Will Power takes career milestone pole, seeks elusive win at Iowa Speedway
Formerly not a fan of oval racing, Will Power is proving to be an oval track powerhouse as the 2018 Indianapolis 500 champion took the pole for the Iowa Corn 300 Saturday at Iowa Speedway.
Power’s Verizon P1 Award is his third at Iowa, the most pole awards won at the small, rough and tumble oval track. Despite having had so much speed and success in qualifying over the years, Power continues to chase his first victory at the track.
“It's been high up on my list for a long time,” he said. “You start looking at tracks you haven't won on, and you want to get that ticked off. So this is one of them. This is probably the top of the list of tracks I haven't won on.”
The session also marked Power’s 52nd pole award, just one away from tying A.J. Foyt for second most all-time.
Power bumped teammate and defending series champion Josef Newgarden off of the top qualifying spot late in the session en route to his P1 award. Team Penske nearly swept the top three qualifying positions, as they had previously done in Texas, but Ryan Hunter-Reay knocked Simon Pagenaud out of P3.
Alexander Rossi would claim P5, starting ahead of title rival Scott Dixon and looking to remedy a pair of disappointing finishes in Detroit and Road America. Dixon currently leads Hunter-Reay and Rossi by 45 points at the top of the Verizon IndyCar Series championship standings.
Behind them, Robert Wickens qualified P7 on a track that he admitted was the least familiar style to him. The Canadian rookie has shown strong pace on ovals throughout the season despite having limited oval racing experience entering the race weekend.
Ed Carpenter returns to the IndyCar Series lineup for another oval event, hoping to fight back from a disappointing accident at Texas. He qualified P9.