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Power Leads Penske Racing 1-2-3 Edmonton Qualifying Sweep

July 25, 2009

Photo courtesy of IMS Photo



EDMONTON, Alb., Canada (July 25, 2009) -- Will Power earned his second IndyCar Series pole position and led a Penske Racing sweep in dramatic fashion Saturday during qualifying for the Rexall Edmonton Indy at City Centre Airport.

Driving the No. 12 Penske Truck Rental Dallara/Honda, Power recorded the fastest lap of the day -- 1:01.0133 (116.414 mph) - during the Firestone Fast Six qualifying session to edge out his teammates and win the pole for Sunday's race on the fast airport course.

Ryan Briscoe will start second Sunday in the No. 6 Team Penske entry after he posted a lap of 1:01.1232. Helio Castroneves earned a third-place starting position in the No. 3 Team Penske Dallara/Honda after he recorded a lap of 1:01.2033 around the 1.973-mile, 14-turn street circuit.

The impressive performance produced Power's second pole in just his fifth IndyCar Series race with Penske Racing. It also marked the first 1-2-3 qualifying sweep for Penske Racing since August 14, 1994 when Al Unser Jr. won the pole and Paul Tracy and Emerson Fittipaldi qualified second and third, respectively, for the team at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

"The starting position gives you an advantage, but you've really got to use it," said Power, competing in his fifth race of the season for the Penske team this weekend. "As you can see, in these races, anything can happen. I just hope to have a clean race tomorrow. I'd love to win one before the next few races that I get to compete in."

Briscoe will start on the front row for the second time in the last three races. He eners Sunday's race ranked third in the IndyCar Serie standings after 10 of 17 races this season, just 13 points out of the lead.

"I feel pretty good," Briscoe said. "I would have liked the pole but the important thing is we're at the front and the Team Penske car is very fast. It's really handling well around this Edmonton track so it really makes us feel good going into the race tomorrow. It is a little bit frustrating because we didn't get everything out of the new tires that we could have. I felt like there was a little bit more to lose than to gain by hanging it out too much, but it's still awesome. I've gone on to finish first when starting in second place before so hopefully we can make that happen tomorrow."

For Castroneves, who is fourth in the standings, 65 points behind Briscoe, the battle for the pole with his teammates reinforced the joy of competition.

"It was fun," Castroneves said. "For a moment I forgot how fun it was to fight for the pole position but, let me tell you, Team Penske is awesome. They did a great job putting three cars in the top positions. That's what happens when you have three guys that step on the gas, you get excitement and it makes you push as hard as you can. I'm happy and we will be ready for a strong race on Sunday."

Power is in the second of five races in the distinctive yellow and blue No. 12 Penske Truck Rental car. He started second and finished third in Toronto two weeks ago -- his first race since finishing fifth in the Indianapolis 500 in May. Saturday's result produced the second pole of Power's career in Edmonton - the 28-year-old racer won the pole in the 2007 Champ Car World Series race at the venue.

"It's very tough qualifying here," Power said. "I'm physically exhausted. To do that lap, I'm very tired by the end of it, but it was a very good result. I'm very happy to have a 1-2-3 qualifying result for Penske Racing. It just shows what a good team I'm with. None of us have really had to make too many changes this weekend. The cars have been spot on."

Sunday's 95-lap Rexall Edmonton Indy is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET. It will be televised live by Versus.