Photo: Justin R. Noe/ASP, Inc.

Will Power Snags Iowa IndyCar Pole

By Aaron Bearden, Open Wheel Editor

NEWTON, Iowa — Will Power’s string of impressive qualifying efforts continued at Iowa Speedway.

Power laid down a 17.611-second lap to take the Verizon P1 Award and the right to lead the field to green in Sunday’s Iowa Corn 300. The result was the Australian’s third-career Iowa pole, his second in a row at the track and second overall in 2018.

The run continued a streak of qualifying excellence for the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series champion. In 11 races, Power has qualified inside of the top three 10 times, with his lone result outside of the top three being a close sixth for Race 1 at Belle Isle Park.

It also placed Power in a good position to accomplish one of the few IndyCar triumphs that has continued to elude him – an Iowa victory.

“I love this place,” Power said. “It’s a real tough little bullring oval and man, I’ve been trying to win this for so long.  So, obviously, starting the race in a good spot.  I think it will be a very difficult race, tires degrade a lot, but it will make for great racing.”

Following Power in second was Team Penske teammate Josef Newgarden. Ryan Hunter-Reay followed in third, but he was followed by Simon Pagenaud to give Penske three of the top four starting spots.

Alexander Rossi rounded out the top five, with Scott Dixon, Robert Wickens, Ed Jones, Ed Carpenter and Takuma Sato completing the top 10.

The qualifying session went through with little issues, despite the challenge presented by the 7/8-mile oval.  Matheus Leist was the lone driver with anything to worry about after a shunt in the morning’s opening practice, but his AJ Foyt Racing team was able to repair his No. 4 Chevrolet in time for qualifying. The rookie qualified last among all entrants, and will roll off 22nd in Sunday’s race.

Next up for the IndyCar field in final practice at 6:45 p.m. ET. Coverage for Sunday’s race will begin on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET.

Iowa Corn 300 Starting Lineup

  1. Will Power
  2. Josef Newgarden
  3. Ryan Hunter-Reay
  4. Simon Pagenaud
  5. Alexander Rossi
  6. Scott Dixon
  7. Robert Wickens
  8. Ed Jones
  9. Ed Carpenter
  10. Takuma Sato
  11. James Hinchcliffe
  12. Graham Rahal
  13. Tony Kanaan
  14. Zach Veach
  15. Sebastien Bourdais
  16. Gabby Chaves
  17. Charlie Kimball
  18. Spencer Pigot
  19. Marco Andretti
  20. Zachary Claman de Melo
  21. Max Chilton
  22. Matheus Leist

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Aaron Bearden is a Contributing Writer for Motorsports Tribune, handling coverage of both the Verizon IndyCar Series and ABB FIA Formula E Championship. A native Hoosier, Bearden has attended races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway since he was three years old. He can be found on social media at @AaronBearden93.