Will Power would pick up exactly where he left off as he would win the pole for hte Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. Power would get around the 17-turn course in one minute and 8.3120 seconds to score his first pole of the season and third pole in five starts at Barber Motorsports Park. It also marks the 33rd career pole award for Power, tieing a break with Michael Andretti for eighth all-time.
“It’s going to be a tough race,” the Australian commented. “When it goes green, these temperatures are going to be very physical. There will be a lot of traffic and a lot of marbles so we’ll do everything we can to get the win. I love this place. It’s an awesome track. Very technical. Got to be fast. Got to be great. Definitely going to be a good race.”
Power has started off the 2014 season as he won the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, before finishing second in Long Beach to Mike Conway.
James Hinchcliffe would qualify second, matching his season-best start of the season (Long Beach) and his best Barber start (2012). Hinchcliffe is hoping for a good race this weekend after being involved in the multi-car incident at Long Beach while running in the top five.
“Very happy for the United Fiber & Data boys and everybody at Andretti Autosport – all the cars have been quick; having four cars starting in the top 10, that speaks volumes for the team,” Hinchcliffe commented. “Second race in a row starting from the front so we’re looking forward to tomorrow. With the heat that we are going to face tomorrow and the tires going off the way they are, we figured either having one more run on that set, or a set with one less run on it was going to play into our hands tomorrow. We watched some other guys go out and we weren’t sure what to expect, a bit nervous on the timing stand there but we held our second place. And hopefully with one less heat cycle on the tires we’ll be in a better position tomorrow.”
Hinchcliffe’s teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, who dominated the race at Long Beach before that incident, qualified third for his second consecutive top-five start at Barber. Hunter-Reay is the defending pole sitter and race winner at Barber.
“Starting third is two shy of where we want to be but, it’s a good start,” Hunter-Reay said. “We can go to work from there and can definitely win this thing from third. It was a tight qualifying session today – we knew it was going to be. With the level of drivers and teams we have involved, it was going to be a fight to the very end. We tried it and came up short, but overall I think third is good for the No. 28 DHL Honda.”
After contending for the win last weekend, Josef Newgarden qualified fourth, matching his carer-best qualifying performance, which was two weeks ago at Long Beach. On board with Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing for another season, Newgarden looks to be finding his stride as he continues to get stronger with each lap on the track.
“If you’re quick in all three practice sessions, it bodes better for the weekend. For us we found something that clicks better on the race car and for me,” Newgarden said. “It’s hard to do in a small group. We don’t want to make any excuses, but we’ve just been getting better as a team. Everyone works together better. I’ve been doing a better job of helping the team find what we need. That’s crucial. I feel good about it. Think we have a better package than we’ve had around here in the past.”
Scott Dixon qualified fifth as Chip Ganassi Racing looks for their first win of the 2014 season, followed by Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves. They are the only two drivers to qualify Firestone Fast Six for every race at Barber.
The Verizon IndyCar Series teams will get a morning warm-up session before the 90 lap race, which is set to start 2:12 p.m. local time.
1. (12) Will Power, Dallara-Chevy, 01:08.3120 (121.209)
2. (27) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Honda, 01:08.3409 (121.157)
3. (28) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Honda, 01:08.4264 (121.006)
4. (67) Josef Newgarden, Dallara-Honda, 01:08.4702 (120.929)
5. (9) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Chevy, 01:08.5151 (120.849)
6. (3) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Chevy, 01:08.6258 (120.654)
7. (34) Carlos Munoz, Dallara-Honda, 01:08.6388 (120.631)
8. (2) Juan Pablo Montoya, Dallara-Chevy, 01:08.6453 (120.620)
9. (25) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 01:08.6634 (120.588)
10. (77) Simon Pagenaud, Dallara-Honda, 01:08.8682 (120.230)
11. (7) Mikhail Aleshin, Dallara-Honda, 01:09.1708 (119.704)
12. (11) Sebastien Bourdais, Dallara-Chevy, 01:10.0283 (118.238)
13. (17) Sebastian Saavedra, Dallara-Chevy, 01:08.9674 (120.057)
14. (14) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 01:09.1451 (119.748)
15. (18) Carlos Huertas, Dallara-Honda, 01:09.0267 (119.954)
16. (19) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 01:09.2018 (119.650)
17. (83) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Chevy, 01:09.1941 (119.663)
18. (15) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 01:09.2228 (119.614)
19. (16) Oriol Servia, Dallara-Honda, 01:09.2935 (119.492)
20. (8) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Chevy, 01:09.2722 (119.528)
21. (20) Mike Conway, Dallara-Chevy, 01:09.8580 (118.526)
22. (98) Jack Hawksworth, Dallara-Honda, 01:09.4201 (119.274)
23. (10) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Chevy, 01:09.5829 (118.995)