IndyCar »

Power leads Chevy whitewash in St Pete qualifying

"So unfortunately I went over the limit of the car and end up hitting turn 9 and I thought it was over," he explained. "The guys came fully focused to fix the car and rear suspension and in seven minutes they switched the entire suspension and we were able to go back there."

Sandwiched between the Penske presence are two of the three Andretti Autosport drivers, also all-Chevy-powered. A third Aussie, Ryan Hunter-Reay, will take up third place for the start of the race on Sunday afternoon, with James Hinchcliffe an impressive fourth in his first visit to St Pete after missing out in 2011 due to the lateness of his sponsorship deal coming together.

With Pagenaud dropping out because of his penalty, the spot on the third row alongside Castroneves will be taken over by the 'best of the rest', Scott Dixon, who missed out on progressing to the final round by a painfully slender 0.0022s.

Two more Chevrolet-powered cars take over the fourth row in the form of Marco Andretti and KV Racing's Tony Kanaan, leaving the fifth row to Ganassi duo Dario Franchitti and Graham Rahal.

The answer to the question of "which is the better engine to have" couldn't be clearer: Chevrolet claim seven of the top ten positions with the best Honda mired down in sixth place. As statements go, they don't get much more emphatic than that, and it will be leaving the Ganassi camp in particular in a state of shellshock if not downright panic as the mull over the consequences of what they saw.

"Our setup wasn't where it needed to be obviously," said Franchitti. "I don't think its by accident the Chevy guys were up there. We'll just keep our heads up and get the work done. We still have some tricks up our sleeve."

The highest-placed Lotus car was Bryan Herta Autosports' Alex Tagliani in 17th position. Sebastien Bourdais was faring well in his round 1 group, but then spun in the final minutes causing the track to be red flagged, and under the series rules that means his two fastest laps of the session were deleted as a penalty which caused him to classified in last position, meaning that he will start Sunday's race from the back row alongside his Lotus Dragon Racing team mate Katherine Legge, who had a similar spin at the same part of the track in her group but managed to get underway again without causing a red flag.

Bourdais accident meant that Rubens Barrichello lost the opportunity to complete his final flying lap, leaving him in 13th position on the grid for his first IndyCar start.

"I am pleased though; I improved this morning and today was the first time I have ever used the red (soft option) tyres," said Barrichello. "I can never be pleased with 13th or 14th, but we have to set targets and my targets are high."




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Will Power in the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet during pre-season testing at Sebring. March 2012. [Photo Credit: Michael Levitt - LAT for IndyCar Media]
Will Power happy with the top time during Friday practice on the streets of Baltimore - September 2011. [Photo Credit: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media]
James Davison on track on Carb Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Friday May 22 2015. (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson resplendent in the Rolling Stones livery for the #25 Andretti Autosport Honda in pit lane on Carb Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Friday May 22 2015. (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson resplendent in the Rolling Stones livery for the #25 Andretti Autosport Honda on track on Carb Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Friday May 22 2015. (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Will Power, Mark Miles and Derrick Walker announce the addition of Boston to the 2016 IndyCar Series itinerary. (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe steps into the #5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsport Honda in place of the injured James Hinchcliffe. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, May 21 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe steps into the #5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsport Honda in place of the injured James Hinchcliffe. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, May 21 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe steps into the #5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsport Honda in place of the injured James Hinchcliffe. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, May 21 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe steps into the #5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsport Honda in place of the injured James Hinchcliffe. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, May 21 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchcliffe at IMS (Photo by: Walter Kuhn)
James Hinchcliffe during practice prior to Qualifying for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race (Photo by: Leigh Spargur)
James Hinchcliffe at IMS (Photo by: Mike Harding)
James Hinchcliffe at IMS (Photo by: Jim Haines)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies third fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, and will start on the outside of the front row for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Pagenaud will be joined in the front row by by polestar Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet and Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet who qualified second fastest for the May 24 race. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies second-fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, and will start in the middle of the front row for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Power will be joined in the front row by pole sitter Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet and Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet  who qualified third for the May 24 race. (Photo by Scott R. LePage/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates after qualifying fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, winning the pole for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Dixon will be joined in the front row by Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet who qualified second fastest, and Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet  who qualified third for the May 24 race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, winning the pole for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Dixon will be joined in the front row by Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet who qualified second fastest, and Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet  who qualified third for the May 24 race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


Don - Unregistered

March 25, 2012 2:26 AM

Congrats Will! This is your year to win the championship. Good luck Rubens. You've got the right power plant, but you're going to find out there are some very good drivers in IndyCar.



© 1999 - 2015 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.