Will Power finally caught Mario Andretti’s pole record. But first he had to catch Marcus Ericsson. Poiwer. the final car to qualify, topped Ericsson’s 182.070 mph average speed with a two lap average of 182.727 mph.
The qualifying session was arguably the most dramatic oval qualifying of the season. Takuma Sato was the eighth driver to make a qualifying run. He took the top spot and held it until Pato O’Ward beat his time 12 drivers later. Scott McLaughlin grabbed the pole until teammate Josef Newgarden made his run.
One of the possible pole contenders, Felix Rosenqvist, spun on his first qualifying lap in turn 2. He hit the inside wall. Rosenqvist will start last.
Ericsson’s qualifying time shot him to the lead. Scott Dixon was next, but he could only manage the fifth best time. Then Power came on track to end the qualifying round.
Power’s first lap was good enough to put him on the pole and his second lap reinforced his spot.
Power has tied Andretti for the most career poles with 67. His next win will tie him for third place all time with Michael Andretti. At the last race in Nashville, Scott Dixon moved ahead of Mario in career wins with his 53rd win, second to A. J. Foyt’s 67 victories.
Imagine being the top performer in your field and living to see your records equalled or broken. Andretti probably knew it would happen someday. I wonder if he thought he would be alive to see it happen.
Andretti’s last pole was in 1993.
In Dixon and Power we are witnessing two of the legendary drivers of open wheel racing.
Andretti Autosport cars showed to be relatively equal as they qualified 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th. Romain Grosjean, the fastest qualifier on the team, will serve a nine spot grid penalty and will start the race in 18th.
PThe top five contenders in the points chase-Will Power, Scott Dixon, Marcus Ericsson, Josef Newgarden, and Alex Palou- all start in the frirst three rows.
“It just shows no one’s letting up, no
one will until the end.Yep, pretty tight battle to the end. It will be very interestingto see how it unfolds. All you can do is just do your best.
Do your best. Can’t control some things, so see what
happens,” Power said.
“I think it shows howcompetitive this series is. It’s going to be tough. It’s going tobe tough to battle it out, try and beat the guy next to me
here. It’s going to be very tough.” Ericsson added.
A, J, Foyt Racing teammates Kyle Kirkwood and Dalton Kellett start 20th and 24th respectively. This usually one of the best tracks for Foyt’s cars.