Power continued his incredible season today, in typical dominant fashion. The Team Penske driver topped the opening practice session early in the afternoon, and followed that with a blazing run in qualifying, earning his fourth pole of the season. Power's two-lap average of 182.727 mph came as the final car on track during the session.

“Amazing, amazing,” Power exclaimed. “I’m still kind of shaking because I tried to go wide open in Turn 3 and 4 there. It got halfway around wide open and then it wasn’t going to make it, so then I downshifted and kind of floated out towards the wall. There was nothing left on the table, put it that way.”

Power will have two opportunities this season to take sole possession of the qualifying record. However, his focus is on the present. The driver of the No. 12 Chevrolet came into today with a six-point lead in the championship. That becomes a seven-point edge after earning the bonus point for pole position today. He should be in line to lead laps in the race tomorrow night, which will earn him even more bonus points as the race for the title intensifies.

Joining Power on the front row will be Chip Ganassi Racing's Marcus Ericsson. The Indy 500 winner broke up the Penske party as Josef Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin will start from Row 2 tomorrow. Ericsson's two teammates Alex Palou and Scott Dixon will line up behind them in Row 3 for the race. The top six drivers in qualifying all drive for either Penske or Ganassi.

The first of those from another team could be the biggest threat to win tomorrow. Pato O'Ward has been incredible at this track. In his three starts at Gateway, the Arrow McLaren SP driver has finished 3rd, 2nd, and 2nd with 131 laps led. He has been knocking on the door, and already has a win at Barber and Iowa this season.

Rounding out the top-ten in qualifying were Takuma Sato, Romain Grosjean, and Devlin DeFrancesco. The four Andretti Autosport drivers will start 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th tomorrow with Alexander Rossi and Colton Herta in Row 6. With David Malukas, Simon Pagenaud, and Jack Harvey behind them, Honda secured 12 of the top-15 starting spots for the race.

2022 Bommarito Automotive Group 500 - Qualifying Results
Pos Driver Team Engine
1Will PowerTeam PenskeChevrolet
2Marcus EricssonChip Ganassi RacingHonda
3Josef NewgardenTeam PenskeChevrolet
4Scott McLaughlinTeam PenskeChevrolet
5Alex PalouChip Ganassi RacingHonda
6Scott DixonChip Ganassi RacingHonda
7Pato O'WardArrow McLaren SPChevrolet
8Takuma SatoDale Coyne w/ Rick Ware RacingHonda
9Romain GrosjeanAndretti AutosportHonda
10Devlin DeFrancescoAndretti AutosportHonda
11Alexander RossiAndretti AutosportHonda
12Colton HertaAndretti AutosportHonda
13David MalukasDale Coyne w/ HMD MotosportsHonda
14Simon PagenaudMeyer Shank RacingHonda
15Jack HarveyRahal Letterman Lanigan RacingHonda
16Conor DalyEd Carpenter RacingChevrolet
17Graham RahalRahal Letterman Lanigan RacingHonda
18Helio CastronevesMeyer Shank RacingHonda
19Christian LundgaardRahal Letterman Lanigan RacingHonda
20Kyle KirkwoodAJ Foyt RacingChevrolet
21Jimmie JohnsonChip Ganassi RacingHonda
22Callum IlottJuncos Hollinger RacingChevrolet
23Rinus VeeKayEd Carpenter RacingChevrolet
24Dalton KellettAJ Foyt RacingChevrolet
25Ed CarpenterEd Carpenter RacingChevrolet
26Felix RosenqvistArrow McLaren SPChevrolet

Rossi will be making his final oval start with Andretti, with the first one back in 2016 obviously being the biggest moment of his career. His last four finishes here (13th, 22nd, 14th, 17th) haven't been great so he will try to end on a high note tomorrow. Two other drivers that have struggled at Gateway in recent years are Graham Rahal and Ed Carpenter. The RLL Racing driver has never led a lap here, and in his six races, has finished 12th, 10th, 18th, 18th, 20th, and 23rd.

Carpenter is making his final start of the season, as he continues to just compete in the oval events. It has been another rough year for the team owner/driver in the No. 33 Chevrolet, as he starts 25th tomorrow. Ed has surprisingly struggled at Gateway. Despite his runner-up finish in 2019, Ed has never led a lap here and finished 21st, 12th, 20th, 21st, and 22nd in his other five starts.

The veteran racer will try to end the year on a high note. "It was a tough race for me here last year, but it is a track I have always enjoyed competing at. I am ready to make up for last year and end my driving season on a high note. Having a break after Nashville was great for the team, so we are all very energized and ready to use this event as a springboard for a strong run to the end of the season."

The two full-time drivers for Ed Carpenter Racing didn't have a great Friday at the track either. Conor Daly had a big moment in the early practice session, and qualified 16th. Rinus VeeKay simply didn't have the speed or handling during his run, and will start 23rd tomorrow.

There was just one heart-stopping moment during qualifying, and that came at the expense of Felix Rosenqvist. The driver of the No. 7 Chevrolet got loose during his run and spun towards the inside of the track. He tapped the tire barriers but did not do any significant damage to the car. He will start last in the 26-car field.

Earlier today, Meyer Shank Racing announced that Helio Castroneves will be returning in 2023 for the full-season. Helio, who qualified 18th today, has an odd history at Gateway. His first five races (1998-2003) included a pair of runner-up finishes and a win from pole position in 2003. He made his return to the track in 2017 and finished 4th. Helio has led 271 laps, which ranks second behind Newgarden.

Jimmie Johnson might have three teammates still vying for the series championship this weekend, but the driver of the No. 48 Honda desperately wants another great finish tomorrow night. "More ovals, please," said Johnson, who starts 21st tomorrow. "Especially what I experienced in Iowa on a short oval, I’m just much more in my element and less thinking and more reacting. And it put on a great show." That may be ultimately what decides his future for next season in the series.

"I never thought I’d say it, but I’m in favor of more short ovals," Johnson admitted. "I just think that they put on such a great show. And with my own personal frustration of Indy and trying to pass and what I’ve been able to see at Iowa in those two races, to my surprise, these cars really perform well on a short oval." He continues to search for sponsorship to run the full season again in 2023.

All of the championship contenders will be starting at the front of the pack tomorrow, which certainly bodes well for the show. It also should not be much of a surprise, as these drivers have typically run well at this track. Dixon won the first race here in 2020 and has three other top-five finishes in his seven starts. Last year he was taken out in the incident with VeeKay, along with his teammate Alex Palou.

"It's becoming a very tight and interesting championship," Dixon said. "I'd say one of the best of recent years. It was definitely a difficult race for us last year. Alex and myself got caught up in the same accident, but we were able to get back out and repair the car. Hopefully, it will be much cleaner for the three of us fighting for the championship. It's definitely getting pretty spicy and exciting. This is what the team is made for and hopefully one of us can get that trophy and keep it back at home."

Palou went on to win the title last year, but he remains winless this season. If he hopes to have any chance of defending his championship, he will need to get to victory lane very soon. Palou has never led a lap here in his three starts, finishing 15th, 12th, and 20th.

Power won this race in 2018 and has led 201 laps in his six Gateway starts. He has finished 3rd in each of the last two races here, but hopes to improve upon that. Newgarden was on his way to sweeping the two races at Iowa before a shock failure sent him into the wall. Poised for his third championship next month, Josef is focused on the tricky oval at Gateway. He seems to have this place figured out though, with three wins his six starts here with 406 laps led. He aims for his third consecutive win here tomorrow evening.

The pole sitter at Gateway has not won since 2003 but qualifying up front is crucial for the race. The last six races have all been won by a driver starting inside the top-five. Grosjean will be serving a nine-place grid penalty for an unapproved engine change in his No. 28 Honda. As a result, he will start the race from the 18th position tomorrow night.

There is still more action to come today, with another 60-minute practice session slated for this evening. Even before that, nine teams will take part in a special session in an attempt to rubber down the high line on the track, in an effort to increase passing opportunities.

The drivers participating will include Power, Dixon, Rossi, Rosenqvist, Daly, Sato, Callum Ilott, Pagenaud, and Harvey. The only team not represented is AJ Foyt Racing. Each car will be given one extra set of Firestone tires for the session.

With two hours of practice and qualifying done, a busy Friday at Gateway has set the stage for tomorrow night's race. Coverage for the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 begins at 6 PM ET on USA Network.