Power on pole: You don’t even know if you’ll get another one

Will Power, who took pole for Saturday’s GMR Grand Prix of Indianapolis, says he savors them more now because they’re becoming ever harder to come by.

Power on pole: You don’t even know if you’ll get another one
Listen to this article

The second practice session on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 2.439-mile 14-turn road course saw 18 of the 27 cars finish within half a second of top spot, so all drivers knew even small mistakes would be costly come qualifying.

In the end, Team Penske-Chevrolet’s Will Power took pole by a mere 0.0426sec ahead of Alex Palou of Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda, while Power’s teammate Josef Newgarden was only 0.0253sec further back.

It was Power’s sixth pole on the IMS road course, where he has also scored five wins.

He said: “You couldn't leave anything on the table. Any time you get a pole on this series these days, you've done a really good job. I think the team and everyone has put it together because any time you are leaving anything on the table… one-tenth moves you a lot of spots.”

Drivers only have two sets of Firestone’s softer, red-sidwalled alternate compounds to use in qualifying, so those who get through to Firestone Fast Six (Q3) are running on used reds. It was therefore hugely important not to take too much out of either set of reds used in Q1 and Q2, given that the fall-off from Lap 1 to Lap 2 ‘flyers’ on reds was up to three-tenths of a second.

Power managed to minimize this difference to 0.2759sec on his used reds in Q3 and it was enough to earn him pole. But he said he wasn’t confident that he’d done enough.

“I did my absolute best and put it all together and didn't know where it would stack up,” he said. “I just knew it was not that far off my quickest time on new tires. I thought it was a pretty good time to have done on used tires. So, yeah, it was a good lap."

The pole, his first on a road course since the Harvest Grand Prix on this same track in 2020, leaves him with a tally of 64, just three behind IndyCar’s all-time pole-winner, Mario Andretti. Power admitted that as the P1 awards have gotten tougher to achieve, he enjoys them more.

“Yes, I really, really enjoy them,” said Power whose first pole came in 2006 at Surfers Paradise. “You don't even know if you'll get another one, so… Any win or anything I get in this series now I feel very blessed and happy to have got because it's tough. Obviously, I'm not 20 anymore either. Yep, got to keep digging.

A contemplative Power also said how grateful he was to be in his 14th season with Penske, his 13th as a full-timer with Roger Penske’s legendary squad.

“Honestly, I feel so lucky to have had a career and a team like that,” he said. “You are given a car week in, week out, that's capable of pole positions and race wins. Man, I have so much appreciation for that at this late stage in my career having been in the series for so long.

“I think struggling at Indy [500] last year gives you an understanding of what some people go through all the time, and you’re just fortunate to have a team that can have a struggle like that and go away and come back and be rectified immediately just because they're so resourceful. We just have quality people.

“Yep, very fortunate. Very fortunate.”

shares
comments
IndyCar GP Indy: Power scores 64th pole, sixth at IMS
Previous article

IndyCar GP Indy: Power scores 64th pole, sixth at IMS

Next article

IndyCar GP Indy: Ericsson tops warm-up, start time brought forward

IndyCar GP Indy: Ericsson tops warm-up, start time brought forward
Load comments
Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021 Prime

Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021

In an enthralling 2021 IndyCar campaign, the series bounced back from its COVID-19 truncated year prior and series sophomore Alex Palou defeated both the established order and his fellow young guns to clinch a maiden title. It capped a remarkable season with plenty of standout performers

IndyCar
Nov 22, 2021
How Marcus Ericsson finally unlocked his potential in IndyCar Prime

How Marcus Ericsson finally unlocked his potential in IndyCar

Marcus Ericsson enjoyed a breakout year in the IndyCar Series in 2021, winning twice and finishing sixth in points with Chip Ganassi Racing. How did he finally unlock the potential that was masked by five years of toil in Formula 1 with Caterham and Sauber/Alfa Romeo?

IndyCar
Nov 16, 2021
Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing win Prime

Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing win

Saturday, Oct. 16th, marks the 10th anniversary Dan Wheldon’s death. David Malsher-Lopez pays tribute, then asks Wheldon’s race engineer from 2011, Todd Malloy, to recall that magical second victory at the Indianapolis 500.

IndyCar
Oct 16, 2021
Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up? Prime

Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up?

Jack Harvey’s move to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing sparked plenty of debate, but their combined strength could prove golden, says David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Oct 15, 2021
Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting Prime

Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting

Kyle Kirkwood, the record-setting junior formula driver, sealed the Indy Lights championship last weekend. But despite an absurdly strong résumé and scholarship money, his next move is far from clear. By David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Oct 6, 2021
2021 IndyCar title is just the start for Ganassi's newest star Prime

2021 IndyCar title is just the start for Ganassi's newest star

Alex Palou has captured Chip Ganassi Racing's 14th IndyCar drivers' championship, and in truly stellar manner. David Malsher-Lopez explains what made the Palou-Ganassi combo so potent so soon.

IndyCar
Sep 28, 2021
Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar Prime

Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar

One of motorsport’s worst-kept secrets now out in the open, and Romain Grosjean has been confirmed as an Andretti Autosport IndyCar driver in 2022. It marks a remarkable turnaround after the abrupt end to his Formula 1 career, and is a firm indication of his commitment to challenge for the IndyCar Series title  

IndyCar
Sep 24, 2021
IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch Prime

IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch

The 2021 IndyCar silly season is one of the silliest of all, but it’s satisfying to see so many talented drivers in play – including Callum Ilott. David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Sep 11, 2021