Will Power put down the fastest lap in IndyCar qualifying at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, earning his 60th NTT pole award of his career.
The veteran was able to lap the 2.258-mile road course in 1:06.3343, navigating the undulating hills better than any of his fellow competitors.
“It’s a very slippery track,” Power told NBC after qualifying. “It takes rubber a lot over the session, so the beginning is really slippery. That lap still didn’t feel like the tires were in. It was sliding all over the place.
“I just want to have a great race. That’s what I care about.”
The drivers were split into two groups for qualifying, with the fastest overall driver earning pole, and the rest of the drivers in that same group lining up in third, fifth, etc. positions. The drivers in the second group will line up in the even numbered positions.
Power was in the first group, which turned out to have the better track conditions. The hot afternoon sun made for slick conditions for all drivers, with Alex Palou and Alexander Rossi both taking a jaunt through the grass at one point.
Ryan Hunter-Reay put in the fastest time of group two, meaning he also earned a bonus point and will start on the outside of the front row.
Josef Newgarden will start third, which will help him in his bid to catch Scott Dixon, the current points leader, in the five races that remain. Helping his cause is the fact that Dixon had an uncharacteristically poor qualifying run, and will start all the way back in 17th position.
Pato O’Ward was the only driver to suffer damage from the practice session earlier in the day. Though the damage was light, the young Mexican driver was only able to complete 12 laps before hitting the track for qualifying.
The lack of track time contributed to a performance that was substantially worse than his good form throughout the season, and he will start back on the eighth row.
There is a threat of rain for this afternoon’s race, though the threat has been lowered in recent forecasts. The race gets underway in just a few hours’ time, with the green flag dropping at 16:50 EDT.