Photo: Walter G. Arce/ASP, Inc.

Power, McLaughlin Lock Out Front Row for Both Iowa Races

By David Morgan, Associate Editor

NEWTON, Iowa – Team Penske is back at it again.

Coming into the Hy-Vee INDYCAR Weekend at Iowa Speedway, it was expected that Team Penske would be the team to beat and they lived up to those expectations in qualifying as teammates Will Power and Scott McLaughlin locked out the front row for both races on the 0.894-mile oval.

As the leader in all-time pole positions, Power only added to his legacy with his 69th and 70th career poles, respectively. With his double pole grab on Saturday, Power now has eight career poles at the track.

“It’s fantastic to get another pole, another two poles in a season. Qualifying, we’ve struggled this year,” Power said.

“Yeah, the race will be interesting to see. Guys tested here. Have other cars have improved on their race setup. The race is so much different to qualifying, it really is.

“Felt like we got a pretty good balance. We’ll see. Massive tire degradation, huge.”

Despite missing out on the pole, McLaughlin bowed to the master as he lauded Power’s ability to execute in qualifying, especially at Iowa.

“I won Class B,” McLaughlin joked. “Will is a genius over two laps. One-lap specialist, especially around this place.

“I learned a ton with my first qualifying run here last year. I’m really proud of that one. Yeah, that run, it wasn’t perfect. The car was perfect, but we made the most of it. I hit my marks. That’s all you can do as a race driver. Really proud of it.

“The Chevy is really strong in race running. Yeah, I’m just really proud. I put a lot of work to be better here. It’s paid off so far.”

Meanwhile, their teammate and four-time Iowa winner Josef Newgarden was expected to be the driver to beat after turning the fastest lap in practice on Friday, but only managed the third-quickest time in Race 1 and the seventh-fastest in Race 2.

Needless to say, Newgarden was not happy with his run in qualifying.

“That’s where we are. We’ll start from there,” Newgarden said.

“Just not the best balance. There’s a trade-off with qualifying and the race, so we probably didn’t have what we needed there.”

Six-time NTT IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon will start fourth in Saturday’s race, followed by Pato O’Ward, Colton Herta, current points leader Alex Palou, Romain Grosjean, David Malukas, and Marcus Ericsson rounding out the top-10.

Sunday’s race will see Malukas starting third, along with Ed Carpenter, Herta, Graham Rahal, Newgarden, Helio Castroneves, Dixon, and Ericsson making up the top-10 starters.

The first of the two 250-lap races, the Hy-Vee Homefront 250 is scheduled for 3:00 pm ET on Saturday. A day later, the Hy-Vee One Step 250 will kick off at 2:30 pm ET on Sunday. Both races will be shown on NBC.

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David Morgan is the Associate Editor for Motorsports Tribune. A 2008 graduate from the University of Mississippi, David has followed NASCAR since the early 90’s and became hooked at an early age after attending his first race at Talladega Superspeedway in 1993. He has traveled across the country since 2012 to cover some of the most prestigious events both IndyCar and NASCAR have to offer, with an aim to only expand on that in the near future.