Right now it is Will Power’s world and we are all just living in it. The Team Penske driver has been absolutely flawless through the first three sessions of on-track action leading up to Saturday’s INDYCAR Grand Prix from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and he capped Friday afternoon off by qualifying on the pole position by just a hair over super rookie Robert Wickens.
After leading the first two practice sessions, Power waltzed through the first two rounds of qualifications on his way to the Firestone Fast Six. Joined by Wickens, James Hinchcliffe, Sebastien Bourdais, Jordan King and Josef Newgarden.
When the dust had settled, Power edged Wickens by a scant 0.087s to take his 51st career IndyCar pole award. Wickens’ teammate, Hinchcliffe, rebounded incredibly from a troubled second practice session earlier in the afternoon which saw him lock the tires of his No. 5 ARROW Honda multiple times before finally spinning the car in Turn 1 towards the end of the practice.
Hinchcliffe qualified fourth while Dale Coyne Racing’s Bourdais broke up the Canadian tandem by qualifying third.
Continuing an impressive string of road and street course debuts, Jordan King of Ed Carpenter Racing was quick once again and took the fifth place qualifying position. He beat out Josef Newgarden, who qualified sixth, and confirmed his status as a legitimate threat on road and street courses this season.
Absent from the Fast Six was Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi, who despite being quick for the two practice sessions today will start eighth. Two-time Indianapolis Grand Prix winner Simon Pagenaud will be slotted next to Rossi in seventh, and they were the first two drivers outside the cut to the Fast Six.
The rest of Rossi’s Andretti teammates didn’t fare as well as Ryan Hunter-Reay (13th), Marco Andretti (14th) and Zach Veach (20th) each missed the cut to escape the first round of qualifications. Chip Ganassi Racing prolonged their woes from practice two by qualifying a lukewarm 15th for Ed Jones and 18th for multi-series champion Scott Dixon.
While Wickens and King were quick rookies to qualify inside the top five, Zachary Claman de Melo (19th), Veach (20th), Matheus Leist (21st) and Kyle Kaiser (24th) were all rookies who struggled to find pace on the 2.439-mile road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Teams will have one last practice session at 11:15 a.m. Eastern to work on their machines before the fifth annual INDYCAR Grand Prix commences at 3:30 p.m. Eastern on Saturday, May 12. The 85-lap contest will be shown live on ABC with the command for drivers to start their engines coming at 3:43 p.m. Eastern.
Stay tuned to Open-Wheels for the latest from Indianapolis.
Images courtesy of INDYCAR Media.