Sunday, November 27, 2022

Will Power Flexes Qualifying Muscle to Sweep Poles for Iowa Doubleheader

Will Power at Iowa Speedway
Will Power threw down the gauntlet with a stout performance in qualifying at Iowa Speedway. Image courtesy of Joe Skibinski / Penske Entertainment

Will Power swept qualifying to claim of pole positions for the doubleheader round for the NTT IndyCar Series at Iowa Speedway.

The unique qualifying format saw each driver go out in reverse order of the championship standings, with the first lap around the 0.894-mile oval setting the time for the Saturday’s 250 and the second lap scoring the starting position for Sunday’s Hy-Vee Salute to Farmers 300.

The 41-year-old Aussie was the second-to-last driver to go out, but managed to rocket to to the top spot for the opening race by utilizing a higher line on his first lap to set a flying lap at 178.130 mph. Power secured the best overall time on the second lap by limiting any falloff on his No. 12 Team Penske Chevrolet and pushed to 178.013 mph. By virtue of sweeping qualifying, Power now has 66 career poles, one behind Mario Andretti’s all-time mark of 67.

Josef Newgarden, a three-time winner at Iowa, ended up scoring the second-quickest time for each of his two respective laps to give Team Penske a sweep of the front row for both races. Newgarden’s first lap was 0.0424s (177.782 mph) behind Power, while the second was even more slim at just 0.0111s (177.904 mph) behind.

Qualifications for the opening race separate beginning with Conor Daly, who put the No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet in third. Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward had a massive save during his run, but was quick enough to end up fourth, ahead of Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin in fifth.

Rookie David Malukas continued to show his strength in qualifying to put the No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Racing Honda in sixth. Jack Harvey was the highest among the Rahal Letterman Lanigan group in seventh.

Rinus VeeKay, Takuma Sato and Romain Grosjean cleaned up the rest of the top 10.

Qualifying for the second race featured a slightly different look with Colton Herta placing his No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda third, ahead of Daly in fourth.

Sato and McLaughlin came across fifth and sixth, respectively. Harvey backed up his opening lap run with a consistent showing on his second lap to place seventh. The eighth spot was claimed by O’Ward, with VeeKay ninth.

Felix Rosenqvist put the No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet into the final spot of the top 10.

Up Next: The 250 at 4 p.m. ET, with live coverage on NBC and the IndyCar Radio Network.

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