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Power and Briscoe top Sonoma qualifying

"We just don't have it," admitted the Frenchman. "I think we may be missing grip in a few places because, overall, my balance is really good. I think I got the most out of the car but not the most out of the tyres. We just don't have as much grip as the Penske cars and a few others. We need to find a little bit more."

"I was happy that we made it through to the second round of qualifying," contributed Barrichello, who will start the race from just outside the top ten. "We made an adjustment after the first round, but the car was still on the limit. Hopefully, with a good strategy tomorrow I will be looking at a top-five finish."

That second round set the broad pattern for the Firestone Fast Six which decided the first three rows of the grid, although Power once again flexed his muscles and propelled himself back on top ahead of Briscoe with a lap of 1:17.2709s (111.115mph) which was 0.1638s faster than his team mate, who will start alongside him on the front row for tomorrow's race. It's Power's 28th pole of his IZOD IndyCar Series career.

Sebastien Bourdais managed to stop a repeat of 2011's Penske top three lockout on the grid by firmly eclipsing Helio Castroneves for third place by more than three tenths. The Ganassi duo of Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti had to settle for sharing the third row of the grid, and face a reprise of the same gloomy scenario they endured last year when the top five drivers all finished in the same position in which they started. Despite the recent tweaks of the Sonoma circuit intended to aid overtaking and improve the racing action for fans, there's still every possibility that Penske will again emerge with a top three lockout in the race itself if they can dispatch Bourdais early in the day.

Power remains cautious about his chances of success, however. "The wind really made the car unstable the last two days, so it will be interesting to see what the wind is like tomorrow," he pointed out. "And it will also be interesting because the race is an extra ten laps."

There were no red flags during any of the rounds of qualifying, but Sebastian Saavedra had his fastest lap deleted in round 1 for a pit lane entry violation. Saavedra is also one of four who will have ten-place grid penalties for the start of tomorrow's race for unapproved engine changes: the others are Takuma Sato, Justin Wilson and Simona de Silvestro.

Full qualifying times are available.




Related Pictures

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Pole Winner Will Power shows off his fourth pole award of the season after clinching the top spot for the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma. (c) 2012 Michael L. Levitt (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Podium celebrations for Graham Rahal, Justin Wilson and Simon Pagenaud after the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay waits in his pit stand prior to practice for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay rolls down pit lane for practice for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates having the fastest qualifying time Saturday, August 1, 2015, winning the pole for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Dixon set a track record of 1:04.5814/125.869 mph. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates having the fastest qualifying time Saturday, August 1, 2015, winning the pole for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Dixon set a track record of 1:04.5814/125.869 mph. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies fastest Saturday, August 1, 2015, winning the pole for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Dixon set a track record of 1:04.5814/125.869 mph. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies fastest Saturday, August 1, 2015, winning the pole for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Dixon set a track record of 1:04.5814/125.869 mph. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon affixes the Verizon P1 Award emblem following qualifications for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon wins the Verizon P1 Award for capturing the pole position for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon and the Target Chip Ganassi Racing team take a selfie picture following their pole position for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon affixes the Verizon P1 Award emblem to his Chevrolet after capturing the pole position for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon wins the Verizon P1 Award for capturing the pole position for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon enters Turn 1 during practice for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon heads towards Turn 12 during practice for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon rolls through the Carousel (Turn 12) during practice for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon enters the Turn 2 Keyhole turn during practice for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio -- Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media
Scott Dixon in action during practice for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)

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