IndyCar at Texas: Will Power scores pole position for Firestone 550k

USA TODAY Sports

Will Power scored his 31st career Indy car pole on Friday at Texas Motor Speedway. The accomplishment ties him for seventh on the all-time list.

In the midst of the worst start of his career, Will Power needed a positive to kick-start his season and received it on Friday when he captured the pole for the Firestone 550k at Texas Motor Speedway.

Power took the top spot with a two-lap average speed of 219.182 mph on the 1.5-mile, high-banked oval, nearly a full second faster than second-place qualifier Marco Andretti (217.553.) The average speed was also more than 3.5 mph faster than Alex Tagliani's 2012 pole-winning speed -- the first time the DW12 Dallara chassis was used at Texas.

"The race car has been pretty good," said Power, whose 31st career pole tied Dario Franchitti and Sebastien Bourdais for seventh on the all-time Indy car list. "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."

This is Power's second-career pole on an oval (Kentucky, 2011) and comes at the site of his only-career oval victory, at Texas, in 2011. Does Power think he has a car capable of winning Saturday night's (8:30 ET, ABC) race?

"I do, actually," Power said "It's going to be an interesting race. I think the downforce level is about right for good racing because I think some cars have a lot more than others. If you happen to put new tires on for the last restart and no one else does, you can go in the front.

"So it creates some interesting situations and hopefully we're at the front of all that."

Power needs all the momentum he can get as he enters the race 15th in the IndyCar standings, 81 points behind co-leaders Helio Castroneves and Marco Andretti. In addition to his struggles this year, Power hasn't won in over a year, dating back to May of last year in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

For his part, Andretti is satisfied with qualifying on the outside pole because much like Indianapolis, Andretti and team have a set-up more prepared for the race than time trials. He's also looking for his first victory this season.

"The first lap, I think we had an overboost," Andretti said. "So we lost a mile-per-hour, which I was hoping it wasn't going to cost me more than it did. Will went for it, and he got the benefit for it so good job to him."

The complete starting lineup can be found below:

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

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