Will Power earns 28th career pole at Sonoma

Team Penske’s Will Power is the Fred Astaire of road racers because he makes running fastest look so effortless. The Australian racer posted a pole time of 1:17:2709, a new track record not just because it’s fast but because the track formerly known as Infineon has been reconfigured for 2012 due to the input of among others, Will Power and Ryan Biscoe. Power also credits the overall consistency of Team Penske in working so hard to perfectly prepare his car for the pole winning lap. It is worth noting that this is the 3rd consecutive pole for Power at Race Sonoma and that he has won the past two races here. To say he is the favorite to win the race Sunday would be an understatement.

""It's good to back on the pole here in Sonoma in the Penske Verizon Chevy #12 car," said Briscoe. " It is important to start up front here and we are very happy to once again be on the front row, which is where we want to start. This track was great for the team and we look to continue our success as a team here. I just really like this track and I would love to make it three in a row here."

Qualifying second was Power’s teammate and fellow Australian, Ryan Briscoe. Briscoe’s time was only tenths of a mile slower than Willy P’s, at 1:17:4347. When asked if there will be team orders in the race, Briscoe made it quite clear that he wants the win himself very much and the only help he will give Power and their other teammate Castroneves is to “try not to wreck them”. Faint comfort for the other two Penskes, one would imagine.

Ryan Briscoe, Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet
Ryan Briscoe, Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet

Photo by: Jeff Davidson

The true surprise of the session was the third place qualifying of Champ Car multi-year champion Sebastien Bourdais. He seemed to take a good deal of ribbing from the other fast 6 drivers, but he indicated that he had expected to do this well much earlier in the season. The Bourdais who qualified today was greatly reminiscent of the pre Formula 1 Bourdais.

Rounding out the top 6 was championship contender Helio Castroneves in 4th place. The Target Chip Ganassi teammates Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti were in positions 5 and 6.

All six drivers seemed to think that the new configuration of the track will open up a lot of passing during the race.

Of qualifying positions 7 through twelve, it was surprising to find Simon Pagenaud and James Hinchcliffe qualify outside the top 6. Both drivers were quick during the two practice sessions but were unable to translate this into faster qualifying times. They and the Target cars may prove to be factors in Sunday’s race.

Sunday’s race will commence at 1:42 PM Pacific time with TV coverage beginning at 1:00 PM Pacific time on the NBC Sports Network.

shares
comments
Team Penske off to a good start in Friday Practice at Sonoma
Previous article

Team Penske off to a good start in Friday Practice at Sonoma

Next article

Tagliani and Barracuda Racing to start eighth at Sonoma

Tagliani and Barracuda Racing to start eighth at Sonoma
Load comments
Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021 Prime

Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021

In an enthralling 2021 IndyCar campaign, the series bounced back from its COVID-19 truncated year prior and series sophomore Alex Palou defeated both the established order and his fellow young guns to clinch a maiden title. It capped a remarkable season with plenty of standout performers

IndyCar
Nov 22, 2021
How Marcus Ericsson finally unlocked his potential in IndyCar Prime

How Marcus Ericsson finally unlocked his potential in IndyCar

Marcus Ericsson enjoyed a breakout year in the IndyCar Series in 2021, winning twice and finishing sixth in points with Chip Ganassi Racing. How did he finally unlock the potential that was masked by five years of toil in Formula 1 with Caterham and Sauber/Alfa Romeo?

IndyCar
Nov 16, 2021
Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing win Prime

Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing win

Saturday, Oct. 16th, marks the 10th anniversary Dan Wheldon’s death. David Malsher-Lopez pays tribute, then asks Wheldon’s race engineer from 2011, Todd Malloy, to recall that magical second victory at the Indianapolis 500.

IndyCar
Oct 16, 2021
Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up? Prime

Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up?

Jack Harvey’s move to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing sparked plenty of debate, but their combined strength could prove golden, says David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Oct 15, 2021
Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting Prime

Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting

Kyle Kirkwood, the record-setting junior formula driver, sealed the Indy Lights championship last weekend. But despite an absurdly strong résumé and scholarship money, his next move is far from clear. By David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Oct 6, 2021
2021 IndyCar title is just the start for Ganassi's newest star Prime

2021 IndyCar title is just the start for Ganassi's newest star

Alex Palou has captured Chip Ganassi Racing's 14th IndyCar drivers' championship, and in truly stellar manner. David Malsher-Lopez explains what made the Palou-Ganassi combo so potent so soon.

IndyCar
Sep 28, 2021
Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar Prime

Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar

One of motorsport’s worst-kept secrets now out in the open, and Romain Grosjean has been confirmed as an Andretti Autosport IndyCar driver in 2022. It marks a remarkable turnaround after the abrupt end to his Formula 1 career, and is a firm indication of his commitment to challenge for the IndyCar Series title  

IndyCar
Sep 24, 2021
IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch Prime

IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch

The 2021 IndyCar silly season is one of the silliest of all, but it’s satisfying to see so many talented drivers in play – including Callum Ilott. David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Sep 11, 2021