Power second on grid for Indy 500

Will Power will start from second on the grid at the Indianapolis 500 behind pole-sitter New Zealander Scott Dixon.

Power, the defending IndyCar series champion, had a four-lap average of 226.350mph (364.275km/hr) to come in just behind Dixon’s 226.760mph (364.934km/hr) in qualifying on Sunday for next Saturday’s race.

Dixon, of Target Chip Ganassi Racing, ended Team Penske’s streak of eight straight pole wins.

The New Zealander took the lead in the first 25 minutes of action on the 2.5-mile oval. He waited for 29 other drivers to take their shot. None were faster.

Simon Pagenaud will start on the outside of Row 1 after going 226.145. Both drive for Penske.

It was a strange day at Indy.

After Ed Carpenter’s car went airborne in practice, series officials took away the extra power boost and instructed drivers to run in race trim.

The decision dropped qualifying speeds significantly. Most expected it to take an average between 233 and 234 to win the pole. Instead, the pole was down more than 4 mph from Carpenter’s top seed in 2014.

Carpenter’s crash, the third this week in which a car flipped, also delayed the start of qualifying by more than five hours as series officials, team owners and the two engine manufacturers debated how to make qualifying safer.

All three of the cars involved in the crashes Chevrolets, which like Honda, is running new aero kits on the first oval race of the season.

While the delay gave CFH Racing enough time to get Carpenter back on the track in time for the start of qualifying, the rule changes and revised schedule prevented Carpenter and three-time Indy winner Helio Castroneves from getting any real shots at historic milestones.

Race organisers gave all 34 cars one shot at the pole. Buddy Lazier, the 1996 race winner, missed his chance because he was not in the qualifying line on time.

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