Monday, October 2, 2023

Will Power Takes All-Time IndyCar Pole Record From Mario Andretti at Laguna Seca

Will Power in practice for the 2022 Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey.
Will Power in practice for the 2022 Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey. Photo courtesy of James Black/Penske Entertainment.

MONTEREY, Calif. — All Will Power needed was just one timed lap at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca to set a new all-time record for IndyCar pole positions.

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The No. 12 Team Penske Chevrolet went around the 11-turn, 2.238-mile road course in 1 minute, 11.6127 seconds, earning one bonus point for that pole position. Power’s pole was his 68th career IndyCar pole position, breaking a tie with Mario Andretti for most all-time IndyCar poles.

Joining the points leader on the front row for Sunday’s Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey is Callum Ilott in the No. 77 Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet. Alexander Rossi and Romain Grosjean make up row two ahead of Alex Palou and Pato O’Ward on the third row.

The second round of qualifying was not friendly to IndyCar championship contenders. Scott McLaughlin’s final lap didn’t bring him to the Firestone Fast Six after dropping two wheels off track exiting Turn 4. Meanwhile, Marcus Ericsson spun at The Corkscrew and Race Control deleted the Swede’s fastest lap because he caused a local yellow affecting other drivers. McLaughlin will start eighth ahead of Ericsson in 10th.

Josef Newgarden did not get his qualifying session started off well as the two-time IndyCar Series champion hit a yellow metal track marker with the left front tire. That marker, placed at the apex of The Corkscrew to prevent course cutting, upset the No. 2 Team Penske Chevrolet, causing Newgarden to spin and become stranded near the bottom of the corner.

By bringing out a red flag, Newgarden was not allowed to continue in qualifying and lost his two fastest laps of that round. The Tennessee native will start Sunday’s race in 25th place.

Race control extended group one’s running time to allow for each driver to have an opportunity to set one more fast lap due to the red flag. As the first group of round one ended, Simon Pagenaud went third fastest as one of the last cars to finish their one allotted lap, bumping Scott Dixon from participating in round two. The No. 9 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda will start 13th.

Championship contender starting positions:

  1. Will Power

8. Scott McLaughlin

10. Marcus Ericsson

13. Scott Dixon

25. Josef Newgarden


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