Power grabs sixth St. Petersburg pole, heads Penske 1-2-3-4

Will Power completed the perfect comeback from his Friday practice crash at St. Petersburg with a pole that knocked teammate Simon Pagenaud off the top by two tenths of a second.

The Australian, who has won this race twice, pulled off a masterstroke in Q2 by completing just two timed laps compared with others’ six and seven laps. But Power’s sole fast lap in that session put him top at 1m00.0658sec, 0.17sec clear of Scott Dixon, and simultaneously shattered his previous lap record by half a second.

But it also meant that in Q3, on scuffed reds, Power still had enough life left in his rubber to set a 1m00.2450secs, deposing Pagenaud with his final run, and earning him his 43rd pole position.

Helio Castroneves and Juan Pablo Montoya were 0.25sec and 0.29sec away respectively, to complete a Penske 1-2-3-4 at St. Petersburg.

Fastest non-Penske was predictably reigning champion Dixon who qualified fifth, while Ryan Hunter-Reay held up Honda honor with sixth.

Graham Rahal clocked seventh fastest in the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing-Honda, edging Sebastien Bourdais (KVSH-Chevy), and James Hinchcliffe’s Schmidt Peterson Motorsports-Honda.

Slightly disappointing was the performance of AJ Foyt Racing-Honda, a team that has figured in the top six throughout practice; Jack Hawksworth and Takuma Sato will roll off 10th and 11th tomorrow, just ahead of Josef Newgarden’s Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet.

Eliminated in the first round of qualifying were all the rookies – Alexander Rossi (Andretti), Conor Daly (Dale Coyne Racing), Max Chilton (Ganassi) and Spencer Pigot (RLLR).

However, they could console themselves with the thought that fellow Q1-eliminees included series veterans and former St. Pete podium finishers Tony Kanaan (Ganassi) and Marco Andretti (Andretti).

IndyCar 2016 - St. Petersburg - Qualifying
1 12  Will Power  Penske (C) 1:00.2450
2 22  Simon Pagenaud  Penske (C) 1:00.4421
3 3  Helio Castroneves  Penske (C) 1:00.4995
4 2  Juan Pablo Montoya  Penske (C) 1:00.5312
5 9  Scott Dixon  Ganassi (C) 1:00.5395
6 28  Ryan Hunter-Reay  Andretti (H) 1:00.8803
7 15  Graham Rahal  Rahal (H) 1:00.5893
8 11  Sébastien Bourdais  KVSH (C) 1:00.6711
9 5  James Hinchcliffe  Schmidt (H) 1:00.6724
10 41  Jack Hawksworth  Foyt (H) 1:00.7188
11 14  Takuma Sato  Foyt (H) 1:00.9745
12 21  Josef Newgarden  Carpenter (C) 1:01.0571
13 26  Carlos Muñoz  Andretti (H) 1:01.1856
14 83  Charlie Kimball  Ganassi (C) 1:01.0433
15 27  Marco Andretti  Andretti (H) 1:01.2417
16 19  Luca Filippi  Coyne (H) 1:01.1699
17 8  Max Chilton  Ganassi (C) 1:01.5372
18 7  Mikhail Aleshin  Schmidt (H) 1:01.2934
19 98  Alexander Rossi  Andretti/Herta (H) 1:01.5794
20 10  Tony Kanaan  Ganassi (C) 1:01.3414
21 18  Conor Daly  Coyne (H) 1:01.9385
22 16  Spencer Pigot  Rahal (H) 1:01.3881

(C) = Chevrolet, (H) = Honda


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About this article
Series IndyCar
Event St. Pete
Track St. Petersburg Street Course
Drivers Will Power
Teams Team Penske
Article type Qualifying report