IndyCar St. Petersburg 2013: Will Power wins pole for Sunday's season-opening race

Team Penske driver Will Power celebrates his 30th career pole after Saturday's Grand Prix of St. Petersburg qualifying. - Mark Vidreiro

A familiar name sits atop the final rundown for Firestone Fast Six qualifying for the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg but the names surrounding Will Power is fascinating (although not entirely surprising.) Takuma Sato and Simona De Silvestro join Power on the qualifying podium for Sunday's race.

For Power, it is his fourth-consecutive St. Petersburg pole (1:01.2070 / 105.870 mph) and his 30th North American open-wheel series pole, placing him eighth on the all-time list. Power, who has lost the Series championship on the final race of the season for the past three years, appears to have established some early momentum in the quest for his first IndyCar Series championship.

The pole award also gives Power one bonus point to start the season. As the last few years have shown, bonus points are so crucial to the championship chase over the course of the season.

Sato, De Silvestro, James Hinchcliffe, Helio Castroneves, and rookie Tristan Vautier completed the Fast Six. Defending Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay just missed out on the final round and qualified seventh for Sunday's race.

"It's a very good way start to the season," Power said. "We just had to get through the fast six. We looked after our tires in the first two rounds and waited to see what we could do in that last one."

Despite consistently setting the fastest times throughout the multitude of practice sessions throughout Friday and Saturday, Power wasn't entirely happy with his car. He says his team was still making changes to the car throughout the three practice sessions and it wasn't until the final round that he was finally happy with the car.

The complete running order can be found below and an exclusive photo album (via SBN's Mark Vidreiro) from the first day or Grand Prix of St. Petersburg can be found here on our new Facebook page. Give it a like if you feel so inclined.

  1. Will Power
  2. Takuma Sato
  3. Simona De Silvestro
  4. James Hinchcliffe
  5. Helio Castroneves
  6. Tristan Vautier
  7. Marco Andretti
  8. Ryan Hunter-Reay
  9. Sebastian Saavedra
  10. Dario Franchiti
  11. Tony Kanaan
  12. Oriol Servia
  13. Justin Wilson
  14. Charlie Kimball
  15. Graham Rahal
  16. Josef Newgarden
  17. Alex Tagliani
  18. James Jakes
  19. Simon Pagenaud
  20. Scott Dixon
  21. Sebastien Bourdais
  22. EJ Viso
  23. Ed Carpenter
  24. JR Hildebrand
  25. Ana Beatriz

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