He might not be known as one of the strongest oval racers in the IZOD IndyCar Series, but in Friday afternoon qualifying for this weekend's Firestone 550 at the Texas Motor Speedway the Australian was schooling everyone in how to do it.

Power's time of 47.7960s (219.182mph) was 0.3577s faster than that of Marco Andretti, who will share the front row for the start of Saturday night's race under the floodlights on the high-banked 1.5-mile speedway.

"The race car has been pretty good," said Power. "We were wide open, trimmed out enough, the gears were right. Last year we thought we should have been on the pole but we got it right this time."

It's Power's 31st series pole, putting him into a three-way tie with Dario Franchitti and Sebastien Bourdais for the most pole positions in the sport.

At the other end of the grid, it was down to earth for a bump for Dale Coyne Racing. After the heights of success in Detroit last weekend, the team this week saw its drivers Pippa Mann and Justin Wilson up being the slowest cars to make a qualifying run on Friday.

AJ Foyt Racing needed to change the gearbox in the #14 car which meant that Takuma Sato missed his spot in pre-qualifying technical inspection and was unable to take part in qualifying.

Tristan Vautier was unable to set a time as the Schmidt-Peterson Motorsport sport changed the engine in the #55 car which will leave him with a ten-place grid penalty. Vautier's team mate Simona Pagenaud, who won the last race in Detroit, will also take a ten-place drop for an engine change.

Similarly penalised is KV Racing's Simona de Silvestro. In her case, the need to replace her Chevrolet engine stems from an accident in the second race at the Detroit double-header last Sunday.

Qualifying times

1. #12 Will Power Penske (C) 219.182mph 47.7960s (Pole)
2. #25 Marco Andretti Andretti (C) 217.553mph 48.1537s + 0.3577s
3. #1 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti (C) 217.524mph 48.1603s + 0.3643s
4. #10 Dario Franchitti Ganassi (H) 217.504mph 48.1646s + 0.3686s
5. #5 EJ Viso Andretti-HVM (C) 217.244mph 48.2222s + 0.4262s
6. #3 Helio Castroneves Penske (C) 217.100mph 48.2542s + 0.4582s
7. #67 Josef Newgarden SFHR (H) 216.693mph 48.3449s + 0.5489s
8. #83 Charlie Kimball Ganassi (H) 216.570mph 48.3724s + 0.5764s
9. #20 Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter (C) 216.552mph 48.3763s + 0.5803s
10. #16 James Jakes RLL (H) 216.487mph 48.3908s + 0.5948s
11. #9 Scott Dixon Ganassi (H) 216.447mph 48.3998s + 0.6038s
12. #78 Simona De Silvestro * KV Racing (C) 216.396mph 48.4112s + 0.6152s
13. #27 James Hinchcliffe Andretti (C) 216.248mph 48.4444s + 0.6484s
14. #77 Simon Pagenaud * Schmidt (H) 215.727mph 48.5613s + 0.7653s
15. #11 Tony Kanaan KV Racing (C) 215.474mph 48.6184s + 0.8224s
16. #98 Alex Tagliani BHA (H) 215.406mph 48.6337s + 0.8377s
17. #7 Sebastien Bourdais Dragon (C) 214.839mph 48.7621s + 0.9661s
18. #4 Oriol Servi? Panther (C) 214.586mph 48.8197s + 1.0237s
19. #15 Graham Rahal RLL (H) 213.888mph 48.9790s + 1.1830s
20. #6 Sebastian Saavedra Dragon (C) 213.217mph 49.1330s + 1.3370s
21. #18 Pippa Mann Dale Coyne (H) 212.785mph 49.2329s + 1.4369s
22. #19 Justin Wilson Dale Coyne (H) 207.807mph 50.4121s + 2.6161s
23. #14 Takuma Sato AJ Foyt (H) No time
24. #55 Tristan Vautier * Schmidt (H) No time

Starting grid - unofficial

1. #12 Will Power Penske (C)
2. #25 Marco Andretti Andretti (C)
3. #1 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti (C)
4. #10 Dario Franchitti Ganassi (H)
5. #5 EJ Viso Andretti-HVM (C)
6. #3 Helio Castroneves Penske (C)
7. #67 Josef Newgarden SFHR (H)
8. #83 Charlie Kimball Ganassi (H)
9. #20 Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter (C)
10. #16 James Jakes RLL (H)
11. #9 Scott Dixon Ganassi (H)
12. #27 James Hinchcliffe Andretti (C)
13. #11 Tony Kanaan KV Racing (C)
14. #98 Alex Tagliani BHA (H)
15. #7 Sebastien Bourdais Dragon (C)
16. #4 Oriol Servi? Panther (C)
17. #15 Graham Rahal RLL (H)
18. #6 Sebastian Saavedra Dragon (C)
19. #18 Pippa Mann Dale Coyne (H)
20. #19 Justin Wilson Dale Coyne (H)
21. #14 Takuma Sato AJ Foyt (H)
22. #78 Simona De Silvestro * KV Racing (C)
23. #77 Simon Pagenaud * Schmidt (H)
24. #55 Tristan Vautier * Schmidt (H)

* denotes 10-place engine change penalty