating Sato’s average by 0.25mph with an average of 180.303mph, but his time at the top didn’t last long. The very next car out, Scott McLaughlin (Penske) delivered two 181mph laps resulting in an average of 181.406mph.

Next out was Alex Palou, and his Chip Ganassi Racing also set two 181mph laps to claim second, but then Josef Newgarden in the #2 Penske was 180.747mph on the first lap – with a self confessed ‘goof’ downchange at Turn 3 – but then ran a remarkable 182.520mph on his second lap.

Remarkably, Marcus Ericsson produced a 181.901 and 182.239 to grab top spot with a 182.070mph average, a target that team-mate Scott Dixon tried and failed to eclipse before Power took pole.

Jack Harvey will take the green as the highest placed Rahal Letterman Lanigan driver, while Conor Daly was by far the fastest of the three Ed Carpenter Racing cars.

The second practice session will start 45 minutes early for nine cars who will attempt to clean and lay rubber on the higher line. All 26 cars will be on track from 6.45pm CT (00.45am UK time).

IndyCar Gateway Qualifying Results

Cla Driver Team Time Gap Mph
1 Australia Will Power United States Team Penske 24.5782   183.089
2 Sweden Marcus Ericsson United States Chip Ganassi Racing 24.6929 0.1147 182.239
3 United States Josef Newgarden United States Team Penske 24.6548 0.0766 182.520
4 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin United States Team Penske 24.7823 0.2041 181.581
5 Spain Alex Palou United States Chip Ganassi Racing 24.8125 0.2343 181.360
6 New Zealand Scott Dixon United States Chip Ganassi Racing 24.8681 0.2899 180.955
7 Mexico Patricio O'Ward United States Arrow McLaren SP 24.9101 0.3319 180.650
8 Japan Takuma Sato United States Dale Coyne Racing 24.9341 0.3559 180.476
9 France Romain Grosjean United States Andretti Autosport 24.9972 0.4190 180.020
10 Canada Devlin DeFrancesco United States Andretti Autosport 25.0201 0.4419 179.855
11 United States Alexander Rossi United States Andretti Autosport 25.0513 0.4731 179.631
12 United States Colton Herta United States Andretti Autosport 25.0346 0.4564 179.751
13 United States David Malukas United States Dale Coyne Racing 25.0701 0.4919 179.497
14 France Simon Pagenaud United States Meyer Shank Racing 25.1603 0.5821 178.853
15 United Kingdom Jack Harvey United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 25.1626 0.5844 178.837
16 United States Conor Daly United States Ed Carpenter Racing 25.1575 0.5793 178.873
17 United States Graham Rahal United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 25.1568 0.5786 178.878
18 Brazil Helio Castroneves United States Meyer Shank Racing 25.1815 0.6033 178.703
19 Denmark Christian Lundgaard United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 25.1935 0.6153 178.618
20 United States Kyle Kirkwood United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 25.2184 0.6402 178.441
21 United States Jimmie Johnson United States Chip Ganassi Racing 25.4839 0.9057 176.582
22 United Kingdom Callum Ilott United States Juncos Hollinger Racing 25.5132 0.9350 176.379
23 Netherlands Rinus van Kalmthout United States Ed Carpenter Racing 25.5491 0.9709 176.131
24 Canada Dalton Kellett United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 25.8503 1.2721 174.079
25 United States Ed Carpenter United States Ed Carpenter Racing 25.8721 1.2939 173.933
26 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist United States Arrow McLaren SP 25.3252 0.7470 177.689
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