Will Power led an all Penske and Ganassi shootout for the pole and twice broke the track record on his way to claiming his 38th career pole and the eighth straight pole position for Team Penske, dating back to Milwaukee last August.
Once the green flag dropped in the 10 minute pole-determining session, Power made his necessary install laps on the Firestone Blacks before switching to a set of faster reds while Dixon and Castroneves joined him on the track. Castroneves lost a lap after locking up the wheels in turn 10 which allowed Power to log a clean set of laps capitalized by a record lap of 1:09.4886 on his final run of the day.
With Power’s lap now in the books Castroneves and Dixon returned to the track to give it one more shot while Simon Pagenaud, points leader Juan Pablo Montoya and Tony Kanaan played the waiting game and went out with only four minutes remaining in the session.
Dixon managed to improve his time on his final run but came up two tenths short to Power.
“Actually surprised me on old tires there in the Fast Six, the time that I laid down,” said Power. “It just shows the team has done a great job with the car. All teammates in the Fast Six, too. We’re pushing each other hard. Got the Ganassi boys there knocking on the door all the time. Got our work cut out for us.”
“Just really happy to be on pole. Qualifying’s a day where you put absolutely everything on the line.”
Dixon ended a five race front row sweep for Team Penske with his third straight top five starting spot of the season. Castroneves, Montoya and Pagenaud claimed the next three positions flanked by Kanaan in sixth.
Sebastien Bourdais barely missed the Firestone Fast Six as Dixon managed to click off a hot lap .16s before the checkered flag flew in Q2 and will roll off in seventh place. Last year’s inagural pole sitter Sebastian Saavedra ended the day in eighth place followed by Luca Filippi and Stefano Coletti who claimed their best starting spots of the year in ninth and tenth and rounded out an all Chevrolet top 10.
Jack Hawksworth was the lone Honda to advance out of Q2 and ended up in 11th place.
JR Hildebrand qualified 15th in his first Verizon IndyCar Series race in nearly a year and first on a road course since Sonoma in 2013.
Andretti Autosport had a day to forget as none of their cars advanced from Q1 with team newcomer Justin Wilson carrying the flag in 18th followed by Ryan Hunter-Reay in 19th, Carlos Munoz in 21st and Marco Andretti in 22nd.