By Christopher DeHarde, Staff Writer
LEXINGTON, Ohio — Will Power finally has something to smile about.
After abysmal luck in the previous two races, the 2018 Indianapolis 500 winner put his No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet on pole position for Sunday’s Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Power’s lap of 1 minute, 5.1569 seconds around the 2.258 mile road course averaged 124.757 mph and was .3748 seconds faster than second place qualifier Alexander Rossi.
Power is now 10 poles behind Mario Andretti’s all-time record of 67 poles and the timing couldn’t be better for the Toowoomba, Australia native. With contact with the wall at Turn 9 on both the first and last laps in Toronto and a late stop-and-go penalty at Iowa last week, it was a matter of time before luck went the 2014 NTT IndyCar Series champion’s way.
“It’s been such a bad year, so disappointing but I have such a fire burning in me when I do a lap like that,” said Power. “With in mind everyone that’s had such a great year, just sticking it to them, man. I don’t care. It just beats you down in the year where you just keep having these bad runs so I’m so happy to get the pole, so happy.
“It’s great for confidence, confidence for my guys. I feel so bad for my guys this year, I’ve made some stupid mistakes. I wasn’t on the ball in qualifying in Toronto so this is that energy to pay those guys back with all the effort that they put in and the sponsors as well.”
Behind Power and Rossi, Team Penske locked out the second row with Josef Newgarden ahead of Simon Pagenaud while Sebastien Bourdais and Felix Rosenqvist rounded out the top six drivers.
The Honda Indy 200 is Sunday at 4:00 p.m. ET on NBC.