Story By: PAUL KELLY / INDYCAR – SPEEDWAY, IN – Will Power won the NTT P1 Award for the GMR Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, earning his 64th career INDYCAR SERIES pole on his final qualifying lap Friday afternoon.
Power’s best lap was 1 minute, 9.7664 seconds in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. Australian Power is just three poles shy of tying the all-time INDYCAR SERIES pole record of 67 set by Mario Andretti.
“This series, it’s so tight,” Power said. “So, to get a pole these days, you know you’ve done a really good job. And the team has done a great job. I’m super-stoked. It’s been a long time since we’ve had a pole on a road course. I worked hard on that one.
“I feel so privileged to be so close to him (Andretti). To be up there with names like Mario Andretti and A.J. Foyt is something I wouldn’t have imagined when I started my career.”
This was Power’s first road or street course pole since the 2020 season finale at St. Petersburg, Florida, and he became the fifth different pole winner in five NTT INDYCAR SERIES races this season.
Live coverage of the 85-lap GMR Grand Prix starts at 3 p.m. (ET) Saturday on NBC and the INDYCAR Radio Network.
Reigning series champion and current points leader Alex Palou will share the front row with Power after his best lap of 1:09.8090 in the No. 10 The American Legion Honda.
Power’s teammate, two-time series champion Josef Newgarden, will start third after a lap of 1:09.8343 in the No. 2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet. Conor Daly earned his best starting spot of the season by qualifying fourth at 1:09.9063 in the No. 20 BitNile Chevrolet.
Pato O’Ward, who led the afternoon practice, will start fifth after a best lap of 1:10.0546 in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, with his teammate Felix Rosenqvist rounding out the Firestone Fast Six at 1:10.0605 in the No. 7 Vuse Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet.
Callum Ilott continued his impressive season with the one-car Juncos Hollinger Racing, qualifying seventh in the team’s No. 77 Chevrolet as the top rookie in the field.
The list of drivers who failed to advance from the first round of qualifying could form a wing of an INDYCAR SERIES Hall of Fame as some teams and drivers were flummoxed by air temperatures in the high 80s and track temperatures tickling 130 degrees.
Indianapolis 500 winners Takuma Sato (13th), Alexander Rossi (16th), Helio Castroneves (19th), Simon Pagenaud (20th), Scott Dixon (21st) and Juan Pablo Montoya (23rd) all didn’t make the second round. NTT INDYCAR SERIES race winners Colton Herta (14th), Rinus VeeKay (15th) and Marcus Ericsson (18th) also didn’t advance from Round One.