26 July 2009
Power takes Edmonton pole.
Will Power earned his second PEAK Performance Pole Award of the 2009 IndyCar season by posting the quickest lap in the Firestone Fast Six qualifying session at Edmonton City Centre Airport.
The Australian, driving the #12 Penske Truck Rental entry in one his limited outings, turned a lap of 1min 01.0133secs to return to the top of the timesheets ahead of Penske team-mates Ryan Briscoe and Helio Castroneves. It was the quickest lap of the weekend and came in the final moments of the ten-minute shoot-out that sets the first three rows on road and street courses.
Power also qualified on the pole at Long Beach - the race where he began the weekend in Castroneves' car before switching to the #12 for the first time - and has been involved in every Firestone Fast Six session he has been eligible for in 2009.
"It's very tough qualifying here, and I'm physically exhausted," he admitted, "To do that lap, I'm very tired by the end of it, but it was a very good result. The starting position gives you an advantage, but you've really got to use it. As you can see in these races, anything can happen. I just hope to have a clean race tomorrow in the Penske Truck Rental car. I'd love to win one before the next few races that I get to compete in. Tomorrow would be nice.
"I'm very happy to have a 1-2-3 qualifying result for Penske Racing - it just shows what a good team I'm with. None of us have really had to make too many changes this weekend. The cars have been spot on."
Power will start next to Briscoe, last year's polesitter, after the Australian recorded his second front-row start in the past three street or road course events in the No. 6 Team Penske car.
"I would have liked the pole, but the important thing is that we're at the front and the Team Penske car is very fast," Briscoe admitted, "It's really handling well around this Edmonton track, so it really makes us feel good going into the race tomorrow. It is a little bit frustrating because we didn't get everything out of the new tyres that we could have - I felt like there was a little bit more to lose than to gain by hanging it out too much - but it's still awesome."
Penske stalwart Castroneves completed the team's sweep of qualifying, recording his best qualifying performance on a road or street course this year by bettering the eighth he took at late notice in Long Beach.
"For a moment, I forgot how fun it was to fight for pole but, let me tell you, Team Penske is awesome," the Brazilian bubbled, "They did a great job putting three cars in the top positions. That's what happens when you have three guys that step on the gas, you get excitement and it makes you push as hard as you can. I'm happy and we will be ready for a strong race on Sunday."
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