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IndyCar Indianapolis 500

Will Power: Racing gods don’t want me to have Indy 500 pole

Team Penske’s Will Power was left to watch another quest for an Indianapolis 500 pole slip away in the dying moments of the Fast Six battle on Sunday.

Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet

Photo by: Geoffrey M. Miller / Motorsport Images

Reality hit the 43-year-old Aussie in exactly the 38.3753s it took team-mate Scott McLaughlin’s opening lap that equates to running 234.526mph around the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“It sucks, man,” said Power, a two-time IndyCar Series champion. “As soon as I saw the first lap, I knew it was over.”

Power ended up with a four-lap average of 233.917mph, while McLaughlin soared to the fastest pole run in Indy 500 history at a 234.220mph average.

The runner-up effort now gives Power five front row starts in the Indy 500, but his first since capturing his only win in the famed event in 2018.

Power, the all-time leader in IndyCar Series poles with 70, continues to chase the elusive top spot in now 17 starts in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” Additionally, he has started second in three of the five points-paying races this season in the IndyCar Series.

“Yeah, I just keep getting seconds this year, but I'm not sure I'll ever get this pole,” Power said. “For some weird reasons I just think it's one of those things where the racing gods go, ‘Yeah, you can have the pole record, but you're certainly not going to get this one.’

“That's just the irony of life, you know. It's not the end of the world if I don't [win an Indy pole]. It's just a box to tick. It's a good one. Obviously, the race winner is much bigger.

“The two days of qualifying is very stressful. You put a lot on the line, and it's really hard to have the quickest car and the quickest team on that year. To put all that together, that's a lot of things that have to align, and that's very difficult because you see every team.

“There's one car that just seems to be a little bit quicker for whatever reason, but I have to say that our cars have been the closest they've ever been, so it shows the quality control that we have.”

Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske Chevrolet pole winner congratulated by Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet

Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske Chevrolet pole winner congratulated by Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet

Photo by: Geoffrey M. Miller / Motorsport Images

Power went on to acknowledge the monumental achievement of being part of a Penske front row lock-out as team-mate Josef Negarden, the defending Indy 500 winner, took third.

The only other time Penske swept the front row was in 1988, which came courtesy of Rick Mears (pole), Danny Sullivan (second) and Al Unser Sr (third).

“I was pretty certain one of our cars would get pole back at Long Beach [last month],” Power said. “In the offseason, to be honest, I just knew how much work we had done.

“Pretty cool to get a front row lock-out. I definitely like second place this year.”

Power then could only joke about his ability to snag runner-up results: “It's just every single weekend it's either second in the race or second in qualifying, so I'll continue that for the rest of the year.

“Maybe I'll get a championship, and that will be a first, so it's good stuff.”

Read Also:

Watch: Indy 500: McLaughlin sets new pole record at 234.220mph in Penske sweep

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