NEWTON, Iowa (June 19, 2010) - Will Power continued Team Penske's record streak of pole positions Saturday by claiming the top starting position for the Iowa Corn Indy 250 at Iowa Speedway.
Power was clocked at 1:10.9925 - an average of 181.337 mph - for four laps around .894-mile short oval in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Honda, giving Team Penske its seventh consecutive pole position in IZOD IndyCar Series competition. The team has won all but one pole position this season, including four by Power.
Saturday's pole, however, marked the first-ever won by Power on an oval track.
"It's a great feeling to win my first oval pole," said Power. "The Verizon car was awesome today and I feel great about starting up front for the race. We haven't had things go our way the last few races, but hopefully we're back on the right track this weekend and we can get a strong result for Team Penske."
Power's qualifying run was one of three solid efforts by Team Penske around the Iowa Speedway oval, the smallest track on the IndyCar Series schedule. Helio Castroneves recorded the fourth-fastest qualifying time for an average of 180.884 mph in the No. 3 Team Penske Dallara/Honda, while Ryan Briscoe had the eighth-fastest time for a four-lap average of 180.672 mph in the No. 6 Team Penske machine.
Castroneves said that Saturday's qualifying was a good overall result and he believes any of the three Team Penske drivers are capable of winning Sunday's race.
"Great job for Team Penske and for Will winning his first oval pole," said Castroneves. "We were good enough in qualifying to start on the second row and I think the No. 3 Team Penske car should be good in the race. I am sure Ryan will do well in race trim tomorrow also. Now, we all have to work together as a team so that we can go out there tomorrow and accomplish our goal of getting the first win for Team Penske in Iowa."
Briscoe, who won the previous IZOD IndyCar Series race June 5 at Texas Motor Speedway, said he's confident that his car is race-ready. With rain in the forecast, he hopes to get a chance to prove it on Sunday.
"We feel we have a good car for the race," Briscoe said. "I think we steered the car away a bit from our optimum qualifying setup. I think we're in good shape for tomorrow. Now we just need to see what happens with the weather, but we feel good about getting a solid result for Team Penske."
Power, who is second in the championship standings, has now won six pole positions in his last 14 IndyCar Series races. After winning the first two races of the season, he'll be looking for his first oval race victory in the Iowa Corn Indy 250.
"This is a very tough and physical track and I know it's going to be a challenge (Sunday) to try and get my first oval win," said Power. "We will definitely be working hard for it and hope for good weather tomorrow, especially for the fans here in Iowa."
Sunday's race is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. ET and will be televised live by Versus.