Power On Pole In St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Will Power continued his domination on the 1.8-mile, 14-turn temporary street course alongside scenic Tampa Bay by claiming the PEAK Pole Award for the sixth Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg with a quick lap of 1 minute, 1.6026 seconds (105.190 mph) in the Firestone Fast Six session.

It is the third pole start in his IZOD IndyCar Series career. The previous times he won at Edmonton and was runner-up at Long Beach in 2009.

Power won the season opener on another temporary street course two weeks ago in Brazil in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske entry, and had topped every practice session time chart this weekend. He set the track qualifying record in the second round of qualifications at 1:01.4816 (the record had been 1:01.6839 in 2007 by Helio Castroneves).

The Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg starts at 3:30 p.m. (ET) Sunday. The 100-lap race will be broadcast live on ABC and the IMS Radio Network.

Tony Kanaan, who also participated in the Firestone Fast Six in Brazil, will join Power on the front row for the 100-lap race. He posted a quick lap of 1:01.8797 in the Team 7-Eleven car for Andretti Autosport.

Scott Dixon (1:02.0820), making his series-record 34th consecutive top-10 start, and Justin Wilson (1:02.1992) will share Row 2, while Castroneves (1:02.2118; a two-time St. Pete winner) and Marco Andretti (1:02.3461) will occupy Row 3.

Ryan Hunter-Reay, who finished second to Ryan Briscoe in the '09 race, missed advancing to the Firestone Fast Six by .0014 of a second and will start seventh in the No. 37 IZOD car for Andretti Autosport. He'll be joined on the fourth row by FAZZT Race Team driver Alex Tagliani. KV Racing Technology's E.J. Viso and Mike Conway of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing will start on Row 5.

Dario Franchitti failed to qualify for the Firestone Fast Six for the first time when he was knocked out in the first round. Franchitti, the reigning series champion, started from the pole for the season opener March 14 in Brazil and was the only driver to participate in all seven Firestone Fast Six sessions in '09. He'll start 13th in the No. 10 Cottonelle car for Target Chip Ganassi Racing, his lowest road/street course starting position since 21st in 2005 at Infineon Raceway.

Graham Rahal, competing this weekend for Sarah Fisher Racing in the No. 67 Dollar General car, will start 16th. He won the race in 2008 and was the pole sitter last year.

In Firestone Indy Lights qualifying, James Hinchcliffe earned his first career pole in the series with a top lap of 1:06.3497, 97.664. Rookie J.K. Vernay will join him on the front row after posting a top lap of 1:06.4814, 97.471.

The 45-lap Grand Prix of St. Petersburg for Firestone Indy Lights starts at 12:45 p.m. Sunday.

Race Center

Auto Club 500

@ Auto Club Speedway
Saturday, October 19, 2013
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