Dixon to start 7th as Power grabs pole for GMR Grand Prix

| Photographer Credit: Chris Jones

Will Power earned the NTT P1 Award for winning the pole for the second NTT INDYCAR SERIES race of the 2020 season, setting the pace at 1 minute, 10.1779 seconds, 125.116 mph in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet on his final lap in the Firestone Fast Six. Qualifying took place in steamy conditions, with air temperatures in the low 90s on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course.

Five-time series champion Scott Dixon will start seventh in the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda after just missing a berth in the Firestone Fast Six by 57-thousandths of a second.

“We went through a bit of an aero experiment,” commented Dixon. “We tried some different things up and down on downforce between the black and red tire runs. I don’t think we nailed it maybe as best as we could have, but on the red tires we were pretty good.

“We were definitely pretty close, though, with the PNC Bank car, and maybe some of the guys we didn’t think would have been up there ended up being up there to challenge. It will make for an interesting race tomorrow, for sure.”

2014 NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Power drove to his 58th career pole, second best all time and just nine behind Mario Andretti’s record of 67. He also led the one practice session earlier in the day at 1:09.9487.

“We left nothing on the table in that lap in the Verizon Chevrolet,” Power said of qualifying. “I knew that (Jack) Harvey had a pretty good time up there, so we put our best set on for the last run, and I just gave it my all. Fortunately, it was enough.”

Not only does Power have pace on his side for the 80-lap race that starts at noon (ET, live on NBC) Saturday, he also has history for support. This was his fourth career pole in seven starts in this event, and he has won all three previous years he started from the pole, in 2015, 2017 and 2018.

Power’s scintillating, last-gasp pole dash was enough to knock a superb lap from Jack Harvey from the top of the charts. Harvey, who finished third in this event last year, ended up qualifying second at 1:10.3653 in the No. 60 AutoNation/Sirius XM Honda.

Colton Herta was third at 1:10.5197 in the No. 88 Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana Honda, with Graham Rahal fourth at 1:10.5844 in the No. 15 Fifth Third Bank Honda.

Oliver Askew was the top-qualifying rookie, fifth at 1:10.8404 in the No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet. Reigning series champion Josef Newgarden rounded out the Firestone Fast Six, not posting a lap time after going off course in Turn 12 during his flying lap in the No. 1 XPEL Team Penske Chevrolet.

Three-time and reigning GMR Grand Prix winner Simon Pagenaud had a tough day, not making it out of the first round of qualifying in the No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet. He will start 20th in the 26-car field.

Qualifying results

1. (12) Will Power, Chevrolet, 1:10.1779 (125.116 mph)
2. (60) Jack Harvey, Honda, 1:10.3653 (124.783)
3. (88) Colton Herta, Honda, 1:10.5197 (124.510)
4. (15) Graham Rahal, Honda, 1:10.5844 (124.396)
5. (7) Oliver Askew, Chevrolet, 1:10.8404 (123.946)
6. (1) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, No Time (No Speed)
7. (9) Scott Dixon, Honda, 1:10.1990 (125.079)
8. (20) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 1:10.2169 (125.047)
9. (10) Felix Rosenqvist, Honda, 1:10.2310 (125.022)
10. (59) Max Chilton, Chevrolet, 1:10.3055 (124.889)
11. (27) Alexander Rossi, Honda, 1:10.3426 (124.823)
12. (28) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 1:10.5764 (124.410)
13. (5) Pato O’Ward, Chevrolet, 1:10.7333 (124.134)
14. (8) Marcus Ericsson, Honda, 1:10.6287 (124.318)
15. (18) Santino Ferrucci, Honda, 1:10.7902 (124.034)
16. (45) Spencer Pigot, Honda, 1:10.6350 (124.307)
17. (30) Takuma Sato, Honda, 1:10.8853 (123.868)
18. (21) Rinus VeeKay, Chevrolet, 1:10.7070 (124.180)
19. (29) James Hinchcliffe, Honda, 1:11.1478 (123.411)
20. (22) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 1:10.7438 (124.115)
21. (55) Alex Palou, Honda, 1:11.1815 (123.352)
22. (26) Zach Veach, Honda, 1:11.2762 (123.188)
23. (24) Sage Karam, Chevrolet, 1:11.7774 (122.328)
24. (4) Charlie Kimball, Chevrolet, 1:11.4026 (122.970)
25. (98) Marco Andretti, Honda, 1:12.0513 (121.863)
26. (14) Dalton Kellett, Chevrolet, 1:11.5876 (122.653)

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