WEST ALLIS, WIS. (August 16, 2014) – Will Power led the way Saturday by winning the Verizon P1 Pole Award as Team Penske put itself in solid position for the start of Sunday’s ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at the Milwaukee Mile.
Power recorded a two-lap average of 169.262 mph in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet, a speed that will allow the series leader to start at the front of the 22-car field on Sunday. Teammates Juan Pablo Montoya and Helio Castroneves will start among the first four rows.
Power said he thought he could have gone even faster around the one-mile oval at the Wisconsin State Fairgrounds.
“I probably left a little time out there because I was just unsure of what I had and didn’t want to make a mistake,” said Power, who won his third Verizon P1 Pole Award of the season his first career pole at Milwaukee.
“The Verizon Chevy was awesome. I’m very proud of the work my guys put in today. I didn’t think I’d be getting pole today but I’m really happy about it. It’s just a great start to the three-race chase, you could say, for the championship finish at Fontana.”
Montoya will start third after his two-lap average speed of 168.579 mph in the PPG Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet.
“We caught a break with the cloud cover, but I really don’t pay attention to that. Our PPG Chevy is pretty good. I had a bit of an understeer in qualifying, but we’ve been pretty conservative on the wing here at Milwaukee. The track kept getting quicker as it cooled off so I didn’t think that would be a pole-winning run. Congrats to Will for getting the Verizon P1 Pole Award for Team Penske.”
Castroneves’ two-lap average of 167.561 mph in the Hitachi Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet will put him in the eighth starting position.
“I wasn’t the first one out, but I knew that going out early was going to be a bit of a disadvantage,” stated Castroneves. “You could tell on the second lap that the track was just going to get better and better. Starting up front is good, but it’s not essential to winning. You can definitely pass here at Milwaukee and pit strategy is always key. I thought the Hitachi Chevy was decent in race mode. If we can find a bit more speed we can make it interesting tomorrow.”
Power leads the Verizon IndyCar Series driver standings, now just five points ahead of Castroneves with the point earned for winning the pole. Just three races remain in the 2014 season.
“It’s only one point (bonus point for winning the pole position) but all the points count right now," added Power, who won his 35th career pole. "There are 100 points on the table in the last race, you know, but they all count. You’ve got to keep chipping away. Keep smiling and keep chipping away.”
In 2000 at Milwaukee, Montoya started from the pole and posted his eighth career victory. He is currently fifth in the standings, 102 points behind Power.
“The third position is a great place to start the race tomorrow,” continued Montoya. “I was confident coming into the weekend and nothing so far has changed my mind.”
Castroneves is the active leader in Verizon P1 Pole Awards at Milwaukee with three -- in 1999, 2006 and 2007. However, in 13 career races at Milwaukee, Castroneves has yet to win.
“I absolutely think that the No. 3 Hitachi Chevrolet can win this weekend,” continued Castroneves. “We are going to put all of those past races out of our minds and just worry about running the best possible race we can this weekend.”
Sunday’s race is scheduled to begin at 3:45 p.m. ET. NBC Sports Network’s live broadcast will begin at 3 p.m.