EDMONTON, Alberta, Canada (July 24, 2010) - Team Penske swept the front row Saturday for the Honda Indy Edmonton, as Will Power continued his recent roll and won his sixth pole position of the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series season.
Power recorded a lap of 1:00.7126 in the Firestone Fast Six final round of qualifying driving the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Honda as he edged teammate Helio Castroneves by just 0.0764 seconds. Saturday's result marked Power's second straight pole position at Edmonton and third overall at the City Centre Airport Circuit. It was also the ninth pole won this season for Team Penske and the team's third straight pole at Edmonton.
"It's great to have the Verizon car on the pole," said Power, who will try to secure his third consecutive race win on Sunday. "We started out in a tough group and we had to use our red tires to get through. The car was good on used red tires in the second round, too. I knew Helio was very close to our time, so I had to give it everything I had in the final round. It was a good battle (with Helio) - we've been pushing each other all weekend long. I think track position will be very important tomorrow in the race, so it's great to be starting up front. We'll do our best to get the Verizon car another win on Sunday."
Castroneves tried valiantly in the final minutes of the Fast Six session to top Power's lap, but he came up just short in the No. 3 Team Penske Dallara/Honda. After posting a top lap of 1:00.7890, Castroneves will start alongside his teammate on the front row for the start of Sunday's race.
"It was definitely a tough qualifying," said Castroneves. "Will certainly put a good lap up there and we knew it would be tough to beat. We saved our red tires and we went for it in the last round. We put up a strong lap that was close, but unfortunately the car was really loose. It was a great job by Team Penske to sweep the front row and have three cars in the top-five. Now, we've got to keep it going and have a good race. We've had some tough results here lately. We need to score some good points tomorrow."
Ryan Briscoe gave Team Penske three cars in the top five starters with his lap of 1:01.3798 in the No. 6 Team Penske Dallara/Honda. He'll start inside the third row for the start of Sunday's 95-lap race around the fast street circuit.
"It was great to make the Firestone Fast Six again today," said Briscoe, who won the pole at Edmonton in 2008. "The competition is so tight in that group. We made some changes between practice and qualifying trying to find that last tenth of a second and unfortunately we missed a little on the set-up. The good news is I have a top-five starting position for tomorrow's race. Team Penske always gives me great pit stops and strong race strategy so we will find a way to the front."
Briscoe is fourth in the standings, 85 points behind Power, while Castroneves is sixth, 92 points behind, entering Sunday's race.
Power has won four races this season and will be looking to add to that total on Sunday as he tries to produce his second straight win at Edmonton. Last season, Power led 90 of 95 laps en route to his first IndyCar Series win and first victory with Team Penske. Power called the qualifying effort around the bumpy 1.97-mile, 14-turn Edmonton course one of the toughest of the year.
"When they sent me out to do another lap after Helio set a time so close, I thought, ‘Man,'" said Power. "It was tough. It was really tough."
Castroneves said Power's outstanding results this season have helped raised everyone's performance level at Team Penske.
"Will has really made me a better driver," said Castroneves. "The way he pushes all the time makes me push all the time, too - not only myself, but Ryan (Briscoe), as well. I'm actually very happy to have him on the team."
Live coverage of Sunday's Honda Indy Edmonton will begin at 5 p.m. ET on Versus.