Australia’s Will Power has set a qualifying lap track record on the way to taking pole position for Saturday’s first race of the IndyCar Dual in Detroit.
Power, the defending race one champion in the back-to-back showdowns over the 2.35-mile and 14-turn street circuit, lapped the course at 1min 16.0941 secs to claim his 39th career IndyCar pole but his first on the Belle Isle layout.
Power’s Roger Penske Racing teammates Helio Castroneves of Brazil and Juan Pablo Montoya, last week’s Indianapolis 500 winner from Colombia, qualified second and third respectively for the 70-lap showdown.
“I had new tires and was pushing hard because they said Helio and Juan were pretty close,” Power said.
“It’s the pole but it’s a long race,” he said.
“Once again, it’s about battling the teammates around here as we have all year. It has been a great weekend and a really good start.”
Japan’s Takuma Sato, last year’s pole winner, qualified a season-high fourth, the only Honda among seven Chevrolet-powered cars in the top eight qualifiers, followed by Frenchmen Simon Pagenaud and Sebastien Bourdais.
Power is set to make his 100th IndyCar start on Sunday in race two of the weekend, with qualifying to come that morning.