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Penske stage unbeatable 1-2-3 grid lockout

Simon Pagenaud will start from 22nd in the race, assuming (as seems highly likely) that he is still sitting in for Simona de Silvestro in the HVM #78 tomorrow. De Silvestro has been sidelined by immigration problems, with reports suggesting that the "technical issue" now in the hands of lawyers is a single immigration official who refused to accept de Silvestro's reason for recent trips to Canada as being down to her profession as 'IndyCar driver.' He decided that she was using an assumed name, voided her visa and put her on a plane back to Switzerland which could put her participation even in next week's maiden Baltimore street course race in doubt.

Pagenaud just saw off Ho-Pin Tung in group 2, as Tung finally achieves his ambition of making the IndyCar grid at last - the first Chinese driver to do so. "The car handled well and I felt comfortable completing my first qualifying attempt in IndyCar," said Tung. "Tomorrow will be a big day for me making my first real IndyCar debut and I hope to make a strong run here in Sonoma."

Martin Plowman, who was fastest in the morning practice session after opting to use up a set of his limited soft compound 'red wall' tyres, didn't make it through from round 1 but still qualified a satisfying 15th position in his second IndyCar outing. Plowman explained that it was down to confidence.

"I would say, after this morning, we had the confidence going into qualifying knowing that I could extract time out of the red tyres, which was my problem at Mid-Ohio," he said, explaining why the team had opted to run the red tyres in the morning. "To get our times like that on the red tyres was a big step forward for me."

Admitting that "our realistic goal was to get into the top-12 and break into the second qualifying group," he said it was disappointing to just fall short. "We missed our progression to the second group by seven-hundredths, which is a big step forward for me from Mid-Ohio, but it's a bit frustrating for me to have missed it by that little bit here today."

Up at the front of the grid, Will Power was making it clear that he was by no means giving up on the championship fight just yet.

"We need to execute this weekend and just keep finishing ahead of Dario. It's as simple as that," he said. While Dario had a big lead right now, "that could turn around in one weekend. Obviously, if we have a bad weekend and he is 70 points ahead with four weekends to go it will be tough ... near impossible."

He added, "It's going to come down to who is going to make the least amount of mistakes" - and Power intends that to be him from here on.

Full qualifying times and positions available.




Related Pictures

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Will Power on track at Infineon Raceway. [Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Will Power celebrates pole position at Infineon. [Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Chevrolet sweeps the podium with winner Mike Conway (center), driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrating his victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. Tony Kanaan (left), driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet celebrates his second-place finish. Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet celebrates his third-place finish. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, Tony Kanaan and Will Power celebrate on the podium after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway, Tony Kanaan and Will Power pose for a selfie on the podium after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan and Will Power pose for a selfie on the podium after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Chevy Racing sweeps the podium with race winner Sebastien Bourdais (center), driver of the #11 Hydroxycut KVC Racing Technology Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrating his victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the first of two IndyCar Series races in Toronto, Canada. Second-place finisher Helio Castroneves (left), driver of the #3 PPV Automotive Refinish Team Penske Chevrolet, and third-place finisher Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, join the celebration. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Sebastien Bourdais, driver of the #11 Hydroxycut KVC Racing Technology Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the first of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Scott R. LePage/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Rain drops on a space nose cone for Ryan Hunter-Reay`s car (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud enters Turn 4 during practice for the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud in action (Photo by: Eric Anderson for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud in action (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to a fourteenth-place finish Saturday, July 13, 2014 at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. Power lost the championship points lead to teammate Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, who finished eighth. (Photo by Dan Streck/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 TNT Energy Drink Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6, races to a third-place finish Saturday, July 12, 2014 at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V6, takes over the championship points lead with an eighth-place finish. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races teammate Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 TNT Energy Drink Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6, Saturday, July 12, 2014 at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. Dixon won the pole and finished in fourth-place. Kanaan led for most of the race and finished third. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V6, took over the championship points lead with an eighth-place finish Saturday, July 12, 2014 at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. (Photo by Brett Moist/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan lead the pack at the start of the Iowa Corn Indy 300 (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrates (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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Boss B - Unregistered

August 28, 2011 11:52 PM

Roger Penske should use team orders to get Will Power the win and his teammates on the podium. No sense in them fighting each other at this stage of the season. Castroneves should be replaced for next year. I nominate Graham Rahal



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