Will Power set the qualifying lap track record on the way to earning the Verizon P1 Award for the pole position for Race 1 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit presented by Quicker Loans.
Power, who also set the track record in the season opener at St. Petersburg with the new Chevrolet road/street aerodynamic bodywork package, recorded a lap of 1 minute, 16.0941 seconds on the 2.35-mile, 14-turn street circuit in the 10-minute Firestone Fast Six session.
Team Penske teammates Helio Castroneves (1:16.1200) and Simon Pagenaud (1:16.4428) qualified second and third, respectively, for the 70-lap race May 30 (3:30 p.m. ET on ABC).
Takuma Sato, who qualified a season-high fourth, set the standard last May of 1:16.1371 in the No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Honda. Simon Pagenaud, the fourth Team Penske entry in the Firestone Fast Six, qualified fifth (1:16.6656) and Sebastien Bourdais of KVSH Racing reached the final round for the second time this season and qualified sixth (1:17.0406).
It was the 39th career Indy car pole for Power, one behind Team Penske consultant Rick Mears for fifth on the all-time list.
“I had new tires and was pushing hard (on his final lap) because they said Helio and Juan were pretty close,” said Power, who will mark his 100th Indy car start with Team Penske in Race 2 on May 31 (3:30 p.m. ET on ABC). “Fantastic job and good start to the weekend. We’ll see what magic we can do tomorrow.”
Power won Race 1 and was runner-up to Castroneves in Race 2 last year on Belle Isle.
Tony Kanaan, who turned the quickest lap of 1:16.2931 in the 75-minute morning practice session in the No. 10 Taylor Swift Big Machine Records Chip Ganassi Racing Teams Chevrolet, did not advance out of Segment 1 and qualified 15th.
In qualifications for Race 2, all cars will participate in one of two groups for 12 minutes each. The pole position will be awarded to the best overall lap time in both sessions. The remainder of the cars from the pole sitter’s qualifying group will occupy the odd-numbered positions on the starting grid, ranked by lap time, beginning with third. Even-numbered starting positions will be filled by the other group, ranked by lap time, starting with second. One point will be awarded to entrant and driver with the fastest time in each qualifying group.