Power Pounces for 57th Career Pole

After a relatively quiet trio of practice outings at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with only the seventh-fastest lap on the combined timesheet heading into qualifying, Will Power ended the Firestone Fast Six with his third NTT P1 Award of 2019 and the 57th pole position of his Indy car career.

The 1:05.1569 Power turned in the final round of qualifying became the weekend’s new fastest lap of the weekend and put a significant gap between the No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet and the five other Fast Six participants.

All three Team Penske Chevrolets made it into the pole shootout alongside three Honda-powered cars from three different teams. In the six-minute session, Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi proved to be Power’s closest competition but the No. 27 NAPA Auto Parts Honda could only come within 0.3748 seconds of Power’s blistering pace, finalized on the Australian’s final lap. That difference became the largest between the top two cars in any session of the weekend through qualifying.

Championship leader Josef Newgarden also had a go at earning a bonus point to pad his lead in the standings but was more than six-tenths of a second slower than Power. Indianapolis 500 winner Simon Pagenaud was a further tenth off the pace.

The remaining two Hondas after Rossi, driven by Dale Coyne Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais and Chip Ganassi Racing’s Felix Rosenqvist, were more than a full second off Power and will start from the third row in Sunday afternoon’s 90-lap race.

Colton Herta, who topped the combined practice timesheet ahead of qualifying, failed to advance out of Round 2 when he missed the cutoff for the Fast Six by 0.0034 seconds. Five-time Mid-Ohio race winner Scott Dixon also failed to make it into the final round and will start from the outside of the fourth row, alongside Herta.

Completing the top 12 were Meyer Shank Racing’s part-time pilot Jack Harvey as well as Ryan Hunter-Reay, James Hinchcliffe and Marcus Ericsson, making it nine Hondas in the group.

There were no on-track incidents or penalties during qualifying. A potential blocking move by Ericsson on Rosenqvist was under review by the stewards but no action was taken.

The 23-car field will return to the 2.259-mile road course Sunday at noon EDT for a 30-minute warm-up session. The race itself will follow at 4:05 p.m. with live television coverage beginning five minutes earlier on NBC.

Ben Hinc
Ben Hinchttp://www.benhinc.com
Ben's executive editor title is purposefully broad to encompass the bottomless list of roles he fills for The Apex, which includes webmaster, graphic designer, quality consultant and writer. Ben's technical background and progressive media distribution approach set The Apex apart technologically and philosophically.

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