Helio Castroneves scores Iowa pole but engine change gives Will Power top spot

Chris Trotman

An engine change after the IndyCar heat race on Saturday night at Iowa Speedway dropped pole-sitter Helio Castroneves from first to 11th on the starting grid for Sunday's main event.

After setting a new track record in time trials, Helio Castroneves proceeded to lead wire-to-wire in Saturday night's final 50-lap heat race at Iowa Speedway to earn the pole for Sunday's Iowa Corn Indy 250.

Unfortunately for Castroneves, an engine change has resulted in the championship leader having to start 11th on Sunday, moving heat race runner-up Will Power to the top spot for the start of the main event.

Castroneves will get to keep his championship bonus points -- nine for winning the third heat -- and will still be credited with the Verizon P1 Pole Award.

Penske Team President Tim Cindric took to Twitter on Saturday night to explain that the No. 3 team installed a fresh engine for Indianapolis but will have to reinstall it after it suffered an error -- and run it to the required mileage threshold of 2,000 miles.

Despite the penalty, Castroneves thinks the heat result was indicative of his possible performance on Sunday.

"I'm very excited to be honest -- the boys did a hell of a job, again," Castroneves said. "We learned a lot today, but obviously, tomorrow will be a different ball game. We'll have more traffic and it'll be a little bit hotter. There are a lot of things going on but I'm excited."

The complete starting lineup for Sunday's Indy Iowa Corn 250 can be found below. The race will take place on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET and will be televised on ABC.

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

Takuma Sato and Ana Beatriz changed their engines before the heat races, while Castroneves, Scott Dixon, James Jakes and Josef Newgarden changed theirs after the heat races. Each were given a 10-spot grid penalty.

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