Power posted a lap of 1:06.8632 in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet around the 13-turn, 2.26-mile road course, fastest among the 25 drivers competing this weekend. The 2010 pole-winner at Mid-Ohio, Power will go for his third pole of 2012 during Saturday’s qualifying session.
“This new DW12 Indy car feels great here – lots more power and down force – and you can really get after a lap,” said Power, who has earned two top-five finishes at Mid-Ohio in three starts. “We’re determined to get the pole here tomorrow I think the entire No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet team is very happy with today’s results.”
Helio Castroneves was clocked at 1:07.5518 in the No. 3 Penske Truck Rental Dallara/Chevrolet, the 14th fastest of the session. Despite being less than full-strength due to illness, Castroneves was able to complete the entire session as he looks to continue his strong history at Mid-Ohio which includes pole positions in 2007 and 2008 and race wins in 2000 and 2001.
“It was a good day for the No.3 Penske Truck Rental team,” said Castroneves, who enters this weekend second in the IZOD IndyCar Series championship standings, just three points ahead of his teammate Power. “I didn’t get to practice much here a week ago because of an accident so we felt a little behind plus it doesn’t help that I am not feeling well. I’m confident we will turn things around and hopefully this is just the beginning to a very good weekend.”
Ryan Briscoe was clocked just behind Castroneves with a time of 1:07.5909 in the No. 2 PPG Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet, good for15th-best in the practice rundown The Australian driver has three front-row starts to his credit at Mid-Ohio, including winning the pole in 2009, and is tied for the team lead with two pole wins in 2012.
“We had a decent day during our short practice session,” said Briscoe, the 2008 Mid-Ohio race winner. “We have some changes to make on the No.2 PPG machine, but we didn’t change tires during the session which led us to finish a little bit down the list on the lap times. I feel we’ve got a good car and we should have a good shot at the pole tomorrow.”
Another practice session will take place on Saturday morning before qualifying, which begins at 11 a.m. ET. Castroneves will start in the first group while Briscoe and Power will both be in the second group to begin first-round qualifying.