SONOMA, Calif. (Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014) — Verizon IndyCar Series championship points leader Will Power claimed his second consecutive Verizon P1 Award, and fourth of the season, with a lap of 1 minute, 17.4126 seconds in Firestone Fast Six qualifications for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma.
Power, driving the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car, reset the track record he established in 2012 with a lap of 1:17.2393 (111.161 mph) in the first of the three rounds on the 2.385-mile, 12-turn road course.
It was the fourth pole at Sonoma Raceway for Power, who has won three of the past four Verizon IndyCar Series races on the scenic circuit.
“It’s a track-position race and starting on pole puts us in a good position,” said Power. “If it’s a normal sort of strategy, we’ve put ourselves in a great position to win the race. But you know how these races go. You’ve got to get everything right on race day and we’re going to try and do that.”
With the bonus point for the pole, Power takes a 40-point advantage over teammate Helio Castroneves into the 85-lap race Aug. 24.
“We know we have a very good car and hopefully we’ll have a good race,” said Castroneves, who qualified sixth in the No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske entry. “You have to be aggressive in a way that puts you in position going to the last race to win the championship.”
The season-closing MAVTV 500 on Aug. 30 at the 2-mile Auto Club Speedway oval carries double points.
“Every point counts but there are a lot of points on the table and lots of racing left,” Power added. “I just have to focus on the job at hand.”
Josef Newgarden tied his career-best qualification effort of second on a road/street course (Mid-Ohio earlier this month) with a lap of 1:17.7318 in the No. 67 Hartman Oil/Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing entry.
Reigning series champion Scott Dixon qualified third in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car and will share Row 2 with James Hinchcliffe, driving the No. 27 United Fiber & Data car for Andretti Autosport. Ryan Briscoe, who scored his first Verizon IndyCar Series pole at Sonoma Raceway in 2005 and won in 2012, will start on Row 3 with Castroneves.