Apr 28, 2012
SÃO PAULO, Brazil – Will Power gave Team Penske its fourth consecutive pole of the season, and the driver of the No. 12 Verizon car set an event qualifying record in the process.
Power posted a lap of 1 minute, 21.4045 seconds with about 3 minutes left in the Firestone Fast Six to claim his second consecutive pole start for the Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle. It was the 26th pole of his Indy car career, tying Dario Franchitti for ninth overall.
Click it: Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle qualifying results
That's who Power, who's won the race the past two years, will be sharing Row 1 with in the 75-lap race on the 2.536-mile, 11-turn street circuit (11 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Network). Franchitti earned his second consecutive front-row start with a lap of 1:21.4485 (only 0.0440 of a second behind) in the No. 10 Lexar Media car for Target Chip Ganassi Racing.
Event qualifying records have been set in all four IZOD IndyCar Series races this season.
"It was satisfying, especially knowing that Honda seems to have an advantage on the straights at the moment, so being on pole is a good start to the weekend," said Power, who has won the past races of the season from ninth and 12th on the starting grid. "I have a feeling it’s going to be wet, or maybe wet-dry for the race so it will mix things up a lot."
Watch it: Top 3 qualifiers talk about the day
Twenty-four hours earlier, Franchitti was analyzing his start to the season, saying "one thing we can control is the performance so we have to improve that." He has one top-10 finish and is an uncharacteristic 13th in the standings.
"... hopefully this is the weekend we can change it," he said. The reigning series champion is off to a good start.
"We off-loaded with a good car of the truck and made some improvements to it," he said. "I’m a bit disappointed in qualifying, especially because the time is in the car. The time was in the car, I didn’t put it together. I’m a little disappointed in myself but at the same time I feel a lot more happy than I have in the last few races."
Teammate Scott Dixon, driving the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car, extricated himself from running off course in Turn 9 with 3:30 left in the Firestone Fast to jump to third on the grid. He'll share Row 2 with James Hinchcliffe, who's the only driver to qualify for the Firestone Fast Six in all four races.
“I guess four is the number of the day: fourth place, fourth time in the Firestone Fast Six," said Hinchcliffe, driving the No 27 GoDaddy.com car. "We were 11th in the first practice, sixth in the second and now we qualified fourth. We’re steadily improving and if we can keep that trend up for the race we’re looking good.”
Andretti Autosport teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay qualified fifth and Justin Wilson of Dale Coyne Racing will start sixth following his first appearance in the Firestone Fast Six of the season. Thirteen different drivers have contested in the Firestone Fast Six.
Rubens Barrichello, competing in his first IZOD IndyCar Series race in his hometown, missed advancing to the second round by 0.0243 of a second and will start 13th.