For the 31st time in his career, the driver of the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car would win the Verizone Pole Award. Will Power had a two-lap average speed of 219.182 mph to win the pole for the Firestone 550 at Texas Motor Speedway, which will run on Saturday night.
“The race car has been pretty good,” Power said. “We were wide open, trimmed out enough, the gears were right. Last year we thought we should have been on the pole but we got it right this time. It’s going to be an interesting race.”
Power started fifth and would come home with an eighth place finish last June.
Marco Andretti would qualify second with a two lap average of 217.553 mph. Andretti led the first practice session of the day.
“The car was pretty good,” Andretti said. “I’m pleased with our front row (start). Good job by the guys because our focus wasn’t even on qualifying. I’m pleased just like I was at Indy because it was the same focus at Indy. The first lap, I think we had an overboost, so we lost a mile-per-hour, which I was hoping it wasn’t going to cost me more than it did. Will (Power) went for it, and he got benefited for it so good job to him.”
Following Detroit, he currently sits at the top of the points standings, tied with Helio Castroneves. Castroneves qualified sixth.
Andretti’s teammate and reigning series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay qualified third, followed by Dario Franchitti and E.J. Viso.
Detroit race No. 2 winner Simon Pagenaud qualified 14th.
“We have a faster car than we showed in qualifying, but we had a mis-shift which cost us a lot,” Pagenaud commented. “It didn’t go our way today but we have a long race tomorrow. The nature of the racing here is to have low downforce for good racing. It will be very important to have a stable car set-up so that we can be consistent in the race.”
INDYCAR officials had a practice following qualifying, in which was led by Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan. Kanaan qualified 15th for Saturday night’s race. James Hinchcliffe was second in practice (qualified 13th), followed by Power, Scott Dixon and James Jakes.