"Firestone Fast Six" Qualifying Results (mph): 1. Will Power (104.579); 2. Dario Franchitti (104.021); 3. Scott Dixon (103.850); 4. Mike Conway (103.629); 5. Ryan Briscoe (103.557); 6. Justin Wilson (103.229).
Firestone qualifying highlight: Firestone Racing brought new tread compounds for both its primary (black-sidewall) and alternate (red-sidewall) tire specifications this weekend. The Firehawk alternates were used exclusively in the three qualifying segments by all 25 cars. Will Power notched his second straight pole here by going two-tenths of a second faster on the used alternates than when they were new - clocking the fastest lap of the weekend thus far. In fact, three of the six drivers to reach the Firestone Fast Six logged faster top laps on used Firehawk alternates than they did in the previous qualifying segment on new alternate tires. (A chart detailing tire used and top laps for all the qualifying segments is attached.)
Qualifying temperatures: Track temperatures ranged from 124°-127° F (51°-53° C) and ambient temperatures remained a constant 84° F (29° C).
From pole winner Will Power, #12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "The Firestone reds (alternates) are definitely a lot stickier than the blacks (primaries). I ran used reds in the final segment and they lasted great, and were good enough for pole."
From Al Speyer, Executive Director, Firestone Racing: "One of the trademarks of Firestone Racing is that we're always working on developing new tires, and in fact we have two new tread compounds here at St. Pete in 2011. They're holding up very well with the proof being that Will Power earned the pole position not on a new set of tires as you might expect, but on a used set of Firestone red-sidewall alternate tires. St. Pete is a fantastic racetrack and we know that the fans who come out for tomorrow's race are sure to get their money's worth with some unexpected action and very tight competition."
-source: firestone racing