Team Penske’s Will Power claimed pole position for the IndyCar’s season finale at St. Petersburg while title contenders Josef Newgarden and Scott Dixon were knocked out in Q2.
Power was in a league above the rest of the field around St. Petersburg streets, which was meant to host the season-opener in March prior to the pandemic crisis deepening, as he set a time of 1:01.0369.
Power is not in the title fight but team-mate Newgarden holds a slim chance of overhauling Dixon’s 32-point advantage with 53 points up for grabs.
But it is advantage Dixon after qualifying as despite taking only 11th his championship opponent mustered only eighth.
Alongside Power on the front row is No.27 Andretti-Honda of Alexander Rossi as the Californian claimed his best qualifying result of his tumultuous 2020 campaign.
Andretti Autosport continues to end its season on a high with a second row lockout for Colton Herta in third with supersub James Hinchcliffe alongside in fourth place.
Briton’s Jack Harvey will head Arrow McLaren SP’s Patricio O’Ward on the third row as both drivers look to end their respective first full IndyCar campaigns on a high.
Despite having no full-time ride in 2020, two-time St. Pete winner Sebastien Bourdais was able to put the No.14 A.J Foyt entry into seventh place ahead of Newgarden on row four.
Rinus VeeKay will capture the ‘Rookie Of The Year’ award when he starts his engine for Sunday’s race and will do so from ninth on the grid ahead of Oliver Askew in his last race for AMSP.
Simon Pagenaud was relegated from the Firestone Fast Six after he spun at the end of Q2 which technically brought a red flag. This meant according to IndyCar regulations he was no longer allowed to proceed into the final part of qualifying.
As a result of his expulsion from the Fast Six, Pagenaud will share the sixth row in 12th place.
Q2 became massively delayed after race control suffered issues in trying to deal with a number of potential penalties.
After a 20 minute delay, Oliver Askew was handed a promotion to Q2 after Chip Ganassi’s Felix Rosenqvist dropped from his place in Q2 after blocking the No.55 Dale Coyne entry of Alex Palou.
Despite getting knocked out of Q1, Penske’s newly-signed Scott McLaughlin never stopped pushing on his IndyCar debut weekend, the Kiwi continued to dial himself into the streets of St.Pete after brushing the exit wall at Turn 10.
The Firestone Grand Prix of St.Petersburg is scheduled to begin at 14:30 EDT.