By: Spencer Neff
March 23, 2019 | 4:16 PM
Continuing his stellar record in qualifying, Team Penske’s Will Power took the pole for Sunday’s IndyCar Classic at Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas. In the final round of qualifying, Power turned in a best lap of 1m46.0177s on the 3.41-mile, 20-turn circuit.
Perhaps even more impressive is that Power was the lone Chevrolet-powered car in the Fast Six. With the pole, he now has 56 in his career – including the first two of 2019. The 2014 series champion is now 11 away from tying Mario Andretti’s all-time record.
Joining Power on the front row will be Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi. The fastest Honda-powered car in the field slots in second, 0.1584 seconds behind Power.
Rounding out the first three rows are Ryan Hunter-Reay (P3), Colton Herta (fastest rookie, P4), Felix Rosenquist (P5) and Scott Dixon (P6).
Continuing an impressive start to his rookie campaign, Rosenqvist led Round 2 of qualifying. In the session, he also recorded the fastest lap. (1m45.4542s/116.411 MPH)
Those who did not advance included St. Petersburg race winner Josef Newgarden, flashy rookie Pato O’Ward, sophomore Zach Veach, veteran Graham Rahal, rookie Santino Ferrucci and second-year driver Matheus Leist.
In Group 1, Dixon led (1m46.2076s) as Rosenqvist, Hunter-Reay, Ferrucci, Herta and O’Ward also advanced.
The six drivers who were eliminated in the first round – and will be starting on the inside of rows 7-12 – were Max Chilton, James Hinchcliffe, Sebastien Bourdais, Spencer Pigot, Kyle Kaiser and Jack Harvey. Harvey went off track in Turn 19, prompting the session-ending red flag with a few seconds to go.
Meanwhile, Group 2 of the first round played out in a similar manner. Less than a minute before the checkered flag, A.J. Foyt Racing’s Tony Kanaan went off track in Turn 19. Kanaan’s incident ended the session under the red flag.
Leading the way was Newgarden (1m46.2993s) in group two as Power, Rahal, Veach, Leist and Rossi also advanced. Eliminated in the session and starting on the outside of rows 7-12 are Takuma Sato, Marcus Ericsson, Ed Jones, Marco Andretti, Simon Pagenaud and Kanaan.
Since they caused a red flag, Harvey and Kanaan were both docked their two fastest laps per IndyCar rules. As a result, they will fill out the final row on the grid.
With qualifying wrapped up, teams will now shift their focus to Sunday’s race.
As with each IndyCar Series on-track session, the Advance Auto Parts IndyCar Radio Network will also provide commentary via RaceControl.IndyCar.com – where you can also find timing and scoring.
Sunday’s race is scheduled for a 1:40 p.m. Eastern green flag on NBCSN and IndyCar Radio. Stay with Open-Wheels.com and our social media accounts for all the latest news and developments.
Header image by Chris Jones /INDYCAR.