Power second on Indycar grid in Alabama

Australia’s Will Power will start from second on the grid as he attempts to boost his Indycar series title defence at the Grand Prix of Alabama.

Brazil’s Helio Castroneves captured his second straight pole position as he topped the qualifying times on Saturday while Simon Pagenaud of France was third fastest – giving Team Penske a sweep of the top three spots.

Castroneves clocked 1min 07.1925sec on the 3.7km, 17-turn Barber Motorsports Park road course and his time stood up as the decisive fast six final stage of qualifying was called off with less than two minutes remaining because of lightning.

After three races Power is sixth in the series standings on 80 points, 39 behind leader and teammate Juan Pablo Montoya (119 while Castroneves is second on 116.

Power has started from the pole three times (2014, 2011, 2010) in the five races at Barber Motorsports Park and won in 2011 and 2012.

Castroneves’s pole position, on a track where he won in 2010, comes a week after he set a course record in claiming pole at Long Beach – where he eventually finished runner-up to New Zealand’s Scott Dixon.

“It’s all about team effort,” said Castroneves.

“For us, every practice is qualifying. That help us to push ourselves to be in this position. It’s not about because we have success here. I think it’s part of it, but it’s in the equipment. At the end of the day it’s a team effort.”

Power’s time of 1:06.8050 in an earlier round of qualifying was the fastest of the day.

Dixon was fourth-fastest in his Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevy.

Josef Newgarden of CFH Racing and Ganassi’s Tony Kanaan of Brazil will share the third row of the grid with the fifth- and sixth-fastest times.

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