Will Power drove to the 60th pole of his stellar INDYCAR career, earning the NTT P1 Award for Race 1 of the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio doubleheader Saturday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
2014 NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Power was the quickest driver overall in the two qualifying groups, turning a top lap of 1 minute, 6.3343 seconds in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet. It was third pole of the season for Power, who will seek his first win of 2020 in the 75-lap race that starts at 5 p.m. (ET) today, with live NBCSN coverage starting at 4:30 p.m.
Power climbed closer to tying Mario Andretti’s record of 67 career INDYCAR poles with his best lap during the first qualifying group on the 13-turn, 2.258-mile circuit.
RESULTS: Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Qualifying
“It’s a very slippery track,” Power said. “It takes rubber a lot over a session. The beginning is really slippery. That lap, it still didn’t feel like the tires are in. It was sliding all over the place, but the car felt good. Now I just want to have a great race. That’s what I care about.”
2012 series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay will start on the front row with Power after his lap of 1:06.7287 in the No. 28 DHL Honda topped the second qualifying group. It’s the best qualifying position this season for Hunter-Reay, who also seeks his first win of 2020.
Reigning series champion Josef Newgarden boosted a strong session for Team Penske, starting third at 1:06.5508 in the No. 1 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet. Conor Daly will start fourth in the No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet after a best lap of 1:06.8761. It’s his best starting position this season on a road course.
Jack Harvey will round out the top five on the starting grid after a qualifying lap of 1:06.7690 in the No. 60 AutoNation/SiriusXM Honda. Mid-Ohio is the home track for Harvey’s team, Meyer Shank Racing, which is based 20 miles east of Columbus, Ohio.
Five-time series champion Scott Dixon, who leads the series standings by 96 points over Newgarden, will start 17th in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda after a puzzling qualifying session. Dixon, the reigning event winner and six-time Mid-Ohio race victor, mustered a lap of 1:07.1406 in the quicker first group.
“The balance was really good this morning (in practice),” Dixon said. “The car was actually really good on blacks (primary tires). We went to the reds (alternate tires) and just had no rear grip, which this morning, the balance was the other way. So, we have no idea what happened. I don’t know. Maybe it was just that set of tires, or we missed something out here.”